In spite of Russia's political isolation and the uproar over the death of Putin critic Boris Nemtsov, domestic support for Russian President Vladimir Putin remains strong. But one of the Kremlin's most vocal critics believes Putin's ultimate downfall could come at the hands of the unfolding economic crisis.
"I don't think the Nemtsov murder is going to touch the vast proportion of Russians but it's going to touch people like me profoundly and other people hoping for a liberal democracy," Kremlin critic Bill Browder told CNBC Monday.
"But what will, and what always does in these situations, is an economic crisis. Why was there an Arab Spring (in 2011) – it wasn't because of a wave of democracy, it was because food prices went up and prices of fuel went up for people (living) below the subsistence level and they couldn't stand it anymore."
"There's going to be some catalyst related to the economics that will end Putin's regime. He doesn't know and we don't know what that catalyst is going to be and when it's going to happen."
Browder, the chief executive and founder of Hermitage Capital Markets, has been a vocal critic of the Russian government and its leader Vladimir Putin for a number of years.
Browder was kicked out of Russia for accusing Russian tax officials of embezzlement, in 2007. Since then, he has repeatedly accused Russia of corruption and has been involved in a high-profile battle with the Russian state over the death of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was investigating fraud among Russian officials.