Nov 21, 2021
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Putin’s “inner circle” is on the defensive

Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin

In the photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Alexey Nikolsky / Presidential Press Service / TASS)

As you know, the king is played by the retinue, and the president is played by the “inner circle”. Those close to the body receive some – profitable positions, some – preferences and profitable government contracts in business. This is the case all over the world. This is a common practice, time-tested, with which it is both pointless and unhealthy to fight. Just like windmills.

In Russia, the management structure is based on a rather narrow circle of friends of the country’s leader, often related by kinship, and is a hierarchical ladder in which the degree of a person’s real influence is not always confirmed by his official position. And since the “inner circle” to one degree or another influences the decision-making of state significance, we are aspirantly watching what is happening in the environment of the president: who is communicating with him more often at the moment, what is the sphere of his business interests, and how high is it. personal ambition bar.

Here you believe that Igor Sechin decided to conduct an experiment to create a database of genomes of Russian citizens on the basis of Rosneft solely out of interest in science, but is it just a coincidence that the president trusts him?

Understanding what to expect from Putin’s entourage is especially important now, when there is nothing left until the end of the presidential term. Will not a new figure, unknown to the general public, appear next to him, a “dark horse” with ideas that can turn the country upside down? Or, perhaps, someone from the “second echelon” officials, from those who enjoy trust, but are not friends, will make their way closer to the head of state. The public needs to be mentally prepared for such castling in order to understand where the straws need to be laid …

– Putin has only one circle of confidants, he believes independent political scientist Pavel Salin… – These are St. Petersburg businessmen and security officials. Everyone knows their names very well. Half of them are in the spotlight. Others like Shestakov, Shamalov – in the shadow. What has to do with it in the shadows, and not in the darkness of the unknown. One way or another, their names have surfaced in various investigations. There are no more unknown figures close to the president.

The expert recalled that Putin’s “inner circle” was formed twenty years ago. It includes people who knew the president even before he took this post. The rest of the Russian leader treats them as useful specialists. This, for example, Kirienko, Volodin, Surkov… These and other “useful” persons are well known to everyone, they have a certain weight among the political elite. But they will never enter the “inner circle”.

However, the closeness and stability of the “inner circle” has a number of advantages. Thus, a number of experts believe that it is thanks to these qualities that the authorities have successfully managed to withstand short-term challenges over the past two years. However, Russia is faced with problems that in the long-term forecast may require a fundamentally different approach.

The protracted conflict with the West, instability in the post-Soviet space, the need to balance the interests of Armenia and Azerbaijan, as well as to counteract the growing influence of China in Central Asia, while maintaining friendly relations with it – under the existing model of governance, it may be too tough.

– Now the “digitalization” of Putin is obvious, he has become practically inaccessible for personal communication, notes Doctor of Political Science, Deputy of the State Duma Sergei Obukhov… – Even with close friends, such as Sechin, he communicates remotely. It seems that the president, working in this mode, feels very comfortable. But there is also a downside to “remote control”: the lack of personal communication does not give him the opportunity to receive confidential information from his trusted persons and correct what officials put on his table. He may find himself in the position of some Russian emperors, who were isolated from people loyal to them and ended up very badly, the expert warns.

In his opinion, digitalization clearly identifies the circle of persons closest to the president. We used to watch who stands next to Stalin or Brezhnev at the Mausoleum and drew the appropriate conclusions. And now – to whom the president personally shakes hands, and to whom – he waves in greeting at the monitor.

With all this, one should not forget that no matter how loyal to Putin his “inner circle” may be, its members are united by temporary interests. Any of them can remember the proverb: “Friendship is friendship, and tobacco is apart” and jump from the side of the ship, if suddenly a leak forms in it. They have enough money for a comfortable life in Londongrad or on the Cote d’Azur.

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