Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kremlin watchers

Kremlin watchers keep their "eyes" on the black box (or red box if we look at the color of the brick wall) that is elite politics in Russia, and pounce on every hint they think gives them a picture of what's going on inside -- especially if it confirms a suspicion they have.

So, the New York Times went with this story from Reuters this morning.

Russia's Medvedev Hints At Kremlin Power Struggle

"Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev has predicted some people might try to challenge his presidency, the first acknowledgement of what could be a simmering turf war among Kremlin clans.

"Kremlin-watchers say factions close to outgoing president Vladimir Putin are nervous about Medvedev running Russia and want to leave the way open for Putin to return if his replacement does not prove up to the job...

"'As for concerns (about the Putin-Medvedev partnership) then they, of course, exist and will continue to exist,' Medvedev said in an interview, extracts of which were published on Thursday on his official Internet site https://www.rost.ru/medvedev...

"He did not spell out that any challenge would come from inside the Kremlin. But with Russia's opposition parties weak and marginalized, government infighting, for now at least, appears to offer a bigger test...

"Analysts say resistance to a Medvedev presidency is led by a loose grouping of Kremlin insiders, commonly referred to as the "siloviki" who, like ex-KGB spy Putin, have backgrounds in the security services..."

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