Loyal electoral segments no longer see Putin as a unique personification of his own ideology – most of the voters who share it aren’t enthusiastic about the idea of growing old and passing away under the old president. At least for a couple of years he has been losing support, even among his core electorate.
A similar result was obtained by the Belanovsky group in another study done in June 2020. To the question "Would you like Putin to remain in office until 2036?" 20% responded in the affirmative and 54% in the negative. Or here’s a quote
from a nonpublic report by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) that looked at the mood among young people, which was recently leaked by Proekt
: “Among the sources there are both those who like Putin and those who feel antipathy toward him, while many view him neutrally, indifferently. But practically no one would vote for him currently.”
Overall, the Russian elites have every reason to believe that in 2024 the country will vote against Putin. Moreover, until recently there had been no serious, widespread rejection of the foundations of the regime’s ideology. True, support has very much been eroding, but if the regime stopped angering people, then the majority would very probably vote for a new bearer of these ideas. At least for now.
The sooner the elites realize this, the sooner they tell Putin that resignation is inevitable, the sooner they launch a successor project, the sooner they announce “Putinism without Putin,” the better their chances for survival. Of course, they won’t be able to fully preserve their status and privileges – they’ll have to be shared with representatives of new segments of the population that had previously been un- or underrepresented in the system – but at least they might not end their days as doormen in European hotels, as happened to their predecessors after the 1917 revolution.