Bill Collier- Rumors are trending in Russian blogs and forums that President Putin is being removed from power by a military/intelligence services coup orchestrated by oligarchs who see his chauvenistic policies as being bad for Russia, and their wallets.

The mastermind behind the coup may be one Yevgeny Primakov, a prominant billionaire who openly warned Putin at a speech in Moscow’s “Mercury Club” back in Januar of this year against his adventurism. He railed against “nationalism” that looks down on other nations, he stated that Russia needs to stop being the world’s gas station and massively diversify its policies, and he even criticized the war in the Urkraine. Apparently, Russia’s military machine is struggling to keep up the pace of operations, many military men resent the unofficial assignment, their families are asking tough questions, the pro-Russian separatists are performing poorly, and the Ukrainians are holding nothing back.

Putin has been out of the public eye and recent photos of him in the Kremlin speaking to a Russian Supreme Court judge may not be as recent as the Kremlin claims.

One can hardly say what might happen if Putin is removed “for health reasons” and Medvedev, his hand-picked Prime Minister, resigns. Will Russian policy moderate regarding the Ukraine? A recent report of a working group regarding Kalliningrad (former East Prussia) and giving it greater autonomy runs counter to Putin’s policy in the region, which has excited local concerns and opposition.

Primakov has stated that Russia should leave the Ukraine alone, although he is for retaining the Crimea and, even as rumors that the coup leaders already have seized power circulate, new Russian columns have been spotted near the Ukrainian border.

I will be following this more in depth in but will provide details here as well as I uncover more facts on the ground.