Is Putin Ready to Sack Medvedev ?
It seems the moping operation in Russia is intensifying. The recent criminal case against Vladimir Yevtushenkov marks the latest strike on the ‘instant billionaire’ oligarchs since the arrest in 2003 of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the chief embezzler and farmer head of Yukos, the country’s largest oil company at the time.
Vladimir Yevtushenkov is a big rotten-fish – he controls Sistema, a sprawling conglomerate which includes Russia’s largest mobile operator MTS, Bashneft and other assets. Bashneft, with a market capitalization of $6.7 billion, is one of a few oil companies still remaining in the hands of these bandits.
Removal of this piece is going to further dim the chances of any color coded anti-government movement springing up in Russia – forget the success of any such movement.
Putin has been strengthening his grip on the power since his second coming. A stout politician and chess player, he understands the virtues of patience. He forms alliances to isolate and weaken the opposition, then waits for the right moment to take out his opponents – one piece at a time. In November 2012, he had sacked the then defense minister Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyuko, an oligarch appointee and a close ally of Medvedev – upon whom he had bestowed the title of the ‘Hero of Russia‘, and appointed Sergei K. Shoigu, a loyalist respected by the nationalists. It was a big move on his part – essential to exert his control on the armed forces.
This latest strike on the opposing camp of the oligarchs came on the heal of Igor Strelkov’s press conference on September 11th 2014. Igor, a Russian national – and a veteran of many military campaigns, who was leading the Ukrainian rebel forces in the Donetsk region, has earned a lot of respect among the nationalists in Russia. His resignation as a the military chief and the defense minister of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, and the highly publicized conference in which he was addressing the issues pertaining to the treachery of the 5th column and the ‘traitors‘ within the Russian establishment, points to a change in posture for Russia. Igor, and many others like him with military background and nationalist orientation, are going to play an important role in the coming new phase of Russian politics.
Putin, it seems, finally getting ready to steer Russia out of it pacifist state that it had been since the breakup of USSR. And, if the sign are any indicators, we are going to see a more militarist Russia.
Vladimir Putin has come a long way – it had been a very long road with a lot of obstacles.
The saga of the ‘Bolshevik Revolution‘ leading to the tumultuous formation of the Soviet Union aside, the presidency of Boris Yeltsin – a mentally deranged alcoholic, had provided for the infiltration of all and every institution of the Russian government. The cataclysmic economic and political events following the breakup of the USSR provided the opportunity for the western powers to secure all the national resources and financial institutions for its agents.
These agents – the instant billionaires of Russia, had their interests aligned with the West – Russia was there for them to plunder and loot – Their ultimate assignment was to facilitate the further balkanization of the Russian Federation – and put all those breakaway regions under the yoke of the West.
The objective would have long been achieved – But, for the Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. Putin, it seems, has become a big obstacle to the Empire’s plans for further expansion – And, the Empire is, of course, furious.
The western powers’ behind the scene ‘strategic policy planners‘ and the ‘think tanks‘ have been unable to come to terms with the idea of an equal Russia – questioning, and even challenging its actions. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the grand daddy of the American think tanks, expressed this line of thinking very succinctly:
Russia has neither the right to protect its national interests nor the right to be different. A regional power, enclosed in its rigid bounds, Russia is unable to establish viable alliances with leading global players. It should give up its vain hopes of some mythical Eurasian Union development. Its only alternative is to take the role of the Western civilization humble satellite.
Very gracious of Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, indeed!
Putin needed to be very cautious – even though he has done a lot of clean-up and removal of the elements infused into the Russian establishment during the era of Boris Yeltsin, many big honchos still remain in position of power – some of them may still be unidentified and hidden from the probing eyes. The other major problem – and the danger that he is facing, is from the ‘instant billionaires‘ who have established their own network, penetrating even the most sensitive agencies of the government. These oligarchs, collectively, control large swaths of country’s commerce and media, and, as has been the case in most of the other similarly infiltrated and sabotaged countries, may have connections and sympathizers within the intelligence agencies, and even within the military establishment – And, their interests are aligned with the West.
Putin needed to watch his steps, especially after seeing Muammar Gaddafi butchered – Super Power or not, there is no protection against an internal revolt – Remember McCain’s rant on BBC, the Child Molesters’ Corporation, that after the victory of the Libyan opposition and the elimination of Col. Muammar Gaddafi “dictators all over the world . . . leader of the KGB regime in Russia Vladimir Putin.” should “feel nervous”.
Such crude threats, implicitly pointing to the existence of the infiltrators within the Russian establishment, explain Putin’s timid response to West’s open aggression against Russia. He, and his Foreign Minister, Lavrov, keeps on diplomatically referring to the westerns leaders as our partners and our colleagues , while the west doesn’t give a ding about the partnership or the fellowship.
But, if we have to trust the evidence, Putin is certainly showing a very brilliant ‘Chessmanship‘ skills. While building a strong support for his leadership at home, and garnering the respect of the global community, he is systematically cleaning the house. The West’s reckless behavior has helped transform Putin into a world-class statesman, and the De facto world leader – The Leader of The Real Free World - Indeed, an stout chess master he is.
West, and specially the US, has, actually, been playing into the hands of Putin – by its acts of blatant aggression against Russia, it has succeeded in promoting such a nationalistic and patriotic fervor in Russia that had not been observed for more than half a century – turning him into a national hero. His popularity and support stands well above 75% level – unheard of in any western nation.
In fact, until the helping hand of the west lent support, Mr. Putin’s popularity was dwindling at home, and there were accusations about his role in many of the ‘bloody internal events‘. That all has changed, thanks to the hawks in US.
Those hawks thought it was a good idea to arm the little Georgian puppy to the teeth, and made that idiot Mikheil Saakashvili attack Russian forces in Ossetia. Then, instead of pretending to be surprised and jumping in to mediate, they fully sided with Georgia – which had been recognized as the aggressor by the world. The hawks, were probably expecting Russia to just call for the Security Council meeting, while Georgia decimated Ossitian population and took control of the region. The Russian forces, instead, moved swiftly, and taught the little puppy a good lesson. Russian people rallied behind their leader, and for the first time, realized the danger that was lurking on their western border.
Further, the maniacal insistence on deploying an anti-missile system around Russia resulted in a wave of anti-American anger in Russia which Putin fully exploited – He had all the support at home to tackle the internal challenges. Putin didn’t miss a beat.
Putin had realized that his old party, the “United Russia”, was infested with pro- western elements. Those elements, at the behest of their Oligarch patrons, wanted Russia to be aligned with the west. Though, Putin took a ride on the shoulders of the United Russia party, the party is nowhere close to the personal popularity of Putin as a person. Actually, there are far more Russians with a negative view of the party – they see it as the party of the instant billionaires.
Here, the point to note is that the Russian establishment at this point is divided into Two Camps; the First Camp, led by Putin, can be appropriately called the “Eurasian sovereignists” – It sees the Russian interests aligned with the east – China, Iran, The BRICS, and the Second Camp, nominally led by Medvedev, the prime minister and leader of the United Russia party, wants Russia to serve the interests of the west, and be proud of it ( Zbigniew Brzezinski doctrine). The Medvedev Camp is composed of, what can be called, the “Atlantic integrationists” -The United Russia party has become entrenched with the pro-west Atlantic integrationists.
Putin, fully aware of Russian’s distrust of the United Russia party, and borrowing the page from an old book, created the “All-Russia People’s Front” in 2011 as a “broad popular front of like-minded political forces” which would stand “above party lines”. This Front is now gradually turning into a “Putin Party”. Since Putin himself had to resign from the leadership of the “United Russia” when he was reelected as President, he has no stigma of the United Russia party attached to him anymore.
Putin seems to be systematically working on his grand plan. There is an emerging consensus among the Russia watchers that the “All-Russia People’s Front” is going to play a major role in Putin’s plan – The Front is ready to emerge on the Russian scene as a new political party at any point now, and this party, when launched into the political arena, will replace the “United Russia”, and wipe out the popular support form its current leader Medvedev and others in his camp.
The recent actions, announcements, and the ‘leaks‘, by the Putin camp are suggesting that the time for the implementation of the final phase of his plan is almost here.
Following on the pattern of the ‘leaks‘ staged by the western ‘partners‘, Putin was recorded “off camera” scolding the government (Madvedev) for its poor performance and openly threatening to dismiss it.
The following translation represents the gist of the key words spoken by Putin:
How do we work? Quality of our work – negligible. Everything is done superficially. If this is how we work we will get friggin nothing done. But if we work more aggressively and professionally, then we will get things done. So let’s raise the quality of our work. Orders need to be executed, if they are not then either I am not working effectively or you are all not doing your jobs and you all need to leave! I draw your attention to the fact that at this moment in time I am leaning towards the second option. You need to understand that and not have any illusions.
Clearly, the fight between Putin’s “Eurasian sovereignists” and Medvedev’s “Atlantic integrationists” is heating up. There is a strong possibility that Putin will probably end up sacking the entire government – including Medvedev – and form a new one with a completely different make-up. The new government will certainly be more left-leaning, ”hyper-nationalist’, and hyper hawkish. A large majority of the Russian people, especially those living further away from the major city centers, do want to see big changes in the social-economic sphere – There is absolutely no appetite for the instant billionaire oligarchs.
The “All-Russia People’s Front” party will take the front row, and will be used to mobilize the masses – promoting an anti-west sentiments even more. With all the pieces in place, Putin is ready to make the move for the ‘check mate‘.
It seems that the West is finally coming close to realizing its objectives – transforming a pacifist Russia into a roaring Bear – Thanks to the likes of Mr. Zbigniew Brzezinski and Wolfowitz.