A critical phase has begun in Russian politics, which will be decisive in the run-up to the presidential election on March 4. The pent-up socio-economic frustrations and a new popular mood seeking ‘change’ in the political system are apparent. The situation is dynamic as the removal of the hatchet man in the Kremlin Vladislav Surkov to an ‘apolitical’ job seems to imply. Indeed, it shows the willingness to consider a genuine change of course for the political system.
Surkov has been deemed as a key ideologue of the system. Having said that, Vladimir Putin has been dismissive about the calls for a repoll. The point is, he remains confident of his popularity, which still remains high, and there is no one in Russian politics today who can even remotely measure up to his popularity.
The western press has launched a furious onslaught on him personally. The venom is all-too evident — although it comes as no surprise. The attempt is to raise dust and create mayhem in Russia so that Putin’s election in March gets mired in controversy.
It is a do-or-die battle in geopolitical terms, since the international system is at a crossroads and Russia’s role in it will crucially depend on who holds the levers of power in the Kremlin. Unsurprisingly, China too remains keenly attentive of developments. The government newspaper China Daily featured an article by Academician Mikhail Titarenko on the Russian political scene. Titarenko attacks the western campaign against Putin as borne out of calculated intent to weaken Russia’s role in the international system.
Titarenko leads the great trinity of Sinologists in the Russian Academy of Sciences — the other two being professors Anatoly Lukyanov and Artem Kobzev. (Alas, we have no equivalents in India.) He enjoys huge reputation within the Chinese establishment and intellectual circles and the timing of the article is significant. The article is here.
Posted in Politics.
– December 28, 2011