Reshuffling the Deck

There is now a rumor going around that the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee will resign after Sunday’s parliamentary elections. The Investigative Committee (SledKom in Russian) has been likened to the FBI, though they are not accountable to the Justice Ministry nor to the Prosecutor’s Office. SledKom answers directly to the President (in theory, anyway).

The SledKom spokesman, Vladimir Markin, has already resigned. He is just another in a recent line of people who have been reshuffled. This includes Putin’s former Chief of Staff, Sergei Ivanov. Ivanov was removed back in August, but given multiple portfolios in exchange. Additionally, he is still on the Security Council, though he has been relegated to the last seat at the table.

I believe that most of this is just optics before the parliamentary election that will take place on Sunday. Russians are quite unhappy with the authorities’ lack of movement on the corruption that plagues their daily lives. They may not take to the streets over it, but it is still good PR for the Regime to show that they are doing something (even if nothing actually changes).

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