The new “Politburo”
The former head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov and the head of the Volga Group Gennady Timchenko left the inner circle of President Vladimir Putin’s “Politburo 2.0”. To such conclusion the communication holding “Minchenko consulting” in new report “Politburo 2.0: the dismantling or reboot?” (available). In their paper, the scientists describe annually an informal group of the most influential officials and businessmen of the country.
The loss of Ivanova from “Politburo” is because he left his post as head of the presidential administration. Care of the President’s inner circle figures Timchenko, the head of “Minchenko Consulting” Evgenie Minchenko explains the decrease in activity of the businessman on the strategic directions.
“Previously, a similar journey was undertaken by Roman Abramovich, who undoubtedly was a member of the Politburo at the dawn of its formation (2004),” says Minchenko .
The report notes that Ivanov as special envoy of the President delineated a fairly wide range of powers (informal supervision of the ministries of transport and natural resources), and Timchenko continues to have significant financial resources and regional clientele.
New candidate in the “Politburo” was promoted as head of “Rosatom” in the position of the first Deputy head of presidential administration Sergey Kirienko, he “Minchenko consulting” removes the technical sector structure of the inner circle (the”Secretariat of the Central Committee”). The new head of the presidential administration Anton Vaino has strengthened its position as a candidate in the “Politburo”.
“Member “Politburo” is the leader of a elite group. In Kiriyenko and Vaino has the potential to grow into this role. But not yet implemented,” says Minchenko.
Closer to the President
Of the remaining eight members of the “Politburo” influence is growing, the head of “Rosteh” Chemezov, head of the Bank “Russia” Yuri Kovalchuk, head of Rosneft, Sechin and Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, according to the report.
Strengthening Chemezov due to the consolidation of the military-industrial complex (MIC) and the weakening of its competitor in this sector of Deputy Prime Minister for defense industry Dmitry Rogozin. Close to it, the party “Rodina” has failed in the Federal election, the Deputy Prime Minister also failed to control the Russian space Agency. Against this background, the Chemezov group influenced the changes in AP and regions and continues to expand in other sectors of the economy. Risks Chemezov Minchenko sees his power — the excessive strengthening of the head of Rostec can be a cause for “resource leveling” representative of the “old guard”.
A group of brothers Kovalchuk “can play the role of the intellectual and recruitment base for “shadow Prime Minister” — the former Minister of Finance Alexey Kudrin, experts say. At the same time, Yuri Kovalchuk remain good relationship with current Prime Minister Medvedev, and his group influenced the appointment of the first Deputy head of the AP Sergey Kiriyenko.
The head of “Rosneft” Sechin has increased its influence in the industry after the acquisition of “Bashneft” and maintained its reputation as the “gray cardinal” with high informal influence,” the report said. However, Sechin has lost a number of important partners in the power structures (the elimination of the Federal drug control service, the dismissal of the FSB and the TFR). In addition, the head of “Transneft” to defend their autonomy from the “Rosneft”, as information attacks increase the risk for Sechin.
Moscow mayor Sobyanin continues to be regarded as one of the candidates for Prime Minister, experts say. His figure is comfortable for many elite groups associated with financial flows of the capital, he controls the second largest budget in the country after Federal. The mayor also retains influence in his native Tyumen region.
On the other hand Sobyanin weaken the fragile positions of a number of his proteges in the regions, the Perm territory Governor Viktor Basargin and the head of Sverdlovsk region Evgeny Kuyvasheva. Against the mayor plays the budget deficit and the approaching elections of the mayor of Moscow.
A stable position in Putin’s “Politburo” held by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, businessman Arkady Rotenberg, speaker of the Duma Volodin and the head of the defense Ministry Sergei Shoigu.
On Medvedev’s side “halo of the winner of the parliamentary elections,” together with President Putin, says the report. However, his government included representatives of other interest groups (Deputy Prime Minister, Vitaly Mutko, the Minister of education Olga Vasilyeva). The growth financial impact of close to Medvedev business groups, but some of his allies are under pressure from the security forces.
“Information attack on the Prime Minister and his entourage and openly the ongoing casting of “successors” also weaken the image of the position of Prime Minister. An additional risk is the expiration of the commitments given to him by Vladimir Putin in 2011″, — the “Minchenko consulting”.
“Minchenko consulting” I think that first Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov and the head of “Rosneft” Sechin can be considered as candidates for the post of Prime Minister after the next presidential election. The report indicates that Shuvalov, Sechin and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and presidential aide Vladislav Surkov this year were targeted for powerful attacks.
Defence Minister Shoigu remains relatively high popularity. The report States, inevitably increasing against the background of military conflicts the leader of the defense Department was balanced by Viktor Zolotov, head of the new force structure — Regardie. Also celebrated reputation for Shoigu risks in connection with the criticism of the West actions of the Russian army in Syria.
Another member of the “Politburo” Arkady Rotenberg retains importance as “the key operator of infrastructure projects” and “king of order”, especially in the context of a weakening Timchenko. Rottenberg could become a counterweight to the growing brothers Kovalchuk. Key risks for the billionaire may be a claim for the effectiveness of affiliated managers of state corporations and regions (Russian Railways and St. Petersburg).
Transferred from the post of first Deputy head of the AP in the seat of the speaker of the Duma Volodin, according to “Minchenko consulting”, was part of Putin’s “Politburo”. On his side high impact composition of the state Duma and the governing bodies of the EP and the preservation of regional clientele. The report predicts that Volodin could trust the role of “operator reconfiguration of the party system and the professionalization of deputies”. It also allowed the scenario of strengthening of the state Duma, as a counterweight to the government, and MPs as “dampers” dampers protest. However, in his new post formal administrative weight of group Volodina declined, the risk becomes and the reduction of informal influence.
Exacerbation of intra-elite competition
The authors of the report believe that the state Duma elections were peaceful and demonstrated a sufficient level of consolidation around the President and ruling party. Despite the “turbulence” in the economy, there remains the inertia of the “Crimean consensus”.
But the Russian nomenclature began regrouping. Retired or reserve personnel has left a number of representatives of the “old guard”, notable staff changes took place in the Kremlin, governors and government. In the framework of intra-elite struggle intensified anti-corruption agenda, has undergone major changes in the balance organs of power (the creation of Regardie, the abolition of the Federal drug control service). Also a regrouping of forces indicates a significant rotation of the Duma.
To the aggravation of inter-elite struggle is affected by several factors, according to the “Minchenko consulting”. This reduction of resources, updating of ideology, and the development of new technologies of accumulation and redistribution of resources. Experts remind that the “Politburo” as an informal collective management Institute was formed in the years of economic growth.
On internal struggle in the Russian elite is also affected by the instability of the political situation, the upcoming presidential elections and “Putin’s unwillingness to become hostage to their environment and the desire independently, on a competitive basis, to form their electoral coalition support and future power configuration”.
The report States that “Politburo” has fulfilled its function of instrument of the dismantling of the tandem Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin and have now reached the limit of its effectiveness. Therefore in the Kremlin before the new presidential elections are looking for a less expensive, but at the same time more effective control mechanism.
While Minchenko says that the probability of early presidential elections in Russia is declining: “indirectly, this may indicate a slow process of reform of the cadre and filling up”.
A return to the Comintern
The report’s authors believe that the elites are tested various options for the ideological security and search personnel for the following presidential term. Starting from the latest of the Kremlin shifts in the “Minchenko consulting” point: the elites consider to be “standard” first term “with the successful liberal economic reforms and normalization of relations with the West.”
The rapidly changing external environment and attempts to find grounds for compromise with the West may affect intra-elite situation in Russia. “Minchenko consulting” noted an acute shortage of “Politburo” figures with significant external resource. To effectively conduct external communications with the West, according to experts, can Alexei Kudrin and the former head of the presidential administration Alexei Voloshin. From Vaino has connections with Japan, and the Minister of energy Alexander Novak: Turkey and the Arab world.
“If a breakthrough in relations with the outside world happens, it is highly probable that a resort to the mobilization scenario and the formation of a militarized Gosplan 2.0, and the foreign activity will be reduced to a situational support opponents of the United States (the Comintern 2.0)”, — experts predict.
A major milestone for the formation of vnutriukrainskie layouts in “Minchenko consulting” is called the US election this year and elections in key countries of the European Union — France and Germany — in the next year.
The report noted that “some hopes for the Renaissance of its influence in case of victory,” Hillary Clinton in the election of the President of the United States “feed the figures of the Yeltsin era”, in particular Alexander Voloshin.
Experts note that “right turn” in domestic politics is complicated by the low popularity of liberal ideas in society: the failure of the election both systemic and non-systemic right-wing projects.
The report States that a counterweight to the growing “radical ohranitelskimi rhetoric” may be the formation of alternative poles from the former centrist forces.