Putinania

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Archive for the ‘Clan War’ Category

Kudrin vs Sechin

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There has been a story floating in and out of Russian politics for a while regarding former Finance Minister and Deputy PM Alexei Kudrin.  It went like this: Kudrin was the leader of the economic liberals, and a counter-balance to Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, and his clan, the siloviki.

And, the narrative continued, Alexei Kudrin was the only person preventing the siloviki from dipping into the pot of money called the Stabilization Fund (a kind of rainy-day investment portfolio created for when oil prices dropped). The siloviki, the rumour mill alleged, wanted to use the money to improve infrastructure.  Finance Minister Kudrin, however, wanted to keep that money safe for its intended use: riding out any future financial crisis.

After Kudrin’s dramatic exit on Monday (video here; and English transcript here), I’ve started to wonder if the story was all fake: something that Kudrin made up and then leaked in order to make himself seem more powerful in the eyes of the West.

We may never know, but it will be interesting to see if Putin ends up authorising any withdraws from the Fund in the coming months.

P.S. I do have some reactions to the decision of the Tandem to swap, but after poring over so many others’ reactions, I may just end up doing a summary.

Yuri Chaika

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Yuri Chaika‘s term as Prosecutor General is up in 18 days. In the next three weeks, the decision must be reached as to whether or not Chaika will remain at his post for another 5 year term.

The Russian Constitution of 1993 states in Articles 102h and 129 that the Prosecutor General is appointed by the President for a 5 year term subject to the approval of the upper house of Parliament, the Federation Council.

Usually this would not be an issue. Chaika would go before the Federation Council, possibly answer a few easy questions, and the Federation Council would vote to approve him for another term.

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Written by Nina Jobe

June 5, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Quote:

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My favourite quote so far on the loss of Luzhkov:

“It is sad that in Russia there is not the custom of saying goodbye to someone, and thanking them for what they have done and not just on a whim.”  –Alexander Krutov, Deputy, Moscow City Duma

Written by Nina Jobe

September 28, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Posted in Clan War, Moscow

Tagged with

Clan Wars

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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.

Written by Nina Jobe

September 14, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Fursenko’s War

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According to Paul Goble, Andrei Fursenko went on Ekho Moskvy about a week ago, and talked about the problem the population decline will have on education.  Not the most shocking of messages, and what he said seemed sound.  What was more interesting was that he came pretty close to calling Putin a liar on the demographics issue, and then said that the Duma is after him.

So Andrei Fursenko is worried, but I am not sure why.  He says that the Duma is attacking him, but so what?  What are they going to do to him?  It seems as though his fear is that the Duma will try to force him out.  But it is not like the Duma has the power to do so.  And why are you appealing to an audience that (theoretically, at least) has less power the the Duma?  I suppose that his audience could take to the streets, but why should they?  What is in it for them?

All that to say, there is clearly more to this story than what Fursenko said, and it does not bode well for the future of the tandemocracy, or for Putin’s grip on those close to him.

Written by Nina Jobe

January 10, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Yelena Skrynnik

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This story came up on my Reader this morning, and it struck me as possibly being important.  Not the actual stuff about commodities (which I do not really understand, as I have never taken an economics course), but the bit about Yelena Skrynnik.  There is something going on within the Agriculture Ministry, but I cannot quite put my finger on what.  Part of me wants to say that she’s trying to feel her way through her first year.  And to a certain degree, I think that’s true.

But I just feel like there’s more going on here than just Lena being conservative with her numbers.

Written by Nina Jobe

December 16, 2009 at 2:48 PM

I Missed This

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The saga of Okhta Centre continues

State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said Friday that the Okhta-Center should be built in St. Petersburg, but that a better location should be chosen, Itar-Tass reported.

The controversial 400-meter high skyscraper should be constructed on Vasilyevsky Island, where it could function as a lighthouse, or on the territory of the Rzhevsky range outside the city, Gryzlov told reporters at a United Russia forum in St. Petersburg.

Written by Nina Jobe

December 15, 2009 at 8:52 PM