Analytical bulletin #2 (3) 2018

Dear Readers,

We would like to present to you the next issue of the Bulletin #2(3)2018  “RUSSIAN POLITICS. Unvarnished and Undiluted.”

Table of contents and short summary

EVENTS

The Kemerovo shopping mall fire and its political ramifications:

  • The Kemerovo tragedy might boost the FSB’s role and ambitions in the anticorruption campaign, and lead to significant personnel reshuffling, including in the FSB itself
  • The gap between President Putin is his bureaucracy is widening. The President increasingly mistrusts his own political appointees, and there is a growing fear of the head of state among the elites, they are afraid of bringing him “bad news.”

  MAIN ACTORS

Ziawudin Magomedov and the “Summa” group.  On March 30, Magomedov and his brother were arrested and charged with organized crime.  During the time of its expansion (2008-2012) the Magomedov’s family has enjoyed political support of Dmitry Medvedev (who was the President at the time) and Arkady Dvorkovich.  The arrest might be related to the upcoming changes in the Transneft leadership.

Aman Tuleyev. The Kemerovo governor’s resignation didn’t fit into the traditional pattern of the leadership changes under Putin.  Usually, the latter never yields to protesters’ pressure, whenever they demand to fire a senior government official.  The resignation was a result of a power struggle for the governor’s position and attempts to derail the appointment of a successor vetted by Putin.  The new governor Sergei Tsivilyov might be a compromise figure picked up after a complicated play between two major groups of influence

PROCESSES

The number of local points of protests in Russia is growing.  Protests in Moscow region (garbage crisis) and in Kemerovo (where people demand the information about the true number of the fire victims), as well as in  a number of other regions (due to backdated wages) reveal not only potential for the protests but the begging of an acute crisis, when the government loses touch with the society.  The federal and regional bureaucracies are increasingly incapable to take political responsibility, since they are exclusively focused on the moods of the national leader.  This means that regime is too fragile and incapable to respond to the threats coming “from below.”

The next bulletin will be issued on April 17.

 

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