This was anticipated in Exploiting Cracks in the Kremlin; Putin, the New Stalin. Quoting,
- The oligarchic side of the Kremlin conflicts with a new power center, with new ideologues, extending into the military.
- The new ideologues re-legitimize Stalin.
- Borrowing from Stalin, the new power center applies harsh methods against the oligarchs.
How do you play something like this? The romantics will not respond to external pressure. They may respond to pressure from the pragmatists, by accommodation or liquidation. All we can do is amplify the anxiety of the outer cabinet, whose pragmatism shows in a “quant” mindset.