July 28, 2014

On Political and Other Problems of the Putin Regime

The Russian president's night (a few days were not enough) address concerning the catastrophe of the passenger Boeing, once again shows serious problems Putin has faced while realizing his neo-imperial project and “forcing” Ukraine to cross over from the Europeanness to Eurasianism. The tragedy with the Malaysian MH17 messed up all the Novo-Ogaryevo’s strategist’s plans for bringing “peacekeeping” troops, or at least using “point” strikes on the territory of Ukraine. He did not even try to say that Ukraine had the plane, as he knew far too well who had carried out that crime. So analysts are close to the idea that it is the beginning of the end of the political (and not just political) career of the Petersburg’s Chekist (KGB-man).

 President of RF V. Putin
President of RF V. Putin
 Assistant to President V. Surkov
Assistant to President V. Surkov
 Head of the PA S. Ivanov
Head of the PA S. Ivanov
 Prime Minister D. Medvedev
Prime Minister D. Medvedev
 Moscow Mayor S. Sobyanin
Moscow Mayor S. Sobyanin
 Defense Minister S. Shoigu
Defense Minister S. Shoigu
 General Director of “Rosoboronexport” S. Chemezov
General Director of “Rosoboronexport” S. Chemezov
 Head of “Gazprom” O. Miller
Head of “Gazprom” O. Miller
  President of “Rosneft” I. Sechin
 President of “Rosneft” I. Sechin
  Head of the investment group “Volga Group” G.Timchenko
 Head of the investment group “Volga Group” G.Timchenko

 

Even loyal to the Kremlin expert centers have to admit that there are persistent signs of crisis within the Russian political system, in particular:

- Deepening contradictions between key groups of influence in Russia formed around Assistant to President V. Surkov, Head of the PA Sergei Ivanov, Prime Minister Dmitriy Medvedev, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, General Director of “Rosoboronexport” S. Chemezov, Head of “Gazprom” O. Miller, President of “Rosneft” I. Sechin, Head of the investment group “Volga Group” G.Timchenko. At this, conflicts of interests between these groups and their individual participants are due, first of all, to their desire to strengthen their role in the use of the budget, using personal connections with V. Putin and pushing their own minions to key government posts;

- Cultivation in higher political circles of the RF of inertia and resignation as “model” personality traits of high-ranking officers in the context of prospects for their long stay in power and further career growth. This is due, first of all, to Putin's style of management that avoids excessive initiative and unconventional thinking in its immediate environment;

- Excessive bureaucratization and large-scale corruption in the highest and middle managers of Russia, which adversely affects the efficiency of the Russian political system, including the speed of its response to external/internal stimuli, causes low quality of administrative services and contributes to social tensions;

- Dissatisfaction of a significant part of regional elites with the budget policy of the federal center, when their representatives have no real opportunity to influence the allocation mechanism. Also, there is the poor quality of governance in the regions and little support to current governors by most of population.

- The actual "falling out" from Russia's legal framework of individual republics of the North Caucasus (in particular, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan), whereby the Kremlin is gradually losing some basic prerogatives intercepted by regional leaders, especially by R. Kadyrov;

- Dynamic strengthening of positions of political Islam, forming a “social Russian anti-system”, which is in the state of territorial expansion;

- Creation of ethnocracies almost in all republics of the Russian Federation and the increasing trend to legal particularism (primarily in Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Yakutia and Tuva). Taking into consideration all this, the federal government's attempts to implement de-ethnisation of authorities will provoke a surge of nationalism inspired by the ruling clans, as a form of prevention of loss of control over access to regional assets;

- the outrunning nature of real problems of the population as compared with limited in time and scale abilities of the Kremlin for their effective leveling through information technologies (inflation through controlled media of debates around periphery themes, primarily search for internal/external enemies, struggle against immorality, xenophobia, neo-fascism and such like as a deterrent to social protests);

- Using by the opponents of V. Putin's domestic policy of “crackdown”, of latent methods of struggle as one of manifestations of the information war. The goal of such actions is to move to the state level resonance exaggerated initiatives in order to show the absurdity of the Kremlin's policy. The highest activity in this direction now shows the marginalized LDPR and “Spravedlivaya Rossia” (“A Just Russia”) (thus, a representative of the latter in the State Duma, O. Mikheev June 19 put forward the initiative to prohibit in Russian high heels and other popular footwear because of alleged orthopedic contra-indications?!);

- Periodic “leak” on the Internet of information compromising some high-ranking officials of the Russian Federation, in which “leak” might be involved both, their opponents/competitors from the government, and foreign intelligence services (active work of the site “Humpty Dumpty”);

- Non-perception by some population of the Russian Federation, including civil servants and representatives of business, of Moscow's offensive and aggressive foreign policy that the Russian government positions as a key element of the resumption of “historical justice” in the form of collecting “Russian lands”. At this, opponents of such policy of the Kremlin especially point out its excessive financial costs as well as the fact that such a policy provokes separatist sentiments in the country, creates the so-called “belt of hostile states” around the RF.

 

Apart from these system confirmations of the significant weakening of the regime, we should also pay attention to indirect signs of such a process.

The Kremlin is surely approaching to the financial bankruptcy, the proof of which is the foundation at the BRICS summit of the “alternative to the IMF and the World Bank” — the New Development Bank. In fact it is V. Putin's disguised attempt to borrow from Brazil, India, China and South Africa on condition of future deliveries to them of weapons or gas.

Even the great PR of the pipeline to China has not saved “Putin's purse” O. Miller, whom the Kremlin-​​Rublyovka leader decided to replace with S.Shmatko because of disastrous financial results of 2013-2014.

According to Bloomberg, at least 47 billion US dollars were withdrawn by investors from the Russian market last week (and this is the greatest figure in the last four months). The Russian stock market has been falling for the sixth day in a row. July 21 shares of “Gazprom” fell by 2.4%.

There is also every reason to believe that the crisis has not spared other financial donors of Vladimir Putin's regime — the Russian Federation's defense industry and aerospace industry's — being managed by the ultra-patriot Rogozin does not save them from collapse: already impoverished ordinary employees of Khrunichev's Federal Center cannot find any other way to protest, but to deliberately damage components of the rocket “Proton-M”, which actions caused the accident at Baykonur in May this year.

It got to the point where the Kremlin cannot even guarantee the safety of its “worthy” rising generation — the participants of the pro-Putin camp “Seliger”, which the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs has funded no worse than “Novorossia”(“New Russia”)'s terrorists — with the record 340 million Russian rubles.

We believe that neither Putin's circle's attempts to shift responsibility for feudalization of Russia and its economic collapse onto the “foreign enemy” (Ukraine, USA, EU) nor the Kremlin administration's imposing to the Russian community of the so-called “V. Putin's new course” based on neo-Stalinism, nationalism and anti-crisis/anti-sanctions management will save their leader from having to answer for his actions before the world community and the Russian people.