The latest from Brian Whitmore over at the Power Vertical. He predicts a clan war breaking out over the issue of the state corporations. Yuri Chaika seems to have come down on the side of Medvedev on this issue, as well as Anton Ivanov (a close friend of Medvedev’s from Uni), Sergei Stepashin, and the head of the Anti-Monopoly Service, Igor Artyomev (whose bio indicates that he is also a friend of the President’s from Uni).
I have a problem with this concept of the “Ciliviki”. It is nice to be able to box people up, and place them in certain categories. I confess that I am sometimes guilty of it myself. But at what point do these ties stop mattering? Because they do stop mattering at some point. The Power Vertical is about using the contacts you have to achieve a certain goal that will be beneficial to you as an individual. Maybe the larger group benefits in some way, but your goal is yourself, and not the larger group. This is the nature of the Power Vertical. There is a certain amount of power, and influence, and assets, and too many people. Picture a pack of wild dogs, or just about any animal in the wild. Or picture a group of preschool aged children. Always too many people, and too few assets (even if there are 64 crayons, and 12 children).
Plus, all Putin’s Power Vertical requires is a warm body who is at least nominally loyal. You could pick a random person off the street, and get almost the same result. Thus, an individual in Putinania is totally expendable (as we have seen).
But I have a question about all of this. Graham Stack writing about Russian Technologies says: “The big stumbling block will be what to do with the mother of all state corporations – Russian Technologies (RT) – the very first state corporation established in December of 2007.” Why is RT considered the first, and not United Aircraft, or Almaz-Antei? I am confused, but I know the answer is out there somewhere, and that I is why I love doing this.