Posts Tagged ‘Vyacheslav Volodin’
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.
VTsIOM conucted a poll recently on the members of the Government, and I was kind of surprised by the results.
First of all, Sergei Shoigu has the highest approval rating of anyone in the government (people were not asked about Putin). I have mixed feelings about Shoigu. He has held the post of Emergency Situations Minister since Boris Yeltsin came to power. On the one hand, I feel like he must be doing something right, and his approval rating has always been pretty high. But then yesterday’s incident makes me pause to think. His solution to the Bulgaria tragedy is to put black boxes in all boats. What? That’s his response? Quite frankly, the man has never been good in an “emergency” (Beslan, Dubrovka, etc.), and I’m still not sure where he is getting such high numbers. Unless people are just saying that they like him because they know who he is (he has been in the Government since 1991, after all). That’s the only thing I can come up with anyway. Also, presumably, the poll was conducted before the Bulgaria tragedy.
Here are some more numbers:
- Sergei Lavrov — 47% approval rating. Okay, I’ll buy that. He’s one of the most public figures of the Government since he is the head diplomat.
- Sergei Ivanov — 32% approve of the job he’s doing (or have heard of him, anyway).
And the lows are:
- Andrei Fursenko — 50% disapprove of the job he is doing. Hardly suprising since he’s the face of education “reform”, and most teachers are upset about it.
- Tatiana Golikova — 41% disapprove of the job she is doing. What is she doing, anyway? I don’t even know.
- Alexei Kudrin — 34% disapprove of the job he is doing. Well, he’s not exactly populist, is he? And I doubt he’s really out to win any popularity contests. But then none of these people are, are they? Their job doesn’t depend on what the general populace think of them. It only depends on what Putin and Medvedev think of them, and their work.
Some other numbers:
- 75% of people don’t know who Igor Sechin is;
- 72% don’t know who Vyacheslav Volodin is; and
- 71% have never heard of Igor Shuvalov.
I was a little shocked when I saw those numbers, but I bet if you asked Americans the same questions about their Government, they would say the same thing.
has been posted. I am missing some information, but I hope to be able to rectify that in time.
In the meantime, here are some articles on his appointment:
Reuters just gives a brief summation of the facts.
The meeting with Medvedev and Volodin is recorded on the Kremlin’s website. I am not really sure what Medvedev meant when he called Volodin ‘a modern man’. That could literally mean anything. And I am not sure how that is supposed to help Volodin do his job.
Nikolaus von Twickel has more about Volodin personally in his article that was published in yesterday’s Moscow Times, including the fact that he made his money in margarine (of all things).
P.S. I am almost positive that I read somewhere that Volodin was related to someone important in the Communist Party back in the day, but I cannot find anything about it now. I will keep searching for a source on this factoid.
P.P.S. Will Volodin still be a member of United Russia?
EDIT: Volodin’s biography has replaced Sobyanin’s as Deputy Prime Minister 5.