Thursday, June 16, 2016

Is Russia Becoming Polarised Between Liberals And Security Hawks?

Reuters

Lauren Goodrich, Stratfor: Putin's Choice

Russian President Vladimir Putin stands at a fork in the road. The crises and responsibilities the country faces hang in a precarious balance. As Russia's economic recession drags on, prolonged by Western sanctions and dreary oil prices, inflation has skyrocketed, wages are tumbling and the poverty rate is growing at a pace not seen since the 1998 financial crisis. Limited military campaigns in eastern Ukraine and Syria have stirred up nationalism, enabling the government to maintain its popularity. Meanwhile, NATO forces are building up near Russia's borders, mounting pressure on the Russian military.

For much of his more than 16 years in power, Putin has remained a centrist, by Russian standards. He sits neither in the radically liberal reformist camp nor among the rabid security hawks, but somewhere in between, cherry-picking policies from each side to suit the situation. Over the years, Putin has employed a variety of strategies that run the political gamut. But in the years to come, this centrist approach — vacillating between strategies while attempting to maintain a balance — will no longer be effective. Polarized camps in the Kremlin, and among the Russian public, are urging the Russian leader to change tack.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: Russian politics ..... that is the number one question that I am always asked when it comes to Russia. My answer .... at the moment the liberal wing has the advantage .... and their backing comes from the middle class and small to medium businesses. These people are the backbone of the country, and where they go is where the country will go. Their disadvantage is that they lack a leader who can present a unified front against the more "hawkish" wing within the Kremlin ... who will have their own agenda and leader. My prediction .... a liberal leader will come forward .... but don't ask me when. The "hawkish wing" has a lot of influence .... but they lack public support. Their support comes from the military, the bureaucracy, the church, and the oligarchs. What they lack in numbers is compensated by their unity and the resources available at their disposal. Who will replace Putin is the number one question on their minds right now .... but the problem is that they lack a mini-younger Putin in the background .... and I do not think they will be able to find one when Putin finally retires from the political scene (willingly or unwillingly). My prediction .... Putin will win the Presidency in 2018 (with about 55% of the vote) .... but he will not be on the ballot for the Presidential election in 2024 .... and that election is where the fireworks will happen.

12 comments:

RRH said...

And what of the working Russian?

Which side will they take? Many, if not most, seem to support Putin.

I could be wrong here, but I don't see them tracking liberal.

Jay Farquharson said...

"liberal" parties garner at best 10-11% of the Russian vote, the Communists are almost 3x more popular.

Daniel said...

I imagine they'll need to find one closer to 2024. Personally I think they can always just draft an existing hyped up liberal leader as well. Navalny is practically auditioning for "deep state puppet". So's Khodorkovsky, though he'd need to make a proper political comeback first.

Daniel said...

And you don't need popular support to be in power. That can be manufactured easily enough anyway when you really need it. They got this down to rote by now.

Jay Farquharson said...

Kordorkovsky is in exile, and will be the rest of his life, Nalvany clouldn't ever get more than 27% running for the Mayor of Moscow, and will be in jail again soon.

Peacelover said...

It is never to late for President Putin to decide to appeal to all factions, internal as well as international. A great leader, would become truly beloved if he embraced peace. Then he would be welcomed by all into 2024. Let the Russian people liberalize.

Jay Farquharson said...

The West's current involvements directly in 14 failed yet ongoing wars,( the oldest over 35 years ongoing), 28 ongoing "military actions" ( small wars) and support for Islamic Jihad, belies the concept that The West has any interest in peace.

In that same timeframe, Russia has been involved in only 6 "wars" and military actions, 2 of them internal.

http://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/2124391




War News Updates Editor said...

I should have made myself more clearer. I am talking about the internal politics of the United Russia Party .... the political party that Putin is a member of .... and my focus is on the faction within the party that will come on top.

Putin's coalition is broad-based and when I say liberal .... the Russian definition is different to what is the definition of a liberal is in the West. For simplicity .... let us just say that it is the rank and file and support base of the United Russia Party that is not in tune with what the Kremlin hawks are promoting .... nor are they interested in the Communists or the outside small and traditional liberal parties. In short .... it is within the United Russia Party that the future of Russia is going to be decided and where the battle for votes and support is going to occur. These two factions .... those who want to maintain the current status quo with a heavy national security agenda, and those who want to focus more on reforming the economy/legal system/Russia's position in the world .... is where the battle lines are being drawn. For the moment all sides are supporting Putin .... and will support him in 2018 .... but everyone is now positioning themselves for after Putin, and sniping at him (as well as sniping at each other) is now par for the course. My prediction .... they will find a consensus candidate .... it will either be current Prime Minister Medvedev, or someone like him but slightly more "liberal".

Jay .... communist support floats around 25% .... and it is weak .... very weak. They are the second largest political party in Russia .... but much of that support is an anti-Putin vote, not a pro-Communist vote. Also .... who and what the Communist Party is in Russia today bears no resemblance to the ideology and goals of the former Soviet Communist Party. Case in point .... they are the biggest supporters that I know of for creating the right economic environment for small to medium size business to prosper and grow. Whether or not they stick to their word should they come to power is of course another story.

Peacemaker said...

I am in total agreement that the US is and has been involved in to many wars and too much surveillance, and all the rest. But I wonder what would be the status quo of an 'uninvolved' world without various diplomatic and force projections by US, Canada, and other modern democracies. I feel your hate for the US. and all the wrong it has done. Much of the feelings and views many of you express, I once held, just as staunchly.

I am puzzled that many of you don't sense that without this 'bare balance' against the worst expressions of humanity, that all of us rights rich and materially privileged souls typing our feelings and expressing our differences would be cowering and silent under many presently expanding regimes.

Because I am an optimist and we must offer hope in the world, I believe President Putin feels a desire to open up and relax into his and Russias rightful position, as an international statesmen. The world needs this 'peacemaker', Putin. Not posturing and playing the Europeans, but sincere work toward cohabitation of Earth. No one wants to diminish Russia, overthrow Russia or change the governing of Russia for that matter. History, culture and even the freedoms each of us share here in the West would not be possible without Russia. I have never seen anything pointing to such a wish by Western Powers in the last 4 decades.

Peace is what we all need. Where am I wrong. Thanks for your response.

Jay Farquharson said...

It helps if you read the links.

Jay Farquharson said...

Yup, WNU Editor, you need to be more "clear".

A few of "us" are aware that the Russia United coeltion have diverging views,

Western Media however is for the most part Putin, Putin, Putin.

War News Updates Editor said...

So true Jay. Putin Putin Putin non stop. It is like Donald Trump Donald Trump Donald Trump all the time .... but Donald Trump is not America and not Washington, just as Putin is not Moscow and Russia.