Elites hold back: Will there be a change of power in Russia?

In an interview with the online portal Meduza, Andrei Yakovlev from the Moscow School of Economics, with a doctorate in economics, ventured a lot: “Russia is facing big changes. I don’t know when they will start – in three months or in one and a half to two years. But it is clear That with regard to the ongoing war against Ukraine and comprehensive sanctions, Russia is slipping into a deep economic crisis. It will be accompanied by an increase in social tensions and will sooner or later lead to a political crisis. So it is now important to think about the direction we are heading in after the war and the inevitable transition of power.”

“The new elite is younger”

The decisive factor will be the way the country’s “elites” behave, whose younger generation is distinguished by “moral decadence”: “Our problem was that the old Soviet Nomenklatura was replaced not by another elite, but by the younger generation itself. Nomenklatura, which grew up in the seventies and the ’80s and was as satirical as possible.” In any case, these people were never interested in communism, but rather in the sweet life of the wealthy in the West.

“One cannot live forever in a state of patriotic enthusiasm, especially when the economy is stagnant and the elites continue to live on a large scale as before. And when it became clear after the 2018 elections that the authorities would not change anything in particular except for pensions,” Yakovlev said. , who together with his colleagues conducted a survey of Crimean politics among large and medium-sized companies, that the reform, the consensus on the annexation of Crimea began to crumble.

“It’s hard to say what they really think”

The economist expects that the standard of living in Russia will drop significantly in the near future and does not believe that given the severity of the sanctions, the state is in a financial position to compensate for these losses by increasing transfer payments: “The elite have become very withdrawn and shy of contact. I think That people in the elite now assume all their conversations are eavesdropped, and they try to be patriotic even in casual communications with journalists they know, so it’s hard to know what they’re really doing to rethink.”

There are two options for the inevitable transition of power: “either through the complete destruction of the old order and the assumption of power by completely new people who have nothing to do with the old order (as was the case in France in 1789 and in Russia in 1917), or through a very painful transformation of the old order (analogs The historical one is the Soviet Union in 1991 or South Africa after the abandonment of apartheid) The difference between these scenarios lies in the number of lives the transition will cost.”

“The mistrust between each other is high”

It should be noted Yakovlev’s assumption, backed by surveys of CEOs, that while many, if not nearly all, saw a deep crisis coming, no one wanted to take action against it: “The level of discord was very high, as was the distrust between each other. The lack of communication is evident: people within the camp still communicate with each other in some way, but there is no longer any dialogue between individual groups, and future visions and potential development strategies cannot be developed without communication. It cannot be done by one person.”

“Traitors don’t like anywhere”

The governor of the Moscow region, Andrei Vorobyov, said almost the same word in a recent interview with the business daily RBC: “There must be mutual understanding. Problems arise only for two reasons: because of a lack of communication and because of an incorrectly created one. You have to talk – it will not be There is polarization.” Vorobyov refused to call anyone who left Russia a “traitor”: “You see, this is about our homeland, it is sacred. You can disagree with something, you can scold the authorities until you turn blue, but when you deliberately begin to slander and harm, this is treachery. And traitors. They are not loved anywhere – that’s a fact. Not even on the other side.”

Vorobyov noted that support for Putin was “obviously high” and advocated the dismissal of civil servants opposed to aggressive war: “There are always different opinions, and it’s okay. On the other hand, we have to give those who think so patiently explain the goals that we seek within the framework of Military operation, until we are ready for discussion. But if one of us does not share our ideology, they are unnecessary in our team, and this happens. We adhere to the democratic principle: in the debate you can argue and disagree, but when a decision is made, it must be carried out consistently. Doing something Effectively if you’re challenged on the inside it won’t work – you won’t get very far. So, like this a person is better off if he’s looking for something else.”

Prime Minister: “The most important thing is the mandate.”

At the final of the “Leaders of Russia” competition on May 27, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin explained to the participants the leadership skills that he believed the “new elite” should possess. According to her, she must act in an “honest manner”: “Every management position is primarily not a goal, but a responsibility. In my early years as a manager, I tried to do everything myself. But the most important thing was delegation, teamwork and understanding of the task. Before accepting an offer To take a leadership position, consider whether you are ready to take responsibility for the team.”

At least in the IT industry, the “elite” has always voted with its feet: up to 70 thousand employees have left Russia. It is alleged that the Kremlin now expects the return of about every second person by the end of the year: “Any economic recovery begins with people. We have recovery plans that affect domestic policy. To implement them, you need competent specialists. Finding them, choosing the best and giving them providing opportunities is one of the main tasks ”, According to an unnamed Mishustin employee,

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