I was going to write a piece about Yuri Luzhkov, but Russia Profile has had some good articles about the subject recently, so it seems a moot point. I would, however, like to postulate a theory about the clan wars.
There have been two articles recently that have inspired an idea. SWP had an entry that called Putin a “capo di tutti capi”. Essentially, his whole job is to keep peace between the clans, and moderate when there is a problem.
Meanwhile, Yulia Latynina latest article in The Moscow Times claims that Putin is bored, and that is why he has been travelling the country.
These two pieces got me to thinking, what if the so-called clan wars are set up by Putin for his own entertainment? Think about it. Was the Sechin-Cherkessov fight really necessary? It was all set up by Putin. Cherkessov’s job was not even real. It could have just as easily been left to Customs, or whoever was overseeing it beforehand. Of course, there were practicalities involved, and I see that. But to create a job that was somewhat fake, and then to hamper it at every turn, implies that you want that person to fail. Or at least that you want some excitement out of it. Which we all certainly got.
Then you have the obvious Sergei Ivanov vs Dmitry Medvedev. Does anything more need to be said about this one? Besides the fact that it was unnecessary, it also exposed Sergei Borisovich as kind of crazy. Although, has anyone noticed how much more relaxed Sergei Borisovich is looking now? Seriously, check out some recent pictures.
And now you have Chaika vs Bastrykin. This is just a repeat of Sechin-Cherkessov. A job was created that was totally unnecessary, in order to pit two men against each other. Plus, you have the added problem that Yuri wanted the job of Pros Gen for a long time, was promised it, then had it taken away, then was given it, and is now being forced to fight for it every day. So there has to be more than a little anger involved. Which is more than a little worrying. At least with the exposure that Ivanov-Medvedev received, there was some accountability, and nobody died (we think). Chaika-Bastrykin has the potential to deteriorate to a degree that Sechin-Cherkessov never did. And that’s a problem.