ISSUE 3-2012
Petr Vagner
Игорь Яковенко Мыкола Рябчук
Petr Vagner Виктор Замятин Сергей Саркисян
Ярослав Шимов Stepan Grigoryan
Матуш Корба
Pavel Venzera

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By Pavel Venzera | Researcher in Politics, the Czech Republic | Issue 3, 2012

"The moor has done his duty, the moor can go.”
Friedrich Schiller, Fiesco’s Conspiracy at Genoa

Dmitry Medvedev was faithfully warming up a perestol for Vladimir Putin for four years. He served really loyally therefore he earned another, however, smaller perestol designed for Prime Minister. The shift realized between Putin and Medvedev in spring 2012 was not a big surprise for anybody. Moreover, it will not be also anything astonishing when President Putin sacrifices his clone whenever he will need to do it.


In the mid of September 2012, Putin lashed out several ministers of Medvedev´s government in public.[1] Ruler´s ire was provoked by a bill of new state budget that did not reflect all his unrealistic promises given during the presidential election campaign.  Putin wants to look like a man who can keep word and Medvedev knows that fulfillment of Putin´s promises will dramatically load a prepared state budget.[2] There is an evident contradictory but Russia has only one nachalnik and Medvedev will have to solve squaring the circle. He can only noticed that when he “had worked as President he had not also liked the budget.”[3]


The resulting skirmish has not had its killed yet. Premier was only requested to reprimand some of his ministers. He personally, in this case, avoided criticism.  However, in this incident some observers saw the first hint that Medvedev´s performance was heading to the drop scene. Of course, we cannot exclude anything but the situation is not so unambiguous.  First of all, for Putin.  

As an experienced ruler he knows very well that it is provident to have the Moor or a scapegoat –in the best case both of them– up in his sleeve but he also knows that the effective utilization of this tool needs appropriate conditions. Such conditions have not occurred yet. Worse times are waiting for Russia and only then Medvedev´s time should come.

Like the useful Moor, Medvedev left Kremlin in 2012. His role of the scapegoat he will be played later. Which reason will be given and when it happens; it is under question but condition of Russian economy seems to be the most probable reason.

Putin will not hurry because to find the new Moor it may not be as easy as it might seem. The most important quality of new Medvedev must be a clear understanding what the utter devotion means.

There must be also a full acceptance of the current division of labour.  Premier will work hard and will be responsible almost for all, particularly unpopular measures. At the same time a space for the independent acting will be relatively narrow and most of his ministers will look over his head towards Kremlin – the real centre of power.

He should also understand very well that Vladimir Vladimirovich has different tasks and he has to respect his specific duties as well. For example, to be mother of cranes. 

To be popular, to try to realize one´s own ideas or, God forbid, to give the impression of independence is banned. There can be only one superstar.

Of course, a new PM should not be much taller than his creator. Putin does not like burly politicians even abroad – Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili or Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych could speak about it, and not at all at home.

Looking for a new PM, Putin should proceed cautiously not to upset a balance among groups competing for power in his entourage. If any misbalance emerged it could be a threat for his personal power; thus, it is necessary to weigh all pros and cons of each future candidate on pharmacy scales.

If some bigger breach of mentioned assumptions is noticed it could be possible to guess that Putin was not fully free designing a new Prime Minister. This course of affairs could announce an impending melt of his absolute power.

Such situation could happen in two cases: either some of the clans prevails or Putin will try to satisfy the rebellious opposition. In the second case it would not be enough and Putin´s turn could come.

Unlike Medvedev he could comfort himself that, although, he should have become also the Moor twelve years ago; he managed to avoid a prepared for him the role. He has played very quickly very independently but the question arises whether Russians can be happy about it. Maybe the Moor should have gone then too?   

[2] According to the Ministry of Finance fulfillment of Putin´s pledges would cost about $85 bn.
[3] Medvedev in this context said that budget dependent on oil and gas prices. One could ask what his predecessor, now so sharply criticizing the bill of budget, did to change this shameful situation for Russia. Medvedev at least dreamt of modernization and what about Putin?  


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