Where the pendulum of power will swing
But if Putin succeeds in winning the current election in the past, I understand perfectly well how difficult the situation will be. In order for the country to once again rally around him, as happened at the beginning of the two thousandth, Vladimir Putin will have to build a new configuration of political power and control, or to restructure the existing one in a major way, which is likely to be even more difficult. Why? Yes, because today, on the eve of his next victory (let's call a spade a spade), he found himself on the ruins of a political system he had once built. The confrontation between the authorities and society, always inherent in Russia, and it, which has calmed down in the last decade, has become apparent again today. Moreover, the opposition is already visible within the government, within the Putin team, and this is also a very alarming symptom.
When Vladimir Putin came to power, he had one strategic goal - to recreate a strong Russia. And this, in turn, implied the solution of many internal problems in the political, economic and social life of the country, sometimes very unpopular and infringing on the interests of the political elite that had been formed by that time. As the air, the president needed a strong team of associates who were able to resist both the very old elite and the security threats to the country, of which there were a great many. And Putin has created such a team in full accordance with the tradition of those years in the system of checks and balances. So in the Kremlin, two clans were formed: the “siloviki”, with their inherently conservatively tough approach to solving any problems and the more liberal “civilians”. It is believed that the former were headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, and secondly - by the deputy head of the presidential administration, Vladislav Surkov. Probably, initially the idea was absolutely correct. By using tough methods, the “siloviki” had to quickly rally the country at the level of regional political elites, consolidate domestic business and direct its interests primarily towards solving the country's problems. The “civilian” task lay more in the economic plane - the development and implementation of reforms in this area.
And everything, probably, would have turned out well, if not for one important circumstance. The head of state, of course, governs, and the environment governs on his behalf. And in the environment there was a construction in which two competing groups, on the one hand, worked for the good of the country, and on the other hand, having completely different views, approaches to problems and strategies of actions, in real life fought each other. For strengthening the personal power of the president, this is undoubtedly convenient, and for effective government of the country, it seems, not so much. Although, one cannot but admit: at the first stage, at the beginning of the two thousandth, it was the dominant policy of the “siloviki” that led to the strengthening of the country. Both on the domestic, Russian field, and in relations with the outside world surrounding it, a certain stability has appeared. But stability should not turn into stagnation, so there is no paradox that, in an atmosphere of relative prosperity achieved, the power and with it the threads of operational management began to gradually pass into the hands of "civilians." It was necessary to look into the future, build a platform for the next upcoming economic transformations.
The pendulum of power finally swung in the 2008 year, when Vladimir Putin chose as his successor not a “strongman” (in the political lobby then Sergey Ivanov’s candidacy was actively discussed), but Dmitry Medvedev and the clan of “civilians” with him. Perhaps, in this way, Putin wanted to preserve a certain well-established balance of power, only slightly shifting the emphasis in the domestic political hierarchy, and not priorities in the current power structure. But everything turned out exactly the opposite: the balance of power between the Kremlin clans was broken. The imperious resource of the “siloviks” has narrowed, and the proposals of the “civilians” to curtail the ideology of centralizing the economy and control over big business have completely removed the ground from under their feet. The clan "silovik", although it retained influence on a certain part of the bureaucratic corps and some major campaigns, began to crumble and go into the shadows.
Perhaps there would be nothing wrong with that. In the end, nothing lasts forever and certain elements of political structures are generated by the dictates of time, and over time, when there is no need for them, they die off. But it turned out that relations inside the “civil” clan are not developing in the best way. He never, unlike the “siloviki,” was distinguished by great cohesion and, in the absence of external opponents, began to search for them in their own ranks. Disputes between the "civil" about what is best to carry out reforms in the economy, domestic political and public life, how to do it, began to significantly affect the situation in the country. The global economic crisis also had a strong negative impact on their plans. In addition, the growing disagreements within the clan could not be kept secret, their echoes spilled over the Kremlin wall. Thus, the country learned about the conflict between Surkov and President Dmitry Medvedev, and the Russians saw a public quarrel between the head of state and the now Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin on live television. As a result, the latter, having gone to seemingly in voluntary retirement, began to flirt with the non-systemic opposition and more and more often speaks in favor of creating a new party. And with the transfer to the government to the unintelligible innovative direction of Surkov, the “civilians” lost their leader and political influence. In the end, both of the once powerful clans lost power, and if they didn’t collapse as yet completely, they certainly lost most of their influence on Russian politics. And it is on the eve of the election. And this, precisely at the moment when the anti-Kremlin movement began to gain momentum. By and large, however, not so much anti-Kremlin as anti-Putin.
The latter also needs explanation and understanding. Stability, even if it, in spite of economic difficulties and small political upheavals by inertia, soothes the country, is far from being understood by all its citizens. Years of relative prosperity led to the fact that the Russians had a sense of security. They are not afraid of the possibility of economic, social or political crises. And some of them developed the opinion that the “savior of the fatherland,” namely, Putin, by virtue of his previous merit to Russia, claiming this role, no longer needs them. Also, by the way, the miscalculation of the authorities and all its constituent clans and groups. They didn’t even think that over the past years a generation of people will grow up, having survived a transitional period still not at a conscious age and certainly not knowing what the Soviet Union is. And they did not think it through and, moreover, did not make any changes in their policies.
The situation has to be corrected on the go, in a terrible rush and using simple tools, such as rallies and processions in support of Putin. But no matter what benefit they bring, in opposition to the opposition, rallies will not replace the understanding of what course the country will take after the elections. Its formation has just begun and it is known that this is the successor of Surkov in the presidential administration Vyacheslav Volodin. It is also known that he, unlike his predecessor, is not a sophisticated politician, according to experts, is mostly straightforward.
But even with this introductory, Putin has almost no time to change the political landscape. Before the elections, it is hardly possible to cope with this task at all. But it is not necessary to expect that the wave of protest after them will subside. To confront it, as well as all the political, economic and social problems of the country, Putin will have to fully. But with whom will he do this, what will his environment be like? This is important because the strategic course of the state’s development depends on the environment.
At the end of January, Vladimir Putin promised that after the elections, there will be major personnel changes. But he didn’t explain the essence, making it clear that there will not be mass layoffs. What should this mean –the restoration of the established system of clans and groups with the same personalities?
But, in fact, the Russians are waiting for President Putin to do something completely different. Today, society is in great demand about the development of the political system, about reforming the ruling party with the obligatory appearance of completely new people in its ranks, with new programs that are primarily unifying, about creating a civilian filter to prevent politicians and rogues from appearing in politics. And there are many such ideas. Let's see which of them will be included in the new course of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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