Putinania

Russian Politics, & Personalities

Posts Tagged ‘Dzhakhan Pollyeva

Eva Vasilevskaya

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I am still trying to find more information on the President’s new speech writer, but it is hard to find.  One problem is that Gazprom has been pretty good about updating their website (better than the Kremlin) ever since changing the format.  The other problem is that there just is not a lot of information out there.  I did, however, find this.  According to an article (in Russian only, sorry) in “Агентство Политических Новостей Северо-Запад” or the “Northwest Polytechnic News Agency”: Eva Vasilevskaya’s father is a man named Igor Abramovich Shadkhan.  Shadkhan is a filmmaker with close ties to Putin.  He also supports Scientology, but claims that he is not a member.

If this is true, it only makes the whole switch of Dzhkhan Pollyeva to Eva that much weirder.

I am not sure the website where I found the information is entirely credible, so please keep researching yourselves.

EDIT: At the bottom of APN’s website there is a phrase “Project of the National Strategy Institute”.  The name seemed somewhat familiar, but I could not remember why.  I googled “National Strategy Institute”, and the first website that came up was “The Other Russia”.  No, NSI is not connected to “The Other Russia”, there was an article discussing a seminar that NIS held.  I tried again, “Russian National Strategy Institute”.  This still came up with “The Other Russia”, but it also came up with a couple of Highbeam sites that named Stanislav Belkovsky as President of The National Strategy Institute.  All that to say, check your sources!

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Dzhakhan Pollyeva Part 2

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Well, Medvedev actually did follow through.  Dzhakhan Pollyeva is no longer the President’s speech writer.  Quite frankly, she was not much of one, and DAM is probably better off without her.  I do not know much about Dzhakhan’s replacement, other than that she seems to be the same person the original rumour believed to be the replacement, Eva Vasilevskaya. The Moscow Times reports: “Vasilevskaya was an aide to Medvedev when he was first deputy prime minister and previously worked in the press office of Gazprom [when Medvedev was there].”

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has updated their Russian language website, but Dzhakhan is still listed as “Presidential Aide” with no job description, or even an outline of her responsibilities.  However, if you click on the link “Presidential Speechwriter’s Office” (Референтура Президента, in Russian), Eva’s name is posted.  Her official title is “Chief of the Presidential Speechwriters’ Bureau”.  We’ll see if this switch makes a huge difference.  I rather doubt it will because, once again, all Putinania needs is a warm body.

EDIT: More info on Eva and rumours of a possible reshuffle from FT.

Pavel Baev

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has a great piece on the Tandemocracy.  He addresses several topics that I have mentioned in previous posts.

First,

The common opinion is that this claim for leadership [in Medvedev’s Gazeta article] can only be taken seriously if it is accompanied by action; but Medvedev escaped from this self-laid trap by departing on his state visit to Switzerland, followed by his trip to the United States.

In paragraph 5, Baev brings up the issue of replacements, and Yury Luzhkov:

The immediate problem for Medvedev is the reshuffling of the cadre that would demonstrate his authority to “hire-and-fire,” which is the main source of power in any bureaucratic system. Replacement of several governors does not quite fit the bill, because the real proof can only be delivered by promoting new people to the higher echelons of federal bureaucracy, while among the regional leaders, the key figure is Moscow’s Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who defends his turf with fierce determination and controls tighter than ever the forthcoming elections to the city Duma (Kommersant-Vlast, September 28).

There are only so many people Medvedev can fire (though I do not exactly like to use that word in reference to the Tandemocracy).  People who are out? Anyone in the Power Ministries really.  These include: Rashid Nurgaliyev, Nikolai Patrushev, Anatoly Serdyukov, and Alexander Bortnikov.  I still hold that the next to go will most likely be Yuri Chaika (possibly after Medvedev’s speech to the Duma next month).

As I’ve discussed previously, Luzhkov’s hold on Moscow is too strong to get rid of him.  I would not rule out Gromov, however.

Baev writes on the happenings in the Executive Office in paragraph 6:

Medvedev may be a master of Kremlin intrigue, but he is clearly stuck with the dilemma of having too few loyalists, who remain rather indifferent to the ideology of “innovation,” and mistrust the awakening reformers who would never prove sufficiently loyal. The Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR) has tried to position itself as the key think-tank for Medvedev’s strategy, but their economic recommendations are combined with a plea to sack Vladislav Surkov, the deputy head of the presidential administration, who is in charge of PR (Ekho Moskvy, October 2). Medvedev, however, remains reluctant to relax control over the crucial media instrument –the three national television channels– and keeps Surkov close, not daring even to replace the top speechwriter (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 30).

There’s a lot of information here, so let’s break it up.  “…[Medvedev] is clearly stuck with the dilemma of having too few loyalists, who remain rather indifferent to the ideology of “innovation,” and mistrust the awakening reformers who would never prove sufficiently loyal.”

What Baev seems to be saying is that Medvedev is being pulled in two directions.  First by the Ciliviki (the lawyers, and bureaucrats) who are somewhat scared of change.  Or if not frightened of it, at least (in Baev’s words) “indifferent”.  Second by Yurgens, et al (see page on Institute for Contemporary Development) who perhaps expect too much, and would jump ship when Medvedev did not meet their expectations.

Some interesting news on Slava Surkov:

“The Institute of Contemporary Development (INSOR) has tried to position itself as the key think-tank for Medvedev’s strategy, but their economic recommendations are combined with a plea to sack Vladislav Surkov, the deputy head of the presidential administration, who is in charge of PR (Ekho Moskvy, October 2).”

Baev also implies that Surkov is tied to (and supports) Dzhakhan Pollyeva (something that does not surprise me in light of their biographies):

“Medvedev, however, remains reluctant to relax control over the crucial media instrument –the three national television channels– and keeps Surkov close, not daring even to replace the top speechwriter (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, September 30).”

Finally, Baev brings up Anatoly Chubais, and the accusations he is facing over the incident at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric power station.  He concludes:

Many “modernizers” have become guilty by association, which means that Medvedev is left to drag his failing presidency to the conclusion that he was right about the inability of the system to cope with the crisis but wrong about its capacity for reforming itself.

Dzhakhan Pollyeva

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may be on her way to a different post.  According to The Moscow Times: “Medvedev has rejected speeches written by Dzhakhan Pollyeva, who served in the Kremlin during Putin’s presidency…”

There are a couple of things that concern me about this story.  First, Dzhakhan is rumoured to be close to another member of Medvedev’s staff, Larisa Brychyova.  Larisa is head of the State Legal Directorate, and advises Medvedev on legal matters.  Larisa and Dzhakhan attended law school together, and have remained close ever since.  Will this effect her too?

Second, even if the story is not true, as Alexei Mukhin claims, someone put it out there.  And an attack on the President’s speech-writer (though quite honestly, I am not sure how much writing she does, as I am pretty convinced Natalia Timakova has been writing the blog entries etc.) in the run-up to Medvedev’s State of the Nation speech has got to be calculated.  The question then becomes why?  Because if you are making a list of people with influence in the Kremlin, Dzhakhan would not even be on that list (at least she would not be on mine).

Another note concerning this article: The Institute for Contemporary Development is headed by Igor Yurgens,  I will add a link to their website (in English), and a list of members (many of whom are at least nominally loyal to Medvedev).