Here We Die

As previously rumored, the former head of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, has been appointed First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration.

Kiriyenko at a meeting with Putin in May 2015

The general consensus seems to be that Kiriyenko’s new position does not bode well. Not for the Kremlin, not system itself, and certainly not for ordinary Russians.

Fyodor Krasheninnikov wrote on Facebook:

I do not know how he led Rosatom (they say he did well), but in public policy he has experience in a great and important task: to go to the fore with a sad face and say – everything is bad, it didn’t work out, sorry, nothing can be done.

He recalled the time after Russia’s 1998 default when Kiriyenko had to go begging to the West for loans to bail out Russia.

Konstantin Eggert noted:

The arrival of Kiriyenko means one thing – the coming great political reformatting, including of the party system. ~ The rise of former PM Kiriyenko means that Putin plans a major transformation of the political landscape, including the political parties.

The political analyst Evgeny Minchenko made the following points:

There are several important nuances related to Kiriyenko:

  • He is familiar with Putin, at least since 1997;
  • He was at the head of the SPS [the Union of Right Forces was a new party created for that election] part of the victorious Putin coalition in the parliamentary elections of 1999;
  • He was another Nemtsov;
  • He is a successful and tough negotiator and lobbyist. He is experienced in public policy;
  • As head of Rosatom, he was involved in both domestic and foreign policy issues;
  • He is close to the Kovalchuk [supposedly a Putin crony] group, but is an independent player.

Alexey Chadayev thought that this was not a demotion for Volodin.

There was something deeply wrong with the fact that the position of Speaker of the State Duma was always considered weaker in comparison with the deputy head of the PA [Presidential Administration], and that Parliament was seen as something secondary in comparison with Old Square [the KGB]. It is strange that many champions of democracy and democratization took it for granted.

However, Maxim Kononenko had the opposite view:

I still think Kiriyenko was not appointed but removed. Rosatom needed someone else. Along with the plutonium [a reference to Russia’s decision this week to walk out of their agreement with the US to reduce weapons-grade plutonium].

And that this position in the PA is now under Vaino does not mean anything.

At all.

The Administration has died.



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