“After Putin will be Putin” — so the Chairman of the lower house of Parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin recently described the process of future change of power in Russia. Don’t know if our speaker or not, but he almost literally reproduced thundered at the time the statement of the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
once, at a time when the “iron lady” was at the peak of their power and influence, a kind of irreverent gentleman asked Thatcher, who will be Prime Minister after it. “After me? I!” — cut “ham,” “the iron lady”.
History, however, judged differently. The successor to Margaret Thatcher was not Thatcher herself. Similarly, the successor of Vladimir Putin will be not Putin himself. Of course, the adoption of the revised Constitution radically changed the future change of power in Russia. But we are talking about change, but not abolish this process as hurried to report the pessimists.
Each of the highest leaders of our country ruled the state with their own brand of political method. Gorbachev preferred to swing any problem. Brezhnev — to sweep any problem under the rug. Stalin incited their colleagues to each other, and then destroyed them one by one, while remaining in the revered role of Supreme arbiter.
However, all this is brilliantly worded to me is known since the childhood joke about the difference in control of the Soviet and Russian “state train” with different leaders: “When Khrushchev: parse rear rails laid ahead, continue the path.
Under Brezhnev: rocking the cars that bring all the tea, pretend to go.
Gorbachev: taking apart a train on parts and trying to build them an airship and fly away.
Yeltsin: organize a debate on the topic “was there a train?”.
Where is the place of Vladimir Putin in this joke, which is actually not a joke? The meaning of the search for the answer to this question lies not only and not so much to add to an old joke new downhole line. If, on the basis of two decades of stay GDP to the Olympus of Russian policy, we can formulate the essence of his political method, we can predict, and how and when he intends to leave the seat of the Supreme leader of the state. Of course, a well-known feature of Putin consists in the fact that he is trying not to give others the possibility to accurately predict his actions. But that is necessary to start with. It is the appearance unpredictability of the longtime master of the Kremlin can serve as the thread unwinding we get the answers to the main questions of Russian politics.
Landscape after battle
in the Summer of 2001, the famous British politician Robin cook was suddenly removed from the post of Minister of foreign Affairs and transferred to the secondary post of Lord Keeper of the seals. A few days after this event, Robin cook made his old office farewell party for the foreign Ministry superiors. Here’s who was then working as private Secretary cook, the famous British diplomat Sherard Cowper-Coles, described in his memoirs what happened at this event:
“With his typical tact and generosity (the new Minister of foreign Affairs Jack) Stroh provided for the reception of his office and left the building. But what upset me is the feeling that the present officials reacted to the return of cook in his old office as distressing resurrection of someone who, from their point of view, was already politically dead and buried.
a Week earlier, these officials were eager to please the foreign Minister cook. They would still have been, had he remained at the post of the Minister. But since he was no longer, officials tried to keep their distance from him, preferring to talk with cook, and each other. They saw no benefit to themselves to get noticed during too close or too friendly communication with overthrown from his post by the Minister.”
British political mores and traditions are infinitely distant from Russian. But what is exactly the same in London, in Moscow, is human nature. Of course, the above episode with the reception at the British foreign office does not directly apply to our political realities on 1 January 2020. Let me remind you that at the time ahead of Putin’s remained almost four and a half years of a guaranteed stay in an armchair of the President.
But if to speak not about the outer shell, and the essence of the event, GDP in the eyes of the elite began to gradually turn into “leaving nature” immediately after his victory, as it was considered the last presidential election in 2018. As I wrote, this situation was fraught with great risk of a hidden civil war within the elite. And this, in turn, would pull with it the risk of gradual loosening of political stability and system of government. It’s in the UK, the change of Prime Minister entails only a change of a couple hundred people within its management team. Change first person in Russia automatically puts into question the place of each member of the elite in our political and business hierarchy.
having Started the epic revision of the Constitution and proclaiming on the eve of July 1, “we have to work, and not successors to search for” GDP completely nullified the threat. “Instead of a “lame duck”, whose main task — to choose a successor, we saw a political grandmaster, who also plays himself in chess, and sets when it�� rules of the game. Putin has dramatically expanded the space for political maneuver. Want to go for the new term — go. Do not want — do not go. Want to spend some other intermediate political combination — also will be held” — very vividly and very accurately I commented on the new Russian political situation, the General Director of VTSIOM Valery Fedorov.
so cook was “strike breaking” members of the Russian ruling elite now again humbly sitting on the benches. Game over?
Game not over. The game is just beginning. The terrible roar of “no roving eyes in search of successors!” is perfect for the mobilization of Russian officials in the run-up to the vital power of voting. But, as is well understood by Putin himself, he did not do as a guide to action for the entire country. The country not only has the right “roving eyes in search of successors”. It is obligated to do — have to think about the future. And still “roving eyes” and think about the future is bound GDP itself.
as recently as June 5 this year, Putin made the following statement: “Admitted then, sometimes in the last century, failures in our days, literally poisoning the lives of people and nature. Unfortunately, today we see the consequences of such frankly the consumer approach. This is still found, and are often, unfortunately. Many live by the principle “after us the deluge.” This is unfortunate. Such logic will lead to an impasse and extremely dangerous”.
In this particular performance of the GDP it was about environmental issues. But the same logic fully applies to the problem of ensuring political continuity. The leader of the state has no right to live only for today, limit your planning horizon to the framework of their own political and physical existence. The leader of Russia is obliged to fight for a better tomorrow for the country for tomorrow, where it will be gone.
this struggle for a better tomorrow means in terms of applied policy? Including awareness and acceptance of the fact that even the most successful leader is the period when he works with the highest efficiency. And then this efficiency inevitably begins to decline. When this decline become pronounced, for the leader it’s time to go.
whether GDP is similar to the “awareness and acceptance”? His closest associates claim that Yes. “I have no idea, will head to the presidential elections of 2024. It’s possible that not going. But I can’t even imagine no scenario where he will remain in power after 2030. Putin understands that new times will require a new man at the helm of the country. This awareness he’s always had. It’s still there. And it’s not going anywhere”.
I PR��led here is the statement of a member of the inner circle of the GDP not to try based on it to make any specific predictions about what that election will he go, and what’s not. Awareness of Putin’s inner circle about what is really going on in the heart of Russian power, of course, many times higher than the level of awareness of even the most experienced external experts. But when it comes to the most important personnel or political issues, it is absolutely accurate knowledge about what happens in the mind of Putin, has only one person — Putin himself. Sometimes the essence, and that happens more frequently time making the presidential decisions taken by surprise even the most intimate of Putin’s supporters.
If the actions of the GDP can not accurately predict even the most reputable members of his retinue, then what can we mere mortals? Oddly enough, I can do this. We can try to grasp the logic, in line with the Putin. And this, in turn, leads us to the political bifurcation, which sooner or later will be the undisputed Supreme leader of Russia in XXI century.
View from the Kremlin Windows
In his recently released memoirs of the retired British Prime Minister David Cameron told a juicy story about how in 2013, he tried to establish with Putin friendships. First Cameron asked guests to GDP in Sochi, on a tour of the Olympic objects. And then, during the Russian leader’s visit to the UK for the G8 summit, the Prime Minister invited him to his residence at Downing street, 10, at a reception to honour British veterans of the Arctic convoys carrying during the great Patriotic war military equipment in the USSR.
As frankly admitted Cameron doing his duty in extremely difficult conditions of constant German bombing of the convoy veterans for many years felt that their feat was forgotten. Therefore, the reception in their honor with the participation of senior leaders of the two countries was an extremely important event.
Putin also touched and even began to make jokes. Here’s how, according to Cameron, sounded one of them: “After the ceremony he said to me: “David, I know you think that I have horns and a tail and that I really do not believe in democracy…” Then his lips played a smile: “And you know, you are completely wrong.”
From the memoirs of former British Prime Minister clearly establishes: David Cameron still resides in the belief that under the influence of the vaunted English hospitality, Putin has lost vigilance and has issued its most important political secret. But we all know that Putin its secrets does not give anyone — especially a hostile alien��, which is not particularly convincingly pose as newly acquired friends. Cameron became a classic victim of Putin’s political trolling. Why is it important? Because Putin trolling is not only a way to show the world your signature sense of humor. Trolling for GDP is one of the most important political tools that he actively uses not only in foreign but also in domestic policy.
Remember the turbulent political events of the first three months of this year. 15 Jan Putin blasts political bomb, initiating the process of making some at the moment is not well understood, but certainly of very important amendments to the Constitution. In the following weeks the Russian elite, being in a state of feverish excitement, vainly trying to calculate: what is the state on GDP is going to turn to his political base after 2024? Someone in favour of the State Council, someone-for the security Council, the constitutional Court and the list goes on.
But, when on March 10, explodes, a new political bomb in the form of “amendments Tereshkova”, it turns out that the exact intentions of the President so no one guessed. The veteran scout, Putin has again caught everyone by surprise. And the one who was caught off guard, is in a state of disorientation and not able to effectively raise the “mutiny”.
If you perform key political events of the Putin era that will inevitably come to the conclusion that this situation is for the highest leader of the country norm, not the exception. Recall, for example, as when GDP prefers to spend the most important personnel changes.
From the point of view of formal political calendar, the new government should appear in Russia in 2004, after the inauguration of newly-elected President. In reality, the replacement of the Cabinet of Mikhail Kasyanov for the Cabinet Fradkov took place on the eve of the presidential election. Yes, what I actually talking about? The only Russian government-Putin’s time, which came and went in exactly the stipulated time by the Constitution was the Cabinet from 2008 to 2012 as Prime Minister was the head of the GDP.
Putin has never confined themselves within the formal political calendar. He has always acted in the framework of its own, known to him alone of the political timetable and thus has made the most advantage of the surprise effect. What this means in terms of the inevitable future change of Supreme power in Russia?
If we take for granted the fact that GDP is not going to become President for life, the way I see it, the following: the transfer of power to a successor also needs to occur suddenly, but not at the time of the next presidential election. Ved if Putin suddenly “change his principles” and begin to focus on formal political calendar, in this case in Russia on a new political stage reproduced the same scenario hidden, but dangerous turbulence, which was just broken: the current President is slowly turning into a “lame duck”, and among the elite begin a brutal behind-the-scenes battle for the right to become his successor.
I would Venture to make another, less obvious but no less important assumption. The transfer of power from Putin to a successor must occur at the time when he is still in peak form, at the peak of his authority, at the peak of his popularity.
Immediately the question arises: why is it necessary to the GDP? Why should he relinquish power at a time when this is not pushing any obvious external circumstances? Such a question is absolutely justified. Voluntary renunciation of power is something completely unnatural to human nature. But nevertheless, the questions above are obvious and, in my opinion, is quite a convincing answer. The care of the authorities “at the peak” the most effective from the point of view of ensuring political continuity, preservation of its political heritage.
we All know that any leader of our country in the last hundred years failed to maintain their General line during the reign of his mate.
Stalin turned Lenin into an icon, but during the life of the leader of the world proletariat actually began to pursue opposing policies. Khrushchev began the process of dismantling Stalinism. Brezhnev happily said goodbye to Khrushchev’s numerous twists. Gorbachev managed to become extremely popular, angrily denouncing Brezhnev stagnation. Yeltsin was not just crushed the political legacy of Gorbachev, and even joyful goodbye headed by Mikhail Sergeevich country.
Putin led and behaves impeccably against personally to Yeltsin and his family. The same, incidentally, applies to the behavior of the current master of the Kremlin against Gorbachev: former President of the Soviet Union now has all item attributes, befitting a former head of a great state. But GDP does not hide his sharply negative attitude to the days preceding the collapse of the Soviet Union, and “the saints of the nineties”.
How to stop these eternal Soviet-Russian political swing? And most importantly — to what extent is this needed? I will not directly answer this question in the forehead and instead give a very good example from the history of modern France. In 1969, the great Charles de Gaulle voluntarily resigned as President of France, although before the expiration of his powers��y remained for several years. Technically, it was a political defeat of the General. With the triumph of winning a few months before these events, parliamentary elections, de Gaulle failed to convince the voters to support a special referendum on his plan of decentralization of power in France.
But who, except the very narrow specialists, now remembers exactly what was discussed at the French national referendum of April 1969? This detail, which has long been lost in the “Sands of time”.
And here is that particular in any case is not. Prior to joining Charles de Gaulle to power in the summer of 1958, France has suffered from chronic political instability. For many decades, the top leaders were changing with kaleidoscopic rapidity. For example, in the period from 29 Jul 1929 27 Jul 1931 in France has come and gone as many as five Prime Ministers (President in those years had only ceremonial powers). In the summer of 1914 a well-known politician Leon Bourgeois held the post of Minister of foreign Affairs for four days. His replacement stayed in this position for six weeks. Changer of changer — for three weeks.
In the end, such “circulation Ministerial in nature” burned the heart of the French political system from the inside. In 1940, the political elite of the country without a fight surrendered France to the Germans, and then the mass went to them into the service. In 1958, the French political elite once again fell on his knees and acknowledged his helplessness. At this time, the catalyst of the crisis was the rebellion of the French army in Algeria, whose leaders decided to land in Paris, paratroopers and stage a coup.
Designed to save the country from the threat of chaos and collapse Charles de Gaulle reorganized the political system of France: set up a strong presidential power. This new system has stood the test of time. Five years after the resignation of de Gaulle’s France was headed by the man he fired from the post of Minister, valéry Giscard d’estaing. The successor Giscard became bitter political enemy of de Gaulle and his main rival in the presidential election of 1965, françois Mitterrand. But this in no way shook the foundations of de Gaulle established a new political system of the state. After more than a century after the resignation of General management of the chronic instability in France and has not returned.
What does this have to do with modern Russian political situation? I think that’s what it is. Putin can be treated arbitrarily. But some intermediate results of his reign should definitely stay with us in the post-Putin political era. It is, for example, about the return of Russia among the great powers, about our newfound ability to pursue an independent foreign ppolicies, the preservation contrasting with 90-mi years of political and economic stability.
of Course, alongside this list certainly should see two areas where Putin has yet failed to achieve a breakthrough, and the peculiarities of its era, from which future it is better to get rid of. But now we’re not talking about what is built, the GDP must be broken, and that this should be maintained. And that’s where I see the paradox. To ensure policy continuity and preservation of their political heritage of the GDP is very timely and very well go from the highest political leaders of Russia.
After 1917, power in Russia has ceased to be transmitted by inheritance from father to son, grandson or brother, the Supreme leaders of our country left a “bridge” in three main ways. The most common of them — the termination of powers in connection with its natural departure from life. Khrushchev fell victim to a Palace coup. Gorbachev and Yeltsin seems to have gone voluntarily, but in reality, their departure was voluntary-compulsory. Mikhail Gorbachev lost the country, which can be controlled, and Boris Nikolayevich — all his authority and political form.
What unites these three forms of care from the government? Complete physical or substantial exhaustion of the outgoing regime. Therefore, the question of the political succession simply do not arise. The interests of the country require that the following transfer of power in Russia took place in a completely different scenario that it was just a transfer, the transfer of the baton, not an isolated end of one political era and the beginning of another.
To make this scenario become a reality, Putin needs to catch a “Golden moment” for your voluntary resignation of the President — to find a point in time when the cons for the country of his further stay in power will outweigh the benefits.
I have long been criticized for the use of the phrase “Putin should”. And I fully recognize the justice of this criticism. Putin decides who, what and how much it needs. Everything I wrote is just an attempt to understand the logic in which acts of the GDP. And only time can show whether this attempt is successful.
so Back to what I started to joke about symbolizing the Russian government train and place Putin in this joke. Sorry if did not meet expectations, but while the ending we all loved a joke may be only intermediate. A sense of this intermediate ending is that the driver Putin decides when our train starts moving and when it finishes, at which the branch turns what station our train stopped, and what with the whistling flies past.
“One of the most important consequences of the appearance in our country a new version of the Constitution is an even greater increase in the demands to the main Russian political player”, — said Valery Fedorov. More precisely, in my opinion, it is simply impossible to formulate.
So let’s get comfortable in the carriages of the “trains of Russia”. “The engineer Vladimir” we will not tell you, when he’s scheduled shift change. But it guarantees us a fascinating political journey — a journey which at this time is much longer than originally planned GDP itself. As told to me direct witness of the incident, immediately after the first election of the President of Russia March 26, 2000 Putin in the presence of a very narrow circle of persons frankly told about what he felt after his appointment as Prime Minister a few months earlier. The meaning was as follows: I was expecting that for a long time in this position will not last, and dreamed that I had time to finish these vermin!
the Destiny has disposed differently. Time Putin was enough not only to destroy the invading Dagestan terrorists. GDP had enough time to turn lost faith in himself, Yeltsin’s Russia in a completely different country. This alone is enough to guarantee him a place in history. But what exactly is this Putin’s place in history, the most direct way depends on how and when he will leave the post of President and in what state he will leave Russia. De Gaulle managed to create a strong and viable model of statehood, which continues to operate successfully even after many decades after the resignation of its Creator. Get it from Putin?