Medvedev and emptiness

A chair under the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has tried to undermine for a long time. But at the first doubt the strength of his position in the game, joined President Putin and his Teflon rating, demonstrating the special nature of their relationship.

Together on camera, they played sports, drank tea, went fishing. After the appearance of documentary-the satirical film of Alexei Navalny “you do not Dimon” Putin brought Medvedev to the land of Franz Joseph. This time it didn’t work. Be right turned out to be Russian commentator Alexander Nevzorov, suggested that in remote polar territories of the Russian President introduced the Russian premiere of living there with the white fur of the beast (more popularly known as the Fox). The imminent resignation of Medvedev is hardly possible. But futures bets on the armchair Russian Prime Minister has done.

Number two

Last year all the people talking about changing the Russian Prime Minister became more intense in the context of rumors about early presidential elections and a radical restructuring of power.

The image of Dmitry Medvedev is really faded. Of the liberal intellectual, interested in gadgets and social networking, it gradually turned into a constantly sleeping “iPhone”. Cameramen liked to catch it with my eyes closed for official events, the editors missed it, probably just to spice up a boring video. But the Prime Minister seems to be specially pulled down your rating of the unfortunate statements in inappropriate conditions. In may last year he said before waiting to improve their occupational pensions Crimeans his famous “no money but you stay there”. In August of last year, Medvedev advised are dissatisfied with their salaries teachers “as somewhere to earn money”. Finally, in April of this year, for some reason he decided to answer his whistle, a Russian oppositionist Alexey Navalny in the dialogue with the employees of the enterprise “Tambov bacon”, and did it not too clever, using the word “compote”, “Mut” and “stuff everyone”. In General, we got “stewed Tambov bacon”.

Serious self-support at the Russian security forces, in business and bureaucracy, Medvedev not. There were people who believed in the reality of his presidency and ability to become an independent leader. They paid for their faith, when in 2011 made a bid for a second presidential term for Medvedev. Vladimir Yevtushenkov has lost its “Bashneft”, Vladislav Surkov from the post of Deputy Prime Minister was exiled, first in oblivion and then partially rehabilitated to the thankless job of nation-building in the occupied Georgian and Ukrainian territories. In this field Surkov had lost its former gloss and noticeably thinner. Medvedev remain faithful to him press Secretary, a loyal one of the Vice-premiers Arkady Dvorkovich, some old friends and sponsors. But this is not enough for an independent political role.

However, until recently, conversations about leaving Medvedev was hard to take seriously. Medvedev most comfortable for Putin, a Junior political partner, administratively competent and uncomplaining. It does not interfere with neither the power nor economic bloc of the government, which directs except as providing procedure of a bureaucrat. The will of the President passes through it to a key administrative levers, without stopping and without transforming. Medvedev, as the hero of the cult novel by Victor Pelevin “Chapaev and Emptiness”, reached the mystical degree of the voidness.

Introduced in early March, the film Fund of struggle against corruption Alexei Navalny “you do not Dimon” has struck at some important point, which depends on Russian policy. This is the first time such an effect of numerous disclosures of the Bulk. At first the problem was not expected. The film was nothing new for the Russian elite and Putin himself. The scale of ownership of Medvedev revealed a significant, but not mind-blowing. By Russian standards — even modest. Elite care more, who allowed and helped Bulk to complete the inquiry (there is no doubt that he used the insides and materials of the highest offices — published too detailed shooting of protected objects), for what purpose and why now. Politically active part of society is touched, perhaps, “the Prosecutor’s Empire” household Medvedev to demonstrate that he was not “liberal alternative”, and sybaritism servant of the political regime, devoid of intellectual and spiritual elitism.

After the film Bulk Medvedev did not help even exclusive visit with Putin in the most Northern Russian territory — the land of Franz Joseph. Followed by “Tambov bacon” and national March against corruption, organized by Navalny on April 26. Sociological service “Levada-center” has published the results of polls, according to which the resignation of the Prime Minister are 45% of respondents, against only 33. The number of course trusting Medvedev of Russian citizens has decreased over the past year from 14 to 3%. Although the “Levada-center” announced in Russia a foreign agent, the Kremlin promised to perform new sociology.

Race strategies

The situation has changed. Not that Medvedev is threatened right now. The other became prospects. A year ago, Russia began the “race strategies”. Putin outlined his interest in economic strategy, with which he would go to a new presidential term. The task was clear: find a reliable recipe for economic growth above the world average, which is estimated in the medium term is approximately 3%. Strategic lag is what really bothers the Russian government, more than sanctions and the exhaustion of national reserves. Money in Russia is still a lot, not only in the accounts of the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, but also in different “wallets” — translucent the corporate entities owning the state raw-material companies, bringing foreign exchange earnings. But close to zero growth amid stable, albeit limited global growth means a steady decline in Russian influence. The President wished 4% growth with 4% inflation. 4/4 is a key target indicator of economic success Russia, and 70/70 (70% turnout in the forthcoming presidential election when the electoral result of the “main candidate” in 70%) — a key target of her political success.

In the presidential election, whoever was the “Prime candidate”, the Russian power can not go with the statement that their finest hour Russia have slipped, without stopping at the top, and it only gets worse. To rely on “geopolitical jackpots” dangerous, they can result in “black swans”. Need a reliable strategy. The author could count on the role of the second person in the country, that is for the post of Prime Minister or close to it of political weight.

The fight for the development of the economic strategy of the new presidential term last spring the first involved a former Finance Minister, is still well received in the office of the President Alexey Kudrin with his Center for strategic research. The Stolypin club, the frontman of which is the adviser to the Russian President Sergei Glazyev, immediately began to do the alternative. Liberal ideas Kudrin, involving fiscal consolidation, a comprehensive reform of the state apparatus and “the easing of geopolitical tensions” faced with the ideas of fiscal stimulus Glazyev without internal reforms, with the isolation of Russia. A few months later in the race strategies have included Medvedev. The President created the Council for strategic development and priority projects. In the autumn there was a rapprochement between Medvedev and Kudrin, they even started Dating for the economic debate (for the first time after a personal conflict that occurred in 2011). Ideas Kudrin transformed into a softer version. Last fall he announced that he found the recipe for 4% economic growth even without deep political reforms.

Strategizing Medvedev was reduced, ultimately, to the publication last fall on behalf of a article in the leading Russian economic newspaper “economic Issues”, which he is unlikely to read and write. Glazyev became the intimidating expression “Venezuelan” alternatives, proving by its very existence at the mercy of the correctness of the approaches employed by the current liberal economic bloc of the government and the Central Bank. But Kudrin has not reached its strategic peak. In early may, he announced the completion of the strategy proposal, but refused to publish the results, citing the need for personal acquaintance of the President. When it happens — is unknown. Most likely, the Kremlin, the more the government, now a little concerned about the strategy Kudrin and someone else, until decisions about a new configuration of power in the context of the upcoming presidential elections.

The glass ceiling

Until recently, “the case of Medvedev” was discussed mainly in the paradigm of “first or second”, that is, whether he will retain the post of Prime Minister after the presidential election — or he will face more significant political role, whether as a result of repeated switching jobs with Putin, or as part of a modified system of government in which the main positions are called new. Medvedev, of course, there’s old enemies, the main of which — an extremely influential head of “Rosneft” Igor Sechin, and bureaucratic competitors who were not satisfied with their current positions, such as Chairman of the state Duma Vyacheslav Volodin and Alexei Kudrin. They were not averse to sway under Medvedev chair. Maybe one of them helps Bulk to destroy the rating of “Dimona”. In the past year from time to time had a hypothetical conversation about moving Medvedev to the presidency of the Council of Federation or the head of the constitutional court. But now that the Prime Minister really staggered, it was found that the beneficiaries are as blurred as personal perspective Medvedev.

Now there is no apparent reason for the immediate resignation of the Prime Minister. Right, those who believe that Putin does not make decisions under external pressure, even if they are dictated by political logic. He will not remove Medvedev only because in his political image was applied too strong blow some Bulk or hand Navalny, whose name was even forbidden to speak in the Kremlin media. Especially that there are direct political reasons. The anger of Muscovites quickly switched from Prime Minister to mayor of the capital Sergey Sobyanin who is running a controversial program of renovation of the housing stock. The ruble holds the position. Elections a year later. The new political season will begin in the fall, after the holidays. No reason to shoot the Prime Minister, Putin has not yet decided whether he goes to the polls, and if so, with what idea.

Another thing is perspective. In the Russian elite matured consensus that the post of Prime Minister should be not just transparent conductor of a higher power, filling the void promising anything, but someone actually capable of pulling the country out of stagnation, to move it forward. Way up for Medvedev, most likely, already closed. Then — just to the side and down. Sitting up to presidential elections next spring, and then to honorable but less important post, may be the maximum possible.

Voters premiere

Question about the candidacy of the next Prime Minister is drowning in political and economic uncertainty. The Russian government is arranged so that the different segments are quite isolated. They are not interchangeable and cannot individually claim the power in its entirety. For macroeconomic indicators and Finance meet the so-called systemic liberals (sisliby), who studied in Western universities, and was inherited by Vladimir Putin from the time of Boris Yeltsin. Them, as it seems, nobody likes, but they are indispensable to his ability to manage budgets and finances. On the other hand — power machine for money. If they give the Russian economy, it will collapse. But if Silybum charging lead security agencies, it could collapse the power vertical. In turn, the group breaks into the security forces the internal security apparatus (which in the “fat” times served as an alternative mechanism of economic management, but now increasingly forced to seek budget version of the work for its intended purpose); the military has recently brought all new geopolitical victory, but is now becoming an expensive toy; and the military-industrial lobby not only eating up the state budget, but also generating foreign exchange earnings from the arms trade.

Parallel to this system, live their lives quite Autonomous state monopolies and corporations, whose turnovers exceed the volume of the budget. The government can influence the movement of these funds, but final decisions are made by the President. Corporation (the leaders) are able to influence the administrative apparatus, even in the power structures, and forming a lobby in the government. At the same time they compete among themselves both in the actual civil sector and the “production of hydrocarbons” (relatively speaking, Rosneft, headed by Igor Sechin) is manufacture of weapons (relatively speaking, “rostec”, headed by Sergei Chemezov). Under all this conglomeration of interests is inhabited by regional elites vying for power and influence in their regions. The relationship between the center and the regions in some cases, such as Chechnya and Tatarstan, are critical to the stability of the government. There is still bureaucracy. It is politically dumb, but in her environment inhabited by all the others.

All this can be observed through a complex system of filters, which forms a very cynical, creative class, media, think tanks, community movements are able to create not just a stream of information, but a compelling picture of the world, not necessarily reflecting the reality. Before the creative class received money for realization of different political projects in recent years — more and more he comes up with these projects yourself, “sawing” broken funding.

Distorting political activities of the creative class in Russia is very high. When the money in Russia was abundant, it seemed that the Russian authorities reinforced concrete. Now, when the money was not enough, there is often a feeling that the Russian system of power has gone viral. In reality the arena are the same: sisliby, security forces, corporate executives, regional leaders. Somewhere high above them, still hovering Putin. And only around Medvedev deepened the gloom. Well, the money became less, including war. But this may not be enough to anywhere within the Russian government began to ripen new political and economic model.

The card will fall

Today we can state as a fact that Russia has resumed talks about a successor, implying that Putin does not necessarily go for another term. These conversations reflect the uncertainty of the elites and the loss of the integrity of state ideology. But the talk is likely to remain talk until the Russian President did not announce its decision at least the inner circle. This is unlikely to happen before autumn.

The new term of Putin is still considered the baseline option. But the fact of the talk is a new political plot. Recently, the leader of LDPR Vladimir Zhirinovsky in interview to TV channel “Rain” said that in the autumn the Russians may be in for a surprise. According to him, the question of the successor depends on some 10 people, and by December they will make a decision. The successor will definitely not Medvedev, but whoever becomes the candidate of the power, he gets 70%. Not be amiss to note that last year another veteran of the presidential election, Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov, is as confidently predicted early elections, but the forecast was wrong.

No one knows for sure. Even where it is the source of problems of Dmitry Medvedev — in the clash of interests and personal ambitions, or in the minds of the creative class, falls out of his opus and images through social networks and political Telegram-channels mushrooming in Russia like mushrooms after rain. They understand that candidates for the post of Prime Minister are the head of Sberbank German Gref, a former bodyguard of the President, “the conqueror of the Crimea” and the head of Tula region Alexey Dyumin, head of the presidential administration Sergei Kiriyenko, Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Minister of economy Maksim Oreshkin, Deputy Prime Minister for defense industry, space and Arctic exploration, Dmitry Rogozin, Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary representative of Russian President in far Eastern Federal district Yuri Trutnev. The list is open.

For each of the named persons own interest group or coalition of such groups. The names sound more clearly, and somehow erased in memory, which initially talks about the new Russian premiere refers to the situation after the presidential elections, which will take place no earlier than March of next year. But in Russia, when a society or even the elite believe in fables about “Kiev junta” and “global anti-Russian conspiracy,” born of the Russian creative class for the sake of cutting programs, funding, do talk about the new Prime Minister can shape political reality. Maybe the days of Medvedev as Prime Minister do rapidly expire.

Putin needs to save society from a sense of stagnation. For that we need “fresh blood” of ideas (the agenda for the next term) and staff. On this basis, the replacement Prime Minister can be a symbol decision and the first and second problems.