R.Politik’s primary product is the analytical bulletin “Russian Politics. Unvarnished and Undiluted”.
The purpose is to present in a clear and unbiased fashion the underpinnings and the reasons for the decisions that are made; to help better understand the functionality of the Russian Government’s mechanisms and to broaden the capabilities for political forecasting.
The launch of R.Politik project is timed to coincide with the Russian Presidential elections (March 18, 2018). From that moment on, a complicated and lengthy process of the political regime’s transformation commences in Russia. This process will construct a new organizational and cadre structure of Vladimir Putin’s fourth ruling term.
The agenda (for the next years) contains such questions as the reform of the enforcement (the so called “siloviki”) branches of government, rotations within the leadership of the major political parties (Communist Party of Russian Federation, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), changeovers within the state companies and corporations. But this would be just a preliminary phase of the system’s future transformation.
The intermediary task for Vladimir Putin is to prepare a solution for the “2024 Problem.” According to Russian Federation’s Constitution, the fourth Presidential term should be the last, consequently in order to preserve the legacy and the political stability (and this is a number one priority for Putin), it will be necessary to create a regime replication mechanism, for which end, constitutional amendments will be required. The scenarios for the constitutional reform are already being written within Kremlin offices.
2018-2024 political system will encounter new challenges: growth in security services’ influence in all areas of society and government; lurid criminal cases and expose’s, impacting Putin’s appointees; intensification of intra-elite conflicts, sharpening of the contradiction between the isolationist trend and the country’s need for resources. World energy conditions will remain a significant factor: Vladimir Putin has a tendency to underestimate the degree, to which the country’s economy is dependent on the world energy prices, therefore the national budget will not be prepared for the potential deterioration of the situation.
Already there are signs of the structural degradation of the regime. One should note, that the preliminary study of the societal reaction to the Presidential annual speech showed quite the opposite of the expected results: fear of war is revealed, there is lack of understanding of the authority’s priorities and the war rhetoric is perceived as excessive. Society’s separation from the authorities that is being manifested – is a factor for accumulation of the future social-political destabilization risks.
Finally, the geopolitical background will have a determinant impact on Russia’s policy. Vladimir Putin focuses practically all of his attention on the issues of foreign policy, which however, is being pushed out by the “active measures” that are so familiar since the Soviet times. This leads to the degradation and de-valuation of Russian diplomacy’s role. Further degradation of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs role is to be expected.
All of these processes will be addressed in our bulletins. We will pay special attention to the quintessence of Russian political life, crux of the occurring events. Every time, the focus of our attention will shift to the events and processes, upon which the character of the regime’s functionality will depend.
The bulletin is going to be issued every first and third Tuesday of a month.
In August we’ll take a vacation.
In extraordinary situations there will be unscheduled issues.