- Who are they, future chosen ones?
- Everyday life of billionaires
- Moscow themes
- Compassionate system fighter
Last week, another wave of rallies swept across Russia, and most of them were not dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin does not see them and believes that everything is fine in the country, and future elections will go according to plan. He had something to do: while his billionaire friends were grabbing fat pieces, the president publicly punished those responsible for raising tariffs and forgave the thieves of the Ministry of Defense.
The head of the police headquarters did not name the specific authors of the innovation and said that the department fully supported this initiative. Yakunin does not deny that the protesters can simply change their minds and not come to the event of their own free will. Nevertheless, the head of the department intends to achieve the above mentioned amendments to the laws..
An example is the “March against the scoundrels” that took place on January 13th. The event was attended by, according to bloggers, 24 thousand people, the Ministry of Internal Affairs counted only 9.5 thousand people. As for the past week, the expenses of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for ensuring the holding of rallies were, frankly speaking, small. And although the massive actions were large-scale, the questions raised by their participants continue to remain relevant for the whole country..
People: dismiss Putin, jail Serdyukov, lower tariffs.
So, on February 23, rallies of LDPR supporters were held across the Russian Federation. The audience campaigned for reform in the army, strengthening the fight against bullying, punishing those responsible for large-scale embezzlement in the Ministry of Defense. In addition, propaganda was carried out for the transition to contract military service and an increase in the level of social security for the military and their families. Kuzbass officials, who apparently considered such calls unsafe, banned the rally in Kemerovo, Prokopyevsk and Novokuznetsk.
On Defender of the Fatherland Day, actions of nationalists took place in St. Petersburg on the Field of Mars. The protesters also raised the issue of punishing those guilty of fraud in the military department. The city authorities did not allow representatives of the “Russian Imperial Movement” to hold a meeting on Pionerskaya Square, so the venue was moved. Kostroma communists also demanded to arrest Serdyukov. In addition, representatives of the Communist Party, gathered in Kostroma, announced their lack of confidence in the current president and government, demanding their resignation.
In Makhachkala (Dagestan) on February 26, 50 disabled pensioners of the Ministry of Internal Affairs held a meeting. They advocated a change in the leadership of the republican Ministry of Internal Affairs and the restoration of social guarantees. The reason for the indignation of the former police officers, who became disabled while on duty, was the termination of payments by the insurance company Rostra, which went bankrupt. The contract with the company was signed in 2011 by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Dagestan, transferring 44.9 million rubles to it in the form of insurance premiums.
On March 2, in Kazan (Tatarstan), under the supervision of the Lynx special unit of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a rally was held with the participation of 100 people. The protesters demanded to cancel the initiatives of the federal authorities to enlarge the regions, as well as not to abolish the institution of the presidency in the constituent entities of the Russian Federation since 2015. Thus, the presidents will be called the “heads” of the republics, which, according to the protesters, is the first step towards the loss of the sovereignty of the territories..
On March 2, much larger marches took place in Moscow – “Social March” and “March in Defense of Children” – with a total number of up to 12 thousand people. And if the participants of the last “march” demanded to pay attention to family values, the rest of the protesters opposed the policy of Sergei Sobyanin and demanded fair elections in 2014, participation of representatives of the ordinary population in tariff setting and solving labor migration issues.
The “Social March” was held on Saturday in St. Petersburg, the number of protesters did not exceed 500 people. There were enough demands – opponents of the relocation of the Military Medical Academy and the City Hospital No. 31, the transfer of the Moscow judicial authorities to St. Petersburg, as well as the defenders of the dormitory residents spoke out. In addition, at the rally at the end of the march, calls were made to punish the officials who abuse during the construction of the stadium on Krestovsky Island, and to stop the growth of tariffs for utilities..
Who are they, future chosen ones?
On February 28, without seeing popular protests, Vladimir Putin sincerely tried to convince French journalists of the stability of the situation in Russia on February 28, who reported violations of human rights in Russia. The President clarified that yes, except that during the 2012 elections there was a certain struggle between different political forces, which could have caused the appearance of false reports of violations of rights.
According to Vladimir Putin, democracy in Russia has been under construction for 20 years.
Putin announced that this practice has long existed throughout the civilized world and did not see anything unusual in this. The President also noted that Russia has been following the democratic path of development since the early nineties, and human rights on its territory are strictly observed.
After his words, there is no doubt that the 2016 elections will be as fair and transparent as possible. And preparations for them are already underway. On March 1, at the initiative of Vladimir Putin, a bill was submitted to the State Duma, which envisages the election of 50% of deputies – 225 people – according to federal party lists, and the second half – according to single-mandate constituencies. To date, all the deputies are elected according to party lists. According to Vladimir Pligin, head of the committee on constitutional legislation, the draft may be considered in April.
It is believed that such an innovation will allow United Russia to retain its leadership in the upcoming elections. Thus, candidates will be able to run in both single-mandate constituencies and party lists at the same time. The election results are recognized for any indicator of the voter turnout. As it became known, the document was developed by the CEC under the supervision of the head of the Putin administration, Sergei Ivanov..
Political analysts were skeptical about the new bill. Thus, Pavel Salin said that the new law is designed to focus the attention of the people on future elections and distract them from the problems of today. Nevertheless, Salin suggests that in 2016 this instrument will not help the authorities to maintain their positions..
Aleksey Makarkin, deputy director of the Center for Political Technologies, on the contrary, believes that the pro-government representatives, thanks to the new bill, will be able to occupy the majority of seats in the future parliament thanks to “single-mandate candidates” who will join the ruling party. Alexey Zudin, Deputy Director of the Center for Current Politics, agrees that the authorities initiated consideration of the project in their own interests, but I am sure that the true reasons for such a step are much deeper.
The fact that the elections could take place much earlier was announced by Gennady Zyuganov on February 24, the day of his re-election as head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The politician believes that the elections to the State Duma will be early and this is due to both the situation in the world and the problems in the Russian Federation.
Dissatisfied Luzhkov reads victory in elections to Civic Platform and Popular Front.
What will happen in 2016 can be predicted with confidence already in 2014. It is not long before the vote on the new composition of the Moscow City Duma, which, it seems, will become a mirror of the future parliamentary elections. Former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov shared his thoughts on the alignment of political forces in the Moscow parliament. In an interview on March 1, he said that the speeches of the opposition forces clearly indicate that the results of the 2014 elections will clearly not be in favor of the current team..
The former head of the city said that the capital’s Duma is currently simply fulfilling someone else’s political will and does not have its own. Luzhkov named “Civic Platform” and “All-Russian Popular Front” as new contenders for the majority in the Moscow Duma..
As for the current leadership of the Moscow government, it does not intend to give up their jobs. The mayor of the capital announced on February 28 that he intends to nominate himself for the same post in 2015. Sobyanin said that since October 2010, when the mayor came to power, the death rate in the capital has been significantly reduced and the healthcare system has been improved..
Everyday life of billionaires
The domestic oligarchs, who were least of all worried about the worries of politicians in 2016, were much less worried over the past week. Billionaires cooked in their usual “kitchen” – they slowly made purchases and topped the world ratings.
For example, The Daily Telegraph on March 1 published information that the number of Moscow billionaires reached 76, which is an absolute world record for one city. Thus, the publication reports that there are 70 billionaires in New York, 54 in Hong Kong. At the same time, the Russian Federation failed to lead in the total number of billionaires. So, with 88 billionaires, Russia is in third place after the United States (409 billionaires) and China (317).
The battle for Rostelecom was won by Rotenberg, a friend of the Russian president.
It is unlikely that the Ministry of Finance is going to fight them, proposing to limit cash payments to 300 thousand rubles, which the department announced on February 27. The purchases of billionaires are much more significant, which will be discussed below. As for the innovation of the Ministry of Finance, it implies a ban on making purchases for cash from 2014 – more expensive than 600 thousand rubles, a year later the amount will decrease to 300 thousand rubles. Thus, the ministry, according to its head Anton Siluanov, will fight the illegal sector of the economy..
While the regulatory authorities are going to chase citizens spending more than 300 thousand rubles in cash, the purchase on February 28 of 10.7% of Rostelecom shares for 56 billion rubles by Arkady Rotenberg through the offshore structure Bellared Holdings looks more than innocent and went unnoticed. Obviously, none of the officials drew parallels between this purchase and the recent searches at the head of Rostelecom Alexander Provorotov and the former owner of the sold stake Konstantin Malofeev, the head of Marshall Capital.
Rostelecom was a tasty morsel even for Mikhail Prokhorov, Leonard Blavatnik and Mikhail Fridman, but Arkady Rotenberg bypassed them all. Winners are not judged – no one will pay attention to the fact that Rotenberg often does not appear in the best light in the press. It is known that an old friend of Vladimir Putin owns banks, supplies pipes for Gazprom, and is also building the scandalous Moscow-St. Petersburg highway.
In light of the growth in the number of billionaires in Moscow, it seems that a decision was made to maintain the balance of evil forces – to reduce the presence of officials in the capital by relocating them outside the Moscow Ring Road. Moreover, this is a profitable business, the construction of “New Moscow” will cost the country 130 billion. But the siloviki will be left in Moscow.
On the first day of spring, the Ministry of Finance sent a letter to the federal government with a request to consider the issue of relocating only officials from the executive authorities outside the Moscow Ring Road, while leaving all the security officials in the city. It is unlikely, of course, that this is due to the desire to hide the government from the police and special services, but caused, according to the ministry, with the need to save budget funds.
The financiers considered that it is cheaper to send officials to Mars than outside the Moscow Ring Road.
The department has attached calculations according to which the implementation of the New Moscow project for civil servants will require up to 132 billion rubles. The calculations were made based on the construction cost of 1.1 million square meters of buildings to accommodate 54 thousand officials.
It is noteworthy that the cost of the implementation of the super-complex project of sending the Curiosity rover was 77 billion rubles in terms of domestic currency. Thus, an American mission to a planet 56 million kilometers from Earth is cheaper than moving Russian officials within the same city..
In an effort to clear the capital not only of officials, but also of trucks, the federal, Moscow and Moscow region authorities have united in the fight against the drivers of heavy vehicles. The Ministry of Transport previously announced that there would be no forgiveness for violators and that if the ban on entering the Moscow Ring Road was violated, truck drivers would be inexorably fined.
Sobyanin intends to collect 5 thousand rubles from truck drivers and spend another 6 billion on the next video surveillance system.
On February 28, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin promised that he intends to achieve a monthly increase in fines, reaching 5 thousand rubles in 5 months. The only official who showed ostentatious sympathy for the drivers of the trucks was and. about. Governor of the Moscow Region Andrei Vorobyov, who promised that violators will not be fined until March 15, then they will still have to pay 300 rubles.
Meanwhile, many drivers turned to the media with information that it is impossible to get a pass to enter the Moscow Ring Road in the Moscow Department of Transport, without which fines are inevitable, and they also complain about the greed of officials who directly advise buying passes from “pocket” organizations.
Police officers turned off the video surveillance system for 7 billion, and did not consider a single crime on the screens.
The ineffectiveness of the decisions of the Moscow authorities is already reported by the police. So, the head of the Moscow department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Anatoly Yakunin on February 27 at a government meeting in Moscow said that the video surveillance system of 90 thousand cameras for 7 billion rubles, installed during the reign of Luzhkov, turned out to be absolutely useless. The police, who were not able to consider a single crime on the screens of the system, simply turned it off.
The head of the Moscow police advised the government of the capital to switch to modern surveillance systems that will effectively prevent and solve crimes. It is noteworthy that such work is already underway, and according to the information of the Moscow Department of Information Technologies, another 6 billion rubles will be allocated for its new system from the Moscow and federal budgets..
Compassionate system fighter
Against the background of all these local nonsense, the bright image of the president is starting to appear in the best light. The intensification of the adoption of socially popular decisions by Vladimir Putin continues to amaze political scientists. Why did Medvedev fail to reduce tariffs, but can Putin succeed? Where was the President when money for Olympic construction was stolen? In caring for the people of Russia, law enforcement agencies have engaged in the machinations of the Ministry of Defense only now, before this for years without paying attention to billions of dollars in embezzlement in the Ministry?
An indicative flogging is aimed at rehabilitating the image of the country’s leadership.
On February 25, Vladimir Putin gave a blow to the head of the Ministry of Regional Development Igor Slyunyaev. The President was outraged by the sharp rise in utility tariffs. Putin instructed to investigate the situation, which resulted in the dismissal of the Minister of Regional Development of Altai Yuri Sorokin, the Minister of Energy and Housing and Communal Services of the Murmansk Region Gennady Mikichura, and the Vice Governor of St. Petersburg Sergei Kozyrev. In these regions, tariff growth reached 225%.
The President of the Russian Federation himself at the mentioned meeting said that the rise in tariffs per year should not exceed 6%. The demonstrative struggle of the authorities with rising tariffs lasts a little longer: in December 2012, Slyunyaev forbade raising tariffs, in January 2012, Dmitry Medvedev gave the same order. Still, it looks like a tariff war, even with a strong fighter like Putin, will be futile..
Sergei Novikov, head of the federal service for tariffs, announced that it would not be possible to reduce tariffs, but payments would probably be reduced if the issue of reducing the cost of general house services was worked out. The same position is taken by Andrei Belousov, Minister of Economic Development, who said that tariffs for gas and electricity would not be reduced.
The president’s policy in recent years is similar to popularizing his image as a just defender of the people and a punitive right hand for unscrupulous officials. Just what is the trial against the Ministry of Defense and the scandal with overpricing at Olympic construction sites – all these issues were unexpectedly raised in record time. And then there are the tariffs, which the government could not cope with, and only thanks to the intervention of a tough but fair head of state, the guilty were immediately punished, and the previous prices were even restored in places..
Putin: “… enough to carry out audits”.
“Showdowns” in the presence of the president were arranged at the collegium of the Ministry of Defense on February 27, to which Putin was invited as Commander-in-Chief. This board was supposed to be held back in November 2012, but in view of the recent events with Serdyukov, it was postponed, apparently in order to collect maximum information about the criminal policy of the previous leadership of the ministry.
It turned out that the former minister was wrong not only when signing documents on the alienation of property worth billions of rubles, which was subsequently stolen, but also for 5 years led the wrong reform of the armed forces. However, the scandalous board did not work out. Still, how can you admit that the highest officials of the state have not seen the “lawlessness” happening in the ministry for many years?
Therefore, Vladimir Putin described everything that is happening as an erroneous path for the development of the military department, and, they say … there is nothing to fiddle with the old with constant revisions. We need to go the other way and continue not to make such mistakes – so the forgiving Commander-in-Chief concluded. Therefore, Sergei Shoigu will have to quietly disentangle what his predecessor has done. He is no stranger to dealing with emergencies..
In his speech, Shoigu stressed that sales of property are stopped, the liquidation of military camps and units has been suspended, and hospitals intended for “demolition” will be preserved. The department will also be engaged in the restoration of the destroyed military academies and schools. The buildings of educational institutions were plundered, sold out, and more than 100 thousand teachers were fired.
So far, we are talking about returning to work at least half of the dismissed teachers, about 55 thousand people. In addition, it will be necessary to find at an accelerated pace 317 billion rubles for the construction of housing for servicemen, the construction of more than half of which should have been completed a long time ago..