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Owing to Prokhanov the Idea of Putin's Third Term Acquires Nation-Wide Support

Owing to Prokhanov the Idea of Putin's Third Term Acquires Nation-Wide Support
Roeva Natalya 31.10.2006

On October, 26th in teleshow "To Barrier" on NTV channel writer Alexander Prokhanov agitating for the third term of Putin totally crushed liberal governmental lawyer Michael Barshchevsky and openly supported him broadcaster Vladimir Solovjev who supported Dmitry Medvedev as a successor. I shall remind that during interactive voting 75 thousand televiewers supported Prokhanov whereas Barshchevsky received only 36 thousand voices. At the same time even greater number of Russians remained indifferent to this voting.

Among supporters of the third term of Putin is possible to allocate two categories. Firstly, it is federal and regional officials from Igor Sechin and Vladislav Surkov up to Ramzan Kadyrov as well as businessmen connected with the Kremlin such as the chapter of "Rosneft" Sergey Bogdanchikov, whose positions in apparatus and sometimes, to speak frankly, physical safety directly depend on Putin's stay on a post of the president.

Secondly, it is ideologists, patriotic publicists such as Alexander Prokhanov, Anton Surikov, Vladimir Filin, Ruslan Saidov, Sergey Kugushev. For them Putin is valuable not in himself but as personified carrier of the idea of the Fifth Empire. The concept of the project of the Fifth Empire if to speak about it maximally simple in the practice means refusal of westernized orientation, serious change of dominating nowadays liberal vector in economic, internal and foreign policy. It, in its turn, demands radical political cleaning off of influence of proAmerican agency in the name of Kremlin liberals and Eltsin’s oligarchy.

If Putin remains for the third term, ideologists of the Fifth Empire believe, relations of Russia with the USA will worsen to the end. It will inevitably lead to marginalization of liberals and oligarches, will reduce their weight and influence to zero. Thus, present balance between security officials and liberals will sharply be displaced in favour of the first. Whereas Putin, instead of performance of a present role of the arbitrator, becomes the leader of power group which having acquired all completeness of authority in the country, in interests of own survival will be simply enforced in the hostile external conditions to realize imperial project.

This is motivation of ideologists, I would say, of - idealists-romantics. It is totally ideological, not careerist and the more so not financial, that favourably distinguishes it avocates of the Fifth Empire from different sort of political consultants and owners of drain "market" newspapers and sites who have got used to measure everybody on their own bushel and for which there is only one interest - money.

Those supporters of the third term who are from the officials and businessmen the motives are absolutely different, ordinarier. Hardly is necessary to explain in detail what they mean in case of Ramzan Kadyrov - here it is a question simply of physical safety both the Chechen leader and many thousand people who stand behind him. Federal officials have more complex motivation.

Let's imagine, that Dmitry Medvedev becomes all the same the president. In spite of the fact that Putin says that having left the Kremlin is still going to play some chief role, it is necessary not to forget that we live in Russia where couldn’t be two tsars by definition and such notion as "Russian Dan Sjaopin" is excluded basically. Therefore, if Medvedev becomes the head of the state, he will make all the decision. And Putin can only sometimes advise him something, without a guarantee that his recommendations will be followed.

Among Dmitry Medvedev's priorities on a post of the head of the state will become gaining of steady positions abroad. But, and it can be easily foreseen, the new president should demand to make certain steps towards "world community". In particular, in the sphere of "human rights". Including JUKOS matter.

It is not necessary to be a prophet to predict that very soon after Medvedev’s inauguration Michael Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev, Alexey Pitchugin and Svetlana Bahmina will go at large, I myself from reasons of humanity sincerely wish them.

But only this one deed will hardly satisfy "public" encouraged by Leonid Nevzlin. For certain both in the West and inside of Russia it will go further, requirements to punish "guilty" in "chaos” against “transparent" businessmen will follow. But who will be appointed "guilty"? Whether Nevzlin and "world community" will limit themselves to "switchmen" - inspector Kerimov, public prosecutor Shokhin, judge Kolesnikova? I do not think so, but thus I am absolutely sure that ex-president Vladimir Putin and all-mighty Roman Abramovich won’t be appointed responsible, it’s simply impossible.

But it’s very much possible that the list of "guilty" will be decorated and headed by such, by the way, not causing warm feelings not only of Nevzlin but also of Medvedev and Voloshin, names as Sechin, Ustinov, Bogdanchikov and at the same time Vladimir Ilich Kolesnikov. Certainly, they will appeal to Putin so that he would protect them. But whether it is necessary to exclude a variant that on the third-fourth time Vladimir Vladimirovich will suddenly "cannot reach by phone" Dmitry Anatolevich? Or Dmitry Anatolievich himself "fail to find” Prosecutor-General who “will be in the plane” or “will go away to Portugal” where “there is no telephone connections”.

Frankly speaking and all Russian history teaches it, I won’t be at all surprised, if in two-three years in "the Chita residence" of Khodorkovsky Sechin will locate firmly and in "northern residence" of Platon Lebedev – Ustinov with Bogdanchikov. It is said that Lebedev promised it to them when he was arrested three years ago.

As to Vladislav Surkov, I nevertheless believe, that Nevzlin will not imprison him, he will simply "will block him oxygen". But as to fineer characters, for example, Konstantin Kostin with wife, I would not forswear – too many vindictive people do not wish to forget them, they will with pleasure remind it to Leonid Borisovich.

Anyhow, uneasy history of struggle for the high authority in Russia, obviously, taught someone something in the Kremlin. Here’s the reason of talks about the third term, here’s the reason of the project of the Fifth empire, here’s the reason of ideas about "neokorzhakovschina" and temporal (I am absolutely assured of it) need of men in power in its ideological maintenance which is created by romantics-"imperialists".

But let’s think what “neokorzhakovschina” will give to simple people even if it will triumph, though I am strongly doubt? Most likely – nothing, because as soon as direct danger will recede, the bureaucracy will again with ecstasy plunge into "business" and will forget about Empire. However, nevertheless there is one plus: Putin's third term will prolong present stability for some time more whereas the change of the authority is really fraught with slipping in chaos.

Nowadays alongside with "Edinaya Russia" Putin ordered to promote RPZh of Sergey Mironov. In regions it led to that local conflicting clans began to run up on two parties in power transferring rigid struggle between themselves in public field. In such situation the administrative resource ceases to work: the official understands when he is said to that it is necessary to support one political force. But when there are two of them, when there is polarization in the authority, in the head of the cautious bureaucrat schizophrenia appears and he tries to keep aloof, to ride.

It is possible only to guess how unpredictable elections in the State Duma will be, when and if RPZh will really be promoted. But even more destabilizing is the script if Putin will name not one, but at once two successors - Dmitry Medvedev and Sergey Ivanov whom will be told to compete on elections. And why not? If there are two parties in power, then there is only one step up to two candidates for presidents from authority. But even if the successor will be one, all the same it is fraught with instability which has already begun which is confirmed by the number of murders of significant figures from Andrey Kozlov to Anna Politkovskaya.

Anyhow, notorious "problem-2008", obviously, has no good decision. Even if everything will pass smoothly, and I doubt in it, what we should wait from the new president? Let’s take Sergey Ivanov. He is heading the Ministry of Defence for five and a half years but as a matter of fact he does not control it and remains in it an alien element. How a person who has failed to do something positive in his own department during so long term, who even has not become native in it, can operate the whole country?

About Dmitry Medvedev's business qualities we know nothing in general. Now he is as "pig in a poke". Earlier he simply had no place to show himself really and we can very soon judge about efficiency of realization of national projects, Putin has to define the successor earlier.

Thus, probably, not for nothing the active part of people in the program "To Barrier" preferred Alexander Prokhanov to Michael Barshchevsky. Citizens who are in general interested in it purely intuitively feel that in present conditions to start a shake of the Supreme power is simply dangerous. Therefore they insist on Putin's third term that I personally cannot support though no other more positive recipes I don’t have. Unless a socialist revolution, which though couldn’t happen because of many reasons.

From the editor: I shall agree in general with Natalya Sergeevna Roev's analysis, however I am compelled to note and some prominent aspects, which she, most likely deliberately so that not to break a complete picture, has let out from a field of vision.

As it is known, neither I, nor chairman of editorial staff of FORUM.msk Michael Deljagin share optimism of apologists of "the third term", equally we rather skeptically treat various sort of Utopias. As once one clever man said on absolutely other occasion - "both are worse". As to "the third term", it offers itself.

First of all we observe that Vladimir Putin's two presidential terms at exclusive, fantastic luck have not led to real improvement in real sector of economy, have not led to improvement of quality of management, have not resulted - that is the most important - in strengthening of stability of system. On the contrary, Michael Deljagin regularly and convincingly (I shall not recite here his arguments, it will be worse, than in the primary source) shows system frailty of "Putin’s Russia”. It is seen in the culture, in the state management, in science, but mainly – in economics.

The country is on the verge of system crisis and balances on this verge owing to exclusively favorable, unknown conjuncture in the market of energy carriers. We’ll agree that for the basis of the Fifth Empire it will be not enough.

Yes, at transfer of authority from Putin to "successor" and inevitable new deterioration of quality of management in consequence of it, the country can fall down in system crisis even on a background of a favorable external economic conjuncture.

But at the variant of "the third term" as N.Roeva has already described not even the next coil of "preservation of degradation" but new repartition of power and influence is expected. But Putin’s bench strength had been empty for a long time. And refusal of a liberal half of Putin’s elites will inevitably lead the other, winning half of "security officials", to the same personnel vacuum. Now both wings of Putin’s administration can’t comprise capable system of state management and after 2008 only one of them will have to do it. And nobody guarantee continuation of luck after this threshold border.

However, even at absolutely worthless management, even at its full absence the system could be steady if Russia was a separate planet. But our country is entered in the most complicated circle of world problems and is not so powerful so that not to depend on them. Nobody from our neighbours will miss an opportunity to take advantage of new easing of authority in the Kremlin that is inevitable both at the new and old president.

Well and the last that is very important: Putin proved to be far not the genius but he is everybody only not the fool. He, really, is very explanatory and pragmatic person. And he can’t fail to see all non-profit of the third term for himself.

Putin is very practical and sensible - and it is a big trouble for Russia. If a madman is on the Russian throne for whom the authority would be both the aim, sense and the supreme award – he would stay for the third term contrary to own pragmatical interests, even neglecting his own safety. And, probably, "things would work out". But Putin is not like this. He is normal, he is absolutely normal. Besides, what Russia mean to him?..

Anatoly Baranov

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