Vladimir Frolov & More
I do not want to give too much weight to what Vladimir Frolov says, but I think that it is important to at least read what he has to say. This week’s article actually takes what I said previously to a new level. I believe that Medvedev’s article “Russia, Ahead!” was actually an appeal for legitimacy to the West in the run-up to UNGA, and G20 last week. He wanted to be acknowledged as both a powerful player in Russian government, and a serious contender for 2012. However, as Frolov points out, it ended up backfiring on him mostly due to timing. Putin recognised what Medvedev was trying to do, and undermined him at Valdai by making what was essentially an announcement of his intent to run for President in 2012.
What I really have a problem with in this week’s article is Frolov’s patently false belief that these two men are in any way different from each other. Of course they are different people, and they have different backgrounds, etc. But their ideology (such as it is) is essentially the same, Great Russia.
What continues to bother me is who Frolov is being paid by. I think it is Big Brother (aka: Igor Sechin), but I am not entirely sure.
I would also like to draw your attention to Nikolai Petrov’s piece “The Virtual President”. Some quotes:
…the Kremlin is both nervous and uncertain. The Kremlin realizes that it must finally do something to correct the situation but is unable and unwilling to do so. This realization is a break from its former state of self-complacency.
Two factors are compounding the problem — the desire of the authorities to preserve their high popularity ratings at any cost, and the paralysis of government officials who cannot take action without approval from the top.
I am not sure that the Kremlin is both unable and unwilling to make the appropriate changes to deal with the crisis. They are definitely unwilling, but maybe what Petrov is trying to say is that it is too late to make any changes.
I thought that the conclusion was too great to pass up:
This is Russia’s latest risky experiment: the attempt to carry out Medvedev’s transition from a relatively unknown political figure to the country’s chief executive. Were it not for the crisis, the experiment might even be amusing. Under the current circumstances, however, it is a disaster waiting to happen.