Russian Senator Who ‘Helped Establish Putin’ Says He’s Lost His Mind | world news
A Russian senator and widow of the law professor who created Vladimir Putin as a politician has questioned the Russian dictator’s sanity.
Lyudmila Narusova, 71, has known the Kremlin president since he worked as a backroom nothing for her husband Anatoly Sobchak, then the pro-Western mayor of St. Petersburg.
As the only opposition figure in the Russian upper house, she has sharply criticized Putin and accused him of inflicting “mass psychosis” on the population.
Narusova saw Putin as a family friend for decades, but now questions his sanity as he plunges the country into mass repression and war.
“Three years ago it seemed to me that he had a reasonable perception of reality,” she said.
“But after those three years, a lot has changed and I’ve never had to do it myself.
‘I don’t know.’
She is convinced he is power-hungry and wants to hang on despite his age and suspected health problems – and dismisses rumors in Moscow that he plans to hand over the Kremlin to a trusted lieutenant.
“There was a lot of buzz about it [the transition of power in Russia] before the start of [military] Surgery,” Narusova said.
“There is a feeling for that in political circles.
“But I think there will be no transfer of power.”
Instead, Putin will run for a new six-year team that will make him president by 2030, the year he turns 78, she told Forbes Russia.
Legally, he could then seek another term that expires at age 84 but effectively makes him ruler for life.
Narusova revealed that Russia’s elite is inundated with people who disapprove of Putin – but are too afraid to take action against him.
“I’m the only one who chooses [against him]’ she told the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta Europe.
“But there are enough people who think like me.
“It’s just that they’re afraid to say it out loud.”
Putin’s biggest cheerleaders support him at rallies in Red Square, but “that doesn’t mean they really sincerely support what’s going on,” she said.
“A very respectable man of many years under his belt said to me, ‘You’re the only one among us with balls of steel.’
She abhors Putin’s repressive policies.
“It feels bad. I’m telling you, this is destroying me from the inside,’ she said.
“When something is in the constitution but is insidiously and obligingly violated, then I can’t help but talk about it and even shout about it.”
She slammed the jailing of Putin critics who oppose his war for up to 25 years – when a St. Petersburg history professor and Napoleon expert Oleg Sokolov, 66, murdered his lover Anastasia Yeshenko, 24, and dismembered her remains in threw a river An “extreme atrocity” was only imprisoned for 12 years.
“Our justice has led us to this. Words are worth more prison than murder,” she said, accusing Putin of corrupting Russia’s constitution, which was partly written by her husband.
Her spouse – who died in 2000 – had promoted a former KGB spy to deputy mayor, his first political job and his launch pad for a career in which he has ruled Russia as president or prime minister since 1999.
She vowed to continue opposing Putin in order to create a “wake-up call for some kind of consciousness” in the Russian population.
She wanted to sow a glimmer of doubt in the midst of this mass psychosis. I think that’s the main function of what I do.’
Their daughter is prominent TV personality Ksenia Sobchak, 41, who ran against Putin in the 2018 Russian presidential election and finished fourth.
Putin attended her Orthodox baptism, leading to claims that he was her godfather.
Today she runs an independent media outlet that often criticizes Putin and the war.
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