Yakovina analyzed who is complaining about what and whether they are able to oust Putin from power. We publish an edited transcript of his analysis below.
Even those close to Putin do not believe in the prosperity of the Russian economy.
Recently, three people from the dictator’s retinue (two from close, one from afar) wrote revealing columns for the Russian media RBC.
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The farthest is Ruben Vardanyan. He is the founder of Troika Dialog, probably the first and leading financial and investment company in Russia. Vardanyan is the founding father of the Russian financial sector, so to speak.
He announced that Russia was approaching a very serious crisis. It is forbidden to call the crisis a “crisis” – they have been instructed to use the term “transformational change”.
He writes: “The transformations will be painful and no sphere of our life will be spared. The situation is far more dangerous than the fall of any system or a military, economic or financial conflict. In other words, he asserts that the crisis facing Russia is worse than war, economic crisis and financial confrontation with the West. .
According to Vardanyan, the whole world is changing very rapidly and those who do not adapt will lose. He is of the opinion that the middle class in the world is disappearing and that in its place are emerging two classes – the (very small) aristocracy and a huge mass of poor people who will receive a basic total income so that they don’t starve. , and VR headsets so that they are as far from reality as possible.
Vardanyan writes that Russia is on the verge of a hellish crisis and will probably not be able to respond to it properly.
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Andrei Kostin. This man is closer to Putin. He is the head of VTB Bank. He writes that thanks to and within the framework of globalization, Russia has created from scratch a very successful stock exchange, a huge ultra-modern financial sector, and Russia has begun accelerated development in these two areas. At that point, the “special military operation”, as they call it, started and everything was blocked.
Because without Western technology, business practices and management, without participation in the global system, Russia will not be able to continue as it has. And in general, he thinks, not everything works in isolation from the West, from the financial sector, from the stock market, from Russia’s investment – all this will perish. Kostin, of course, is very unhappy with what is happening.
Sergei Chemezov. He is one of Putin’s closest friends. When Putin served in Dresden, Chemezov sat across the table, meaning they’ve been friends since their days working together in the KGB in Germany. Chemezov is now in charge of Rostec, a huge state-owned industrial conglomerate made up of dozens of companies that produces everything from pins and ballpoint pens to fighters and space equipment.
Chemezov also wrote a column for RBC. He argues that import substitution is unnecessary, economically impractical and simply impossible. According to Chemezov, isolation, including technological isolation, as well as the attempt to do everything alone is a “[bridge] nowhere”. And it should be noted that this is not about the opponent Alexey Navalny, nor about some “liberals” – so says Vladimir Putin’s closest friend in the KGB.
By the way, Chemezov would be a savage, an extraordinarily evil and vengeful man. And this marvelous gentleman claims that Russian industry will soon perish isolated from the West.
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Rostec factories are closing one after another, because there are no components, nothing to produce. And Chemezov will be asked: “And your plants, my friend? Why are they closing? And he will have nothing to say in response. After all, he can’t declare that they are closing because Putin started the war. For this reason, Chemezov wrote many columns.
In other words, these three say that the situation in Russia is absolutely catastrophic. They understand that it will only get worse if the war does not end.
But wherever they are asked in the comments what exactly needs to be changed, these three resort to pregnant silences. They offer nothing. Only Vardanyan says that politicians and politics in their current form are outdated, we need business approaches to solve problems… This is just general talk, it doesn’t make sense.
In these columns, they realize that as long as the sanctions are in place, the deterioration of the Russian economy will only accelerate.
How can these penalties be removed? War, as they admit, is not a way out, because even a complete victory in this war will not remove the sanctions. Everyone understands that it is necessary to look for very radical solutions, namely to give up waging war.
But the fact is that their plays show that the war can only be stopped in one case – if someone other than Vladimir Putin becomes president of Russia. In other words, Putin must be eliminated.
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This is what I deduce from these columns. I can say that I am a biased reader, but in my opinion, when they say that it is a disaster and that nothing helps, one conclusion is obvious: something has to be changed at the conservatory. And in the Russian conservatory, only one part can be effectively replaced – the president.
Openly, of course, no one, neither the second nor the third, writes about this. They don’t even suggest that Putin should be impeached. On paper, there is nothing to complain about. But these columns are only a cry of despair. People express the problems they have faced and expect reactions from society. Not from a society no one cares about, but from the Russian elite – bosses, civil servants, deputies, oligarchs, generals, governors, ministers…
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And if someone says “Ruben, Andrey or Sergey wrote everything correctly, the situation is very difficult, we are on the verge of big trouble”, then this person is a potential ally. You will not approach him and tell him: Let’s conspire against Putin. But you can see that there are such people. And if someone says that Russia will face these problems, most likely it will be an adversary.
Of course, this isn’t a plot, it’s “testing the waters”, testing the waters for future thinking. The relationship between allies and adversaries will determine what they do next – either they shut up or a development begins. I don’t know what this evolution could be. I’m not saying that the conspiracy against Putin will start immediately, but at least the discussion will start.
But we can see that in Putin’s inner circle (Chemezov is a brother to him) there are great doubts about the correctness of the chosen course. It is very good. This is the first major sign of what can be called the splitting of the elites.
So far, the specialist media in Russia Meduza has given indirect confirmation of my theory that cracks have set in. There is an article that says that today in Russia, in the Kremlin and around it, there are three main pillars. You could even say – parties.
There is the feast of peace. Kostin and Chemezov were named among the important participants. The boss of Sberbank, German Gref, is also placed there. Two Meduza sources note that Yuri and Mikhail Kovalchuk are close to the peace party. They are friends of Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail is most influential with Putin because he is a genuine Soviet physicist. He heads a research institute, is a prominent scientist in the field of physics, so he has a great influence on Putin.
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That is to say that it is a team that is campaigning for the lifting of sanctions, for any future truce. Let’s put it this way: there is a “not the most bloodthirsty” wing of the Kremlin administration. It is also said that these people are still their own people with their own ideas, they are not united.
They don’t have meetings, because I think if anyone finds out they’re meeting and making things happen, they’ll be nipped in the bud and kicked out immediately. They are very influential people, but they are not yet very popular with Putin.
Other people are popular with him – Sergey Kiriyenko, deputy head of the presidential administration; Dmitry Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation; Vyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma; Andrei Turchak, chairman of the United Russia party; Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation; and, of course, Ramzan Kadyrov.
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These people are influential, but they are worse off. Putin listens to them, but they often despise each other and they have constant quarrels and conflicts.
But Putin is now interested in war, he wants to win. He will not end this war until Donbass is completely captured. Then he can listen to the so-called peace party.
There is also the so-called feast of silence, as Meduza writes. They are Mikhail Mishustin, the Prime Minister, and Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow. They will side with the winner whenever it emerges. Now they are trying to stay away, not to comment on what is happening, namely the war in Ukraine. They want to distance themselves as much as possible.
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Sobyanin was recently taken to Luhansk to come and promise help. According to Meduza, he tried to give up on this trip until the last moment, as he didn’t want to be seen in Lugansk as he thought it might hurt his career in the future.
In any case, there is now a basis of conflict between the party of war, of peace and the party of those who say nothing. Why did this base appear? Because the war party has screwed up quite a bit. The Armed Forces of Ukraine sank a warship and the tugboat Vasily Bekh. Thanks to this, the National Peace Party can tell Putin: “Our opponents are fools, they sent a bunch of people to Snake Island, and they don’t know how to get them out of there.” If another ship goes to this island, it is very likely that it will also be sunk.