translated by Scott Humor
The slew of comments on new appointments to the Cabinet of Ministers of Russia continues. The comments of most analysts are nothing but puzzling.
Infamous satirical literary provocateur Kozma Petrovich Prutkov once wrote that any expert resembled a dental abscess, due to its one-sidedness.
In fact, the expert is not a narrow specialist, but someone who understands what is happening far more than all the others. However, with regard to appointment of new Cabinet of Ministers of Russia experts agreed on one common statement: “I don’t understand” – and further variations on this topic:
“I don’t understand why Putin appointed Medvedev.”
“The order in which numbers are added does not change their sum.”
“Nation is tired of same old line-up and change is necessary to blow off steam.”
“New key players are needed for a new game.
“Don’t change horses in midstream.”
“Putin can’t find people due to shortage of skilled personnel.”
“Again, for 6 years to see the same faces, waiting for nothing, God save Russia!”
“The popular President has unpopular Ministers. It’s wrong.”
These and other similar statements, the depth of which makes you ask yourself are those experts speaking, or a group of grandfathers gathered on a backyard to play domino and discuss what would happened if Herbert Hoover placed his finger inside Paul von Hindenburg’s mouth.[Reference to The Golden Calf, a satirical political novel by Soviet authors Ilf and Petrov, released in 1931.]
Why invite an expert for an interview if he starts with the words “I don’t understand…” I am deliberately not naming any names, but there is a slew of publicists, writers, and doctors of economic sciences, and Putin’s supporters, opponents, and neutrals who sound the same.
What’s shocking is not even the naiveté of the experts, but the degree of their immaturity. Things like what I quoted can normally be said by idle Internet dwellers, who wander from blog to blog and expressing accumulated wisdom of their entire life in three to ten words. An expert need to see a little deeper and understand a little more than that. Otherwise, they are not experts, but delegates from some pensioners’ party.
They rebuke Putin for appointing Medvedev. Which means nothing more for them than to keep going around in circles. He is weak, detached from reality, unpopular, with the largest anti-rating, tired and so on. His Deputy Prime Ministers are also not some bright new things. They just switched seats and it’s all over. But we are waiting for change, as Viktor Tsoi’s song goes. That’s all for experts’ wisdom. This is the main pool of the popular “talking heads” who constantly comment on current events on YouTube.
However, there are answers to all there puzzled questions. Experts don’t even need to think – just browse some federal analytical sites. Experts might not like them, but they should take notice of their content that just standing there. Experts might disagree with those site content, but it’s something that they need to know. Just if you call yourself an expert, then go to the main government’s sites and after that go and save Rome, taking into account all the latest news.
Those sites say it all. They say that Putin has created the most politically weak government ever. And for the first time, he has created the most technically strong government. They are no longer lobbying for some clans’ interests, but perform specific tasks for the President. To do this, we did not have to make a long-distance call “through the Far East,” or change the Constitution. 77% of the votes given to Putin at the elections were enough.
Why Medvedev? Because the prime minister now is not a politician, serving his clans, but a separated from any special interests and hanging in midair character. Using a chess term, he is not a Queen, but a hanging pawn. How come? Now all decisions in the government are made by the President. That’s what you all have been wanting for all those years? You got it. Now the government is not a special interests club, but the apparatus of officials without opinions. Figuratively speaking, if commanded “Lay down and die!” they will do just that without bargaining and putting forward conditions, “I want that” and “I don’t want that”. What would it be like now, if someone else was appointed as a Prime Minister, instead of Medvedev? Lobbyists would immediately form a queue. Elites would be considering if it’s beneficial for them to push a new PM to betray Putin now, or to wait? Is this a state for the country in a state of war that must do urgent things and be managed and united?
The indictment of brothers Mahomedovs, elimination of influence of oligarchs Shuvalov, Dvorkovitsch, Prichodka, all this has ensured that Medvedev is not a puppet in the hands of clans, any longer. To seek his protection is useless, he doesn’t address such issues. Is he now a “technical Prime Minister?” Yes, he is. Is that so hard to understand? No, not really. So, what’s the problem? Where this flood of whining is coming from?
Furthermore, in addition to understanding meaning of visible processes, an expert should be able to observe and compare. Putin has weakened the government as a place for clan compromises, and strengthened it by turning it into a working body. Even so it’s too early to judge, since the names of ministers have not yet been named. But the role of the new government in the political process is already visible. Isn’t this the kind of action that should have been taken in the run-up to major change? Where’s your expertise, experts?
What does Putin do, setting the government in a “box”, as they say in the administration? He issues his first Presidential Decree “On the national goals and strategic objectives for the development of the Russian Federation till 2024.” According to the Kremlin’s press service, the document contains a number of instructions that cover social, economic, environmental and other issues of the country’s development. There are specific things:
- To ensure a breakthrough in scientific, social and economic development.
- To provide conditions for stable growth of real incomes of Russian people.
- To guarantee an increase in the level of pension provision above the level of inflation.
- To increase life expectancy of Russian citizens to 78 years by 2024, by 2030 — up to 80 years.
- Reduction of poverty level in the country by 50%.
- To improve the housing conditions for at least 5 million families annually. For 6 years for 30 million people.
- To make Russia one of the five largest economies in the world.
How all of these will be accomplished and paid for is another matter for another conversation. If we don’t find some particular solutions, we can also find some other. Solve the problems as they come. This government composition is not an icon, so nobody will pray at it. The roles of Timoshenko, Budyonny and Voroshilov in Stalin’s Stavka also had changed as the war went on. What interests us now is not the way ministers act, but the nature of the government – whether it is new or not. Have there been such specific tasks before? No, there wasn’t. Were more general tasks. Because the government had not been fully subordinated to the President. Now, the tasks are very specifically. Why? Is it not because, for the first time since Gorbachev and Yeltsin, the government obeys the President without external influence?
We see that the government itself is in a managed state. Roughly speaking, collective Trotsky has been expelled, and only collective Kaganovich and Voroshilov are left. There is no longer “every gopher is an agronomist”, but it’s an army and the commander, as expected. Orders are not discussed, but implemented. Non-execution of an order means a tribunal.
The government and the contents of the first presidential Decree of Putin after his appointment say to every reasonable person, whether an expert or not, that Putin is as serious as he has never been before. Changes has already began, and they began not with bringing into government some charismatic cult figures, but with putting together the most non-charismatic Cabinet of Ministers. Cabinet is not a meet up of contenders for leadership in a party. The Cabinet is for routine work. Like in the army, is not necessary to think here, but it is necessary to perform. The President thinks. he sets up tasks. And those who won’t be able to perform, will be giving “advices from the sideline,” as Lenin wrote.
Putin transitions from defense to offense. He rebuilt the government for this concrete tasks. Its composition is not a sacred cow. It’s specifically contracted with an opened exit, and people will be changing, when the time is right. For each objective stage will be its own Cabinet of Ministers.
In what way the western experts are different from domestic? They have, suddenly, shut up. They, unlike ours, understand Putin’s maneuvers. They feel intentions for which all this is done. They don’t express any illusions and joy. Taking control over the army is always a major undertaking before the battle. Trump can only dream of such control over his government. that Putin has achieved. We will see the results soon.
Новый состав правительства: Путин из обороны переходит в атаку
Thanks to Scott for this article.
It brings into focus the gray before our outsiders’ eyes.
We don’t understand the Russian government or Putin’s powers.
We think with Western chess moves, if that.
Rumors confuse us. Is Shoigu going or staying? What of Lavrov? Why is Rogozin out?
This article does say this is war time. And Putin has prepared for war.
So, it is not the War Council we thought should have been formed. But this man says Putin is ready, Russia is ready and now we shall see what is what, as well as who is who.
The Master is in his dojo.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Scott for bringing some sanity to the discussions about the new Russian government.
Just another example is the United Russia party has put forward Kudrin for Head of the Accounts Chamber –
– which he has accepted.
The role’s task is the “reduction of corruption in the finance sphere”. The Chamber of Accounts will particularly focus on “delivery of strategic tasks and May Decrees of the Russian President”.
There we see it again – tasks set out in the May decree of the President.
Tomorrow Medvedev may present the new proposals on the new government’s structure to President Vladimir Putin:
All the pieces are being put in place by VVP to be on the offensive as the article states.
At the same time there is a bill on criminal liability for aiding the West’s anti-Russia sanctions submitted to the Duma. So anyone who tries to betray Russia – wont get away with it as was in the past. State Duma Speaker Volodin earlier said the bill might be examined during May because the bill was a “priority issue.”
Kudrin’s actual role will be something to watch.
Historically, such a position can sometimes be a powerless sideline position to simply put someone who otherwise has the pull to grab a space in the government. I seem to remember American vice-president’s being given such a role.
On the other hand, that combination of an Inspector General and Strategic Planner role could make him the most powerful person in the government, if he has the power to attack enemies under the guise of reducing corruption and the strategic planning role can be used as a job that inserts themselves into every other department and project insisting that the President’s goals be met.
Thus, the title alone doesn’t tell much, but its one to watch in the future to see how his role in this government develops.
As I wrote a few days ago, did anybody really think that Putin would reverse what he has been doing the past 18 years. Of course not. I also wrote that he knows what he is doing. This article proves it. Yes, the moment he proposed Medvedev, there was a heap of disinformation that Putin had gone soft and “joined” the pro-Western liberals, which I found absurd. And yes, he now commands the Government, something Trump can only dream of. Putin is the boss, while Trump is the prisoner of the deep state.
The author has a more relaxed view, and a welcome change from the emotional takes here on Putin’s new government line up.
“In what way the western experts are different from domestic? They have, suddenly, shut up. They, unlike ours, understand Putin’s maneuvers.”
Not sure what western experts he is referring to. But the non experts (commenting websayanim and the like) have been wanking themselves silly about how “Putin sold out”. Which tells me all this hand wringing is mostly zionazis hoping to exploit minor differences, as usual.
“Trump can only dream of such control over his government. that Putin has achieved.”
That is a very, verY, veRY, vERY, VERY good thing. If netanyahoo’s boi toy had the sort of popularity and control that Putin has, let alone the expertise, the israelis could dispense with aipac in a couple of years. It wouldn’t be needed any more. Europe under nazi occupation would look like a liberal fantasy compared to the police state trump would impose for massa israel.
Trump wants to copy Putin – but he has the wrong drive – he’s for the billionaire – Putin is for the peasants – also I see Trump is talking about making the presidency in the US available for himself for a third presidency – and from what I gather of Trump – he’s no dummy – and could well do this – did you see this video ? the first part is all about Trump –
“he’s no dummy – and could well do this ”
ahh..no…he can not “do this”
and “trump is no dummy”…to bad everyone that knows him says the exact opposite…though the word most used is moron.
Trump has proven to be rather incompetent when it comes to forming a government. It turns out that operating what was essentially a large family business does not automatically prepare one for organizing a giant beauracracy and its associated political struggles.
If “Drain the Swamp” was ever going to be more than an applause line at a rally, then Trump was obviously going to need to take on the denizens of the swamp who called it home and who’s power was based on the Swamp. Trump has proven absolutely incapable of doing this, and in fact incompetent at even making a good effort at it.
Trump needed department heads who would be a combination of several things. These include being expert at the political infighting of a huge organization, believers in changing that organization, and loyalty to Trump and his cause. Its hard to think of any cases where Trump’s appointments have been any of these. He couldn’t even find billionaires who didn’t need to further rip off the taxpayers with personal corruption.
Trump has certainly failed to build a base within his government for himself. That was surely Trump’s first task. Trump was never going to completely convert the monstosity that is the American Federal government, but he needed to carve out at least a few areas where he could count on support. And these needed to include at least some key areas such as the Justice Dept and at least one branch of the mlitary that he could count on.
Instead, with Trump, we’ve seen him constanly rotate people through key positions, apparently much better at saying “You’re Fired!” than at picking good people for the job. Despite Trump’s pretending to be a national level player for some time, he obviously had no one that he could turn to do fill the key rolles beneath him. And with Trump showing no loyalty towards the people below him, the people below him now show little or no loyalty towards Trump. After all, why should they? Trump, just because of his age if for no other reason, will not be in power for long. Trump would likely lose power completely in these coming mid-terms, except for the fact that the Democrats are more corrupt and thus incompetent than Trump is. And for 2020, its already more of a question of who’s going to follow Trump than what will Trump do in a second term. So, why should anyone below Trump sacrifice their political career to Trump who won’t have a second term and who might well be powerless and possibly impeached before then?
Divide and Conquer, the old trick of the Anglo. Encourage internal critisism of an Enemy state/politician from two sides.. one saying he is not Nationalist enough and is sold out to the West, the other that he is a Tyrant who must be replaced with a pro westerner. Anglo only maintain their power through divisions like this, and attempts to divide integration projects like Eurasian Union, Belt and Road and now even the EU, which ironically they created themselves as a anti-Soviet block. Listen to Repubicans and Conservatives speak about EU,
the call it a rival and enemy. EU buisness and population wants friendship with Russia, is entireley dependant on Russian gas, and German leaders now will have to realise this.. Open trade conflict will begin against EU by the US/UK bankers.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of Anglo fapping over the new anti EU government in Italy and support of Polish nationalism.Will distract nicely while the Anglo scheme brexit/trump tricks and threats. Constant talk about war against Iran but what really we should look at is the weapons and advisers flooding Ukraine, and Poroshenko’s announcement that the ‘ATO’ is over and a new operation is begginig i.e a war against Russia supported by the Anglo directly (without EU support).
thanks Scott – yeah – I didn’t feel that it was a mistake – but it was only a feeling – I hope you’re right
Thank Scott for your explanation of what’s now happening in Russia. I was a bit alarmed after reading a lot of supposed experts on what President Putin should and shouldn’t do and his selection of personnel. I live in Australia and find it hard to get great information, again thank you Scott for you no nonsense information.
Better not let the Saker read this…..
I am the one who requested that translation to be made.
Reach your own conclusions.
I’d seen in the past how The Saker has written well on how the previous Putin-led government were of neccessity a coalition of powerful factions. My reading of the above piece boiled down to understanding that Putin is now at least more powerful as the overall leader, and thus able to have less of a coalition government where various factions held power and now had more of an expert government formed to be a tool for the leader to accomplish his goals.
Thanks to Scott for the translation of something that would otherwise have been inaccessible, and thanks to The Saker for both requesting it and for providing the space where such information can be relayed. :)
Your analysis is always brilliant and a pleasure to read. However, I think you jumped the gun the last time, perhaps panicking slightly with the appointment of Medvedev, who has backed Putin for years. Some readers even quoted liberal sources in Russia, who obviously did a little bit of disinformation. There is no way that Putin can back down and join the liberals, let alone reverse what he has always been doing. Yes, he invited Bibi to the Victory Parade. However, he also invited President Vuchich of Serbia, who walked with him, a clear warning to NATO that Russia will not tolerate another NATO bombing campaign of Serbia, from which I send you my greetings.
And I think the reason he invited Bibi was to show him, first hand, the readiness of the Russian defense forces as displayed at the Victory Day’s commemoration. I’m sure that even Bibi would have got that message.
Offense against what.
“Regarding the memorandum signed in Ammam on November 8, 2017, it should be mentioned that, first and foremost, this document is confidential and, secondly, is of technical and operational nature defining measures needed to establish the Southern de-escalation zone. I would like to note that that there is no reason to overestimate the significance of the memorandum to national security interests of Israel. Russia respects the Israeli concerns in the field of national security”
Russia’s Ambassador to Israel Alexander #Shein on #Amman Memorandum and #Iran presence in #Syria
Don’t expect S300 delivery to Syria any time soon
Some excellent photos of Bibi and Putin together in Moscow recently too.
lol. Only someone who hasn’t read the other comments and articles recently would try this line.
Not for those murdered in Gaza today.
again, offense against what?
i can understand professionalizing of governance, centralization of power, 5-yr plans;
especially in a Russia as reflected in the film “Leviathan”.
Medvedev as a delegated agent bridging the executive and legislative bodies.
but a war Cabinet? where?
your romance with Russia has resorted to reading Putin’s body language. well reportedly, he pinned
the Order of St George on Netanyahoo. he was at minimum unopposed to the Israeli missile strike;
and is withholding the S-300 from the Syrian state (and withheld radar support during the attack).
2,000 unarmed and wounded in Gaza. amputations.
this is offense? this is backing off and allowing a balance of power to articulate/establish itself.
if NATO loses Turkey that’s hardly down to Putin. next move’s up to Germany.
To me the main idea is: Government now organized like army/military hierarchy.
I.e., sort of like “special powers” in time of war?
Wow, I do not mean to call Putin a Tsar, but maybe just maybe, this is what I was hoping Putin would do. Just like Piotr Vielikiy. God Speed.
It was expected.
If to consider “China Russia double helix” true scenario, then Putin had to follow Xi’s steps, because they both are captains that keep this catamaran across the coming storm.
It would just make little sense to drop one of the co-captains and infuse great deal of F.U.D. into another one.
“According to the Kremlin’s press service, the document contains a number of instructions that cover social, economic, environmental and other issues of the country’s development.”
Tous mes respects à M. Putin (un des rares hommes d’état sur cette planète), but any plans spanning decades that don’t address global warming is baloney: melting Siberian permafrost is eating away Russian infrastructures.
Global warming is also giving Russia ice free ports, and a naval route for transports from East Asia to Europe.
Anonymous sources in Russian Parliament claim to media Shoigu and Lavrov retain their positions in the new government.
Michail Khazin on the same topic (in Russian, but use http://www.translate.ru )
I refrained from saying a word when PM Medvedev was appointed and other positions were shuffled about and some familiar faces were gone.
We, Russia, are at war. We have been at war since late 2013. President Putin has taken the position of Field Marshal and has formed Stavka for Russia, he has appointed all his General Polkovniki and these commanders are now appointing and filling their staffs. President Putin’s speech of 01 March was a very clear and open warning to our enemies, but they did not listen. The saber is now loosened in it’s scabbard and can be drawn in a flash at any moment.
These last few days have seen a turning point in History. Russia has no choice but to win, for even a draw will be the end of Russia. Do not expect brilliant battlefield maneuvers, gallant charges of the cavalry, heroic last stands (although we have seen Russian soldiers fight to the death in Syria). It is best for you to study President Putin’s actions in Syria to have an inkling of how he fights. What looks like compromise, occasional backing and filling, seemingly endless negotiations with the occasional violent attack is nothing less than a steady and relentless pressure against the enemies being fought there and let me tell you, it is far better to fight them in someone else’s back yard than our own. You think not, you want instant victory with medals being showered on our victorious soldiers? Remember Chechnya. Remember CehSha in Korea, Vet Nam, Afghan and Irak.
It’s going to be a long five or six years but with luck and help from Him and him, perhaps a world Götterdämmerung can be avoided.
Never The Last One https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZGCY8KK A Deep Look In To Russia, Her Culture And Her Armed Forces
An Incident On Simonka https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ERKH3IU NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
Interesting in that I associate actions like The Charge of the Light Brigade to the Brits, while historically I associate with the Russians the careful withdraw and avoidence of a decisive battle with Napoleon’s large army. The latter of course ended in the destruction of Napoleon’s army and a horrific winter retreat back to Germany.
The Light Brigade debacle scene is 15 minutes from my house. It was anything but a ‘gallant cavalry charge’, it was a blatant mistake from the start and immortalized in later years, as was the ‘defense’ of the Post Road near Inkerman. The debacle scene is now peaceful vineyards. Their grapes go to Massandrah Winery, of which I am enjoying some very fine черный this calm and gentle eventide.
Napoleon’s army was well less than half French, it was European in the main. That army is buried in mass graves from the gates of Old Moskau to what is now Poland and Prebaltika. There are two small islands on the Berezina that are formed from the bodies and equipage of Nappy’s army lost in the crossing. That being said, the majority of mid and Division level officers survived the icy retreat. The ordinary soldiers, as usual their lot was not quite so promising.
In fact 1/3 of Napoleons Army was French, and the remaining 2/3 were indeed European, from a number of countries. We all know about Napoleons 1812 invasion of Russia and how it ended. However, what is always concealed is the fact that he was financed by private bankers, as was Hitler, who repeated Napoleons invasion. As professional historians would say, if you want the truth of what happened, just follow the flow of money and you will get the answers.
Great analysis, thank you. Some people doubted Mr Putin’s intentions in his 4th mandate. They did not have yet enough information to make conclusions… but they did and they were wrong. Mr Putin is a brilliant leader and decision-maker. They should not have doubted him. He has given us plenty of evidence that his dialectic mind is able to follow reality without adopting dogmatic lines. His staff certainly admire him.
As informed, reality is too frightening, at the moment. We should all be thankful that Russia, under Mr Putin leadership, is preparing to defend itself and the human values that are fundamental for Russian society. The implications will be global.
For the good sake of Russia, I sincerely hope that all appointed ministers are serious thinkers, otherwise the government would not be able to accomplish a single task. President Putin wants and needs to delegate the implementation of tasks, but meaningful delegation is only possible if the tasked person is skilled enough to come up with solutions and/or proposals on his/her own.
I’m a long ways away, and basically know nothing, which I suppose makes me an expert. :)
It seems at least possible that over the years Putin and Medevev have developed a decent working relationship as heads of competing factions within a government. This article points out that Medevev has lost some of his outside support from the anti-corruption efforts hitting other key people in that faction. Thus the supposition that perhaps Medevev might be enough of a realist to understand that being loyal to Putin is now his best support for remaining a power within the government. If along the way they’ve developed ways of working together and some amount of respect for each other, then its not so hard to understand that they could have agreed to Medevev remaining Prime Minister.
All true, keen observations.
Save for Putin himself being the head of a competing faction to Medvedev’s.
Yes, there are indeed two competing factions within the Russian political elite, Eurasian Sovereignists and Atlantic Integrationists, and Medvedev indeed belongs to the latter one.
But Putin does not clearly belong to either one of them: he is and has always been somewhere in-between the two – all the while he employs and rests his power upon members of both. (E.g., Shoigu, Rogozin, Glazyev et al. from one faction, Medvedev, Kudrin et al. from the other.) And we should not hold our breath hoping that this will ever change. C’est la vie.
Both VZ.ru and Regnum.ru report Lavrov and Shoigu stay, FM and MOD remain the same.
Best news of the day, but I actually had few worries that they would go. I think they and VVP form the troika that will save Russia. God speed and God bless the three of them.
Hopefully the clear mind has won, both Lavrov and Shoigu are experts of their jobs. If the article states that “we are at war” (Russia) then the best options is for the two to remain. As for Kudrin : I grew up in a communist/socialist state, Mr. Putin did studied and worked many years under the rule of KGB, he knows every detail of the secret services engine. Every “appointed” has a “shadow” behind him/her who is taking notice on everything regarding the “appointed”. Every morning, when Mr.Putin arrives in his office, the first thing is the daily reports by the secret services. He knows much, much more than anyone else in his circle – they knew a part, he knows the whole – that’s the role of the Head.
An interesting addendum : the “appointed” ones also had a taste of the past because of their age, so in fact they know or suspect that they have “shadows” . Good luck to them if they want to cheat the chief… Putin doesn’t have a good description for those kind of people and he said it publicly.
I mean he does : Traitors
Thank you for translating this one!
Well two things. Finally reading an article that does not make Putin sound like he has failed and it makes logical sense, in spite of my failing to understand a lot of the cultural historical references.
The US seems hell bent to start wars, meanwhile the political crowd act as if impeachment can come at any time. Their buzz phrase national security interest surely is more accurately conveyed as follows. This threatens our need to control the whole world so an evil cauldron of elite can profit from the misery of the masses.
In contrast we have Putin’s 1st Presidential Decree. No mention of controlling international competitors. Increasing life expectancy makes the list. With the US Opioid project theirs will plummet if accurately reported.
So thanks a million for this article. I had not lost faith in Putin, in spite of all the negative news of late. It took centuries for us to get to this depth of depravity, it will take a while to work it out. Who else can we turn to?
I suggest Scott to read and hopefully to translate into English the following blog post: https://seva-riga.livejournal.com/897372.html
The author is a small businessman living in one of the Baltic Statelets, so his approach is rather different from both Russians in Russia and Russians in the West. And he knows who to right interesting and well worded articles, too. So his blog might in the end gain a permanent place in your bookmarks, perhaps.
Same for Saker and other Russian-speaking authors and readers in this site.
Wonderful, funny and deeply serious. Life is to be fought for, in order to be enjoyed. Breathing is cooler than cool.