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Aug 3, 2022
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Karine Gevorgyan: A change in Russia’s management elite is inevitable

Karine Gevorgyan: A change in Russia's management elite is inevitable

Photo: Vyacheslav Prokofiev/TASS

The West reproaches Russia with totalitarian rule – they say, Insert omnipotent. At the same time, our president speaks the right words, accepted by the people, about import substitution, Russia’s gaining technological independence, and other things designed to resist the most severe sanctions. However, the country has been living in an extreme situation for five months already, and Putin’s correct words are not materializing very much. So he is omnipotent, if he seems to be ignored? In response to his words, the executive branch also responds with words – yes, yes, of course, without fail and as soon as possible. But there are no fundamental changes in the economy. What’s happening?

For a comment, “SP” turned to the well-known political scientist and orientalist Karine Gevorgyan.

“SP”: – Karine Alexandrovna, why do state structures allow themselves to ignore the presidential words? Who rules Russia?

– Probably, some higher, superhuman forces – in any case, such an explanation is suitable for those who believe in the existence of these forces. As I understand it, both the ruling elite, mainly to preserve themselves and their position, and society find some kind of consensus in the current rather threatening circumstances for Russia. Undoubtedly, the situation you have outlined indicates an internal conflict among the ruling elite – it, regardless of the views of its specific representatives, whether pro-Western or pro-Russian, is primarily aware of the common danger for everyone. On the other hand, there is the managerial elite, which is accustomed to thinking in the formats set by the globalizers. They are called differently: liberals, Westerners, frightened patriots…

And the time is such that from this horse of globalization “a la the West” you need to change to some other breed of horse, into a saddle that is uncomfortable for the fifth point … But it is necessary. And the managerial elite, regardless of their views, will either repaint or leave their posts. There is a lot of talk now about the need to rotate the administrative elite, and I believe that the ruling elite has no intention of doing it abruptly and abruptly, nevertheless, it is necessary to do this and it will be done.

The current managerial elite was formed in the conditions of real politics, which cannot be reduced to simple concepts, to black and white colors. And a sharp change in its composition, a “complete cleansing,” as some say, can lead to very negative consequences.

This is what concerns the internal control loop. As for the external, as an orientalist, I take quite seriously Russia’s initiatives to create a contour of interaction. This is the Middle East, Africa – this contour is clearly emerging. In this situation, we get two rather technologically advanced partners, these are Iran and Egypt. Contrary to popular belief, these countries are adapted to modernity and to current technologies, especially Iran. Undoubtedly, in a number of components Iran lags behind the Russian Federation, while in other positions it is far ahead of us. In the field of the same nanotechnologies, it is ahead of such countries as France and Great Britain. And the formation of this external contour suggests that one way or another our managerial elite will have to restructure itself in the format of interaction with foreign partners, and not only because of internal reasons.

“SP”: – Do we have people who are able to take control of the economy, industry, to achieve the very technological independence of Russia, which the president is talking about? Where are they?

– I travel a lot around the country, communicate a lot, and I see that counter-elite, if I may say so, groups in relation to the administrative rather than the ruling elite, they spontaneously formed, and there are many of them. The question of whether there will be some kind of symbiosis of such expert counter-management groups with the authorities is on the agenda and, I believe, it is being discussed within the power structures. I can be wrong – but judging by some signs, such a trend is visible.

The main thing is that in a formalized or non-formalized form, the specialists that Russia needs today are available, including on the levels of power. These are people who, in one way or another, support the initiatives put forward by Sergey Glazyev. Here and Mikhail KhazinI Mikhail Delyaginwho is a member of the State Duma, a former minister Alexander Golushko.

How will new structures be formed? Most likely around individuals who offer new initiatives, models and development paradigms. But a synthesis of such views with domestic and foreign policy components is needed. Will it be supported or at least heard, will it be introduced into some kind of public discourse? Yes, I think it’s very likely.

The same Mikhail Khazin, whom the organizers of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum deleted from the program six times, nevertheless spoke at the panel discussion. This means that someone was interested in approving his speech – and contrary to the wishes of the organizers, who are traditionally considered supporters of neoliberal views.

I also note that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin said back in 2019 that such neoliberal concepts are outdated and it is time to put them in the archive.

“SP”: – There are rearrangements in key blocks of the economy – Manturov has grown to the post of Deputy Prime Minister, Borisov replaced Rogozin in the space department … But none of these people became famous for some kind of breakthrough steps, did not bring the site entrusted to him to the forefront of production. Strongly unlike the Stalinist people’s commissars, who are now often remembered. Why is the same deck shuffled?

– I think that what concerns separately Manturova – this is not so much a matter of his personal appointment, but rather the creation and institutionalization of a certain complex for solving the problems currently facing the Russian Federation in industry. And it is not so important who will head this structure: today Manturov, tomorrow someone else. Here is the dismissal Dmitry Rogozin I don’t fully understand. Perhaps this was the result of certain contradictions that have developed in the power elite.

I do not see a rational explanation for his resignation, since the first person of the state was satisfied with Rogozin’s activities. And it was publicly stated that there were no complaints about his work. I will suggest that a new appointment is being prepared for him, professionally and in interests closer to the ex-head of Roscosmos. Now oh Yuri Borisov. I noticed that in the program “Sunday Evening with Vladimir SolovyovIts host, who constantly says that he is a pro-Putin man, spoke very harshly about the work of Borisov, who oversaw the military-industrial complex in the government.

Political and social reality dictate the need to revise economic activity. And the government can solve this problem quite well.

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