Israel’s former ambassador to Russia, Zvi Magen, has said that he believes there are signs of a coup taking place in Russia.
In an interview with Haaretz he said, “the movement of the army around the Kremlin indicates that there is a change in government, or that an attempt at a change in government is being carried out.”
Magen believes those responsible for the potential coup are “branches or factions in the army who are working together or against one another, or wealthy businessmen, many of whom worked in these organizations. They could only be people who are free to walk around the corridors of the Kremlin.”
He says possible reasons include the ongoing sanctions imposed by the West on those close to the Kremlin, sanctions “that harm them personally. I don’t believe there’s a controversy there surrounding policy. They’re protecting their own interests.”
Political commentators believe possible reasons for the ostensible coup are the severe deterioration in the economic situation in Russia, in light of plummeting world oil prices and the West’s sanctions, and fears from heads of the security services that Putin is pushing the West too far with his provocations, including threats to use nuclear weapons and the manner in which a leading member of the opposition, Boris Nemtsov, was murdered last month.