Putin with the new chairman of Russia's State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin (Image: kremlin.ru)
Last week, Kazan’s Business-Gazeta published the prediction by Artem Dragunov that Vladimir Putin plans to do away with the office of Russian president and create instead a State Council he would head. (For a discussion, see this post).
Now, because of the enormous attention that article attracted, the Tatarstan newspaper has published a continuation of Dragunov’s argument, one that suggests Putin has far larger plans for the reformation of the Russian political system and also one that the paper again notes cannot be independently confirmed.
According to Dragunov, who claims to have insider knowledge, “the situation has developed even better than the Kremlin had thought possible” both domestically and internationally and in each case less by the Russian government’s actions than by the failures of its foreign “’partners’” and shortcomings of the Russian opposition.
As a result and because United Russia Party now has a constitutional majority, something that allows Putin to ignore the other parties and even arrange for the replacement of their leaders and also to push through changes in the country’s basic law, this is an appropriate time, Dragunov says, to launch what he calls “Putin’s new program.”
The population is “ready for this” and will vote for any changes Putin calls for in a referendum. People may complain about this or that, but they will fall in line, as a result of the successes of the government’s propaganda machine and their own interest in stability above all else.
The new Putin plan, involves first of all, “the return of the USSR but without bright ideological packaging on the basis of private property, reliance on history including the Russian Empire with a corporate administration at the head of which will stand an organization which one can call the KGB” or simplified, “”the Office.’”
In addition, and this is the unspoken part, Putin’s plan involves “the construction of a Russian China. The successes of the Chinese,” but just now, no one in Moscow knows how to achieve this goal given the cadres shortage that has arisen from the emigration of many and the collapse of the Russian educational system.
Among the first steps that the New Putin Plan will involve will be:
- The formation of an analogue to the KGB;
- Major personnel changes in the regional heads;
- And attacks on independent business in the name of fighting corruption.
The population will be only too pleased to welcome all of this, Dragunov says. And it will support the formation of a State Council as well. According to the commentator:
- The new State Council will consist of the head of the council and his deputies, the security council, an experts’ council, the accounting chamber, the Russian national guard, the federal protection service, and the heads of the houses of parliament.
- The parliament may soon have three chambers rather than two;
- There will be “many women” in the new Russian government;
- The government will lose its budgetary powers to the State Council and focus only on administration.
Even more radically, he says, Putin is planning to move the capital east of the Urals, “not for political reasons but for military ones.” He hopes to build a new capital on the model of Astana or Brazilia, although many state functions will remain in Moscow or move among the cities of Russia, again out of security considerations.
The new Putin plan, Dragunov says, will involve the nationalization or re-nationalization of strategic parts of the economy. It will seek to attract back to Russia many of those who have fled abroad since 1991, and it will make places like Kaliningrad attractive centers in order to win such people over.
Regarding Russia’s neighbors, the analyst continues, “the most important role in the plans of the Kremlin” includes Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan, places that are a military buffer against challenges from abroad and that Moscow will seek to control by installing its own agents of influence in key positions.
As far as geopolitics is concerned, “everything here is simple: Europe and the rest are occupied with their own problems, and the more problems they have, the less time there is for them to put sticks in the wheels of a New Russian Empire. Russia is forced to build its own Empire because” others from China to the US to the Muslims are doing the same.
According to Dragunov, all this will be announced by the New Year, and a referendum and early presidential elections may follow in 2017.
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