Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Zhukov’
United Russia is still in the process of holding their “primaries” in order to create their party lists for their big conference in September (as far as I can determine, this is something like National Conventions in the US, but probably not as fun). The Moscow Times had a piece today outlining how the primaries are going, but the process is so convoluted and confusing that it is a wonder anyone follows it. But that might be the point, to make it so confusing that people don’t want to follow it.
Anyway, it raised a few questions in my mind, not the least of which is this: if Deputy PM Igor Sechin is actually running for a seat in the Duma (which I still think is slightly shady, to say the least), does that mean he is a member of United Russia? I know that something like 5 members of the Russian Government are registered members of United Russia, but I’ve never been able to quite pin down who those 5 (or so) people are.
- Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik (maybe);
- Deputy PM Vyacheslav Volodin (was a member before becoming Deputy PM, and never resigned, I think);
- MChS Minister Sergei Shoigu (supposedly a founding member);
- Vladimir Putin (apparently still is not a member, but in charge, anyway… whatever);
- Deputy PM Dmitry Kozak (I think);
- Deputy PM Alexander Zhukov (actually, I am pretty sure that he is a member);
- Sergei Sobyanin (might have been, but he doesn’t count anymore because he’s Mayor of Moscow)…
Obviously, my list is incomplete, and full of holes.
I wonder if it bothers Putin and Co that we laugh at them behind our hands (and sometimes more publicly) for the mockery they continue to make of themselves. But how can anyone actually take them seriously? And at this point, why do they even bother? I know the answer, of course, legitimacy. But how much legitimacy can you have when you act in this manner?
EDIT: Slon.ru had a piece this morning (or morning my time, anyway) on the illegality of allowing members of the Government to participate in the Putin’s Peoples Front (or ONF). The article actually names names. The names include the ones I named previously, and a few more that I missed:
- Minister of Natural Resources Yuri Trutnev (who is running in the primaries, as far as I know); and
- First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.
We talk a lot about people having Kompromat. But nothing ever comes of it. If I were to pick one person who has real, serious Kompromat, I would choose Yuri Luzhkov. I cannot really see why else Putin et al. have not done anything about Yuri. So I am not sure that I entirely buy into this idea that Yuri could be on his way out. Here is what Viktor Timoffev says:
There are two possible scenarios for the [Moscow] region’s future. Either the Kremlin will appoint a new governor or Moscow and the Moscow region will join as a single municipality, and the newly appointed governor will replace both Gromov and Yury Luzhkov, the legendary Moscow mayor.
This solution would clear up a lot of confusion about Moscow’s status. And it would be easier to control what goes on in Moscow. But I still think that Yuri is safe, for the time being.
Timoffev goes on:
Some experts assume that the Kremlin is considering first deputy-prime minister Sergey Sobyanin for the job. One of the experts, who asked for anonimity because he was not authorized to speak on this matter, stated in an interview: “Sobyanin is one of the likeliest perspective candidates for this job and it whould be excellent if he would accept it. Other possible candidates for the position would be another first deputy PM Igor Shuvalov, or deputy PM Zhukov and Kozak.”
Let’s go through this list, shall we? First, Sergey Sobyanin. His CV makes him the most ideal candidate. Governor of Tyumen, plus various other admin posts. In addition his current responsibilities of overseeing the division of power among federal, regional, and municipal levels of government make him very experienced. However, as the Power Vertical has proved, a resume does not mean anything. I shall probably repeat this until you get sick of hearing it, but the only thing the Power Vertical requires is a warm body who is at least nominally loyal. And if we are going on loyalty alone, the most likely candidate from this list is Zhukov. Because Kozak has shown that he can break out, and there is no way that Putin is letting go of Igor Shuvalov.