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Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Russia: Weekly Report (29.04–06.05)

This report describes the key events which significantly influenced Russia’s political, economic, and social processes.

Assessing the past week’s results, we determine the following trends:

  • Alexey Dyumin, Putin’s former bodyguard and a man repeatedly predicted to have a significant political future, may well move to a new position. It is still difficult to predict what kind of chair Putin has prepared for his favourite and confidant. But in Moscow they believe that Dyumin’s role will be one of the most important in the president’s circle. Last year, Dyumin was one of those who helped Putin put an end to the Prigozhin rebellion. Dyumin also seriously influences the processes in law enforcement agencies (his protégé Valery Flyustikov is the head of the Special Operations Forces of the Russian Federation; issues of creating and licensing new PMCs, etc., are resolved through Dyumin). Dyumin is closely connected with two antipodes – Boris Kovalchuk and Sergei Chemezov. That is why almost no one now questions Dyumin’s rise to power.
  • After the tragic events at Crocus City Hall, a wave of anti-Tajik sentiment swept across Russia. This led to a situational cooling of relations between Moscow and Dushanbe. Personal ties between Vladimir Putin and Emomali Rahmon have never been trusting and cloudless: Rahmon could always say uncomfortable things to Putin’s face, which happened more than once at international summits. However, in the current situation, both Tajikistan and Russia are interested in the speedy normalisation of relations since both states are closely tied to each other geopolitically and economically. The fact that Rakhmon agreed to participate in Putin’s inauguration and be present in Moscow on Victory Day shows that the conflict at this stage has been resolved.
  • Putin has a lot to thank the government for: Mishustin and his team maintained the Russian economy during the coronavirus pandemic and during the war with Ukraine (by rebuilding the economy on a war footing and minimising the negative consequences of sanctions). Thus, Putin made it clear that he was satisfied with the government’s activities and was ready to renew contracts with most of the previous cabinet members. The second part of the meeting was supposed to concern new appointments, but it was decided to postpone it to May 13. Thus, the intrigue with the appointment of new ministers may drag on: experience shows that Putin usually needs about ten days for this.

This report highlights the most relevant topics for Russia between the 29th of April and the 6th of May, namely:

1. Meeting with the Governor of the Tula region Alexey Dyumin;

2. Meeting on economic issues;

3. Telephone conversation with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon;

4. Meeting with members of the Government;

5. Summoning the ambassadors of France and the United Kingdom to the Foreign Ministry;

6. Exercises on the use of tactical nuclear weapons;

7. Putting several Ukrainian politicians on the wanted list.

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This report describes the key events which significantly influenced Russia’s political, economic, and social processes.

Assessing the past week’s results, we determine the following trends:

  • Alexey Dyumin, Putin’s former bodyguard and a man repeatedly predicted to have a significant political future, may well move to a new position. It is still difficult to predict what kind of chair Putin has prepared for his favourite and confidant. But in Moscow they believe that Dyumin’s role will be one of the most important in the president’s circle. Last year, Dyumin was one of those who helped Putin put an end to the Prigozhin rebellion. Dyumin also seriously influences the processes in law enforcement agencies (his protégé Valery Flyustikov is the head of the Special Operations Forces of the Russian Federation; issues of creating and licensing new PMCs, etc., are resolved through Dyumin). Dyumin is closely connected with two antipodes – Boris Kovalchuk and Sergei Chemezov. That is why almost no one now questions Dyumin’s rise to power.
  • After the tragic events at Crocus City Hall, a wave of anti-Tajik sentiment swept across Russia. This led to a situational cooling of relations between Moscow and Dushanbe. Personal ties between Vladimir Putin and Emomali Rahmon have never been trusting and cloudless: Rahmon could always say uncomfortable things to Putin’s face, which happened more than once at international summits. However, in the current situation, both Tajikistan and Russia are interested in the speedy normalisation of relations since both states are closely tied to each other geopolitically and economically. The fact that Rakhmon agreed to participate in Putin’s inauguration and be present in Moscow on Victory Day shows that the conflict at this stage has been resolved.
  • Putin has a lot to thank the government for: Mishustin and his team maintained the Russian economy during the coronavirus pandemic and during the war with Ukraine (by rebuilding the economy on a war footing and minimising the negative consequences of sanctions). Thus, Putin made it clear that he was satisfied with the government’s activities and was ready to renew contracts with most of the previous cabinet members. The second part of the meeting was supposed to concern new appointments, but it was decided to postpone it to May 13. Thus, the intrigue with the appointment of new ministers may drag on: experience shows that Putin usually needs about ten days for this.

This report highlights the most relevant topics for Russia between the 29th of April and the 6th of May, namely:

1. Meeting with the Governor of the Tula region Alexey Dyumin;

2. Meeting on economic issues;

3. Telephone conversation with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon;

4. Meeting with members of the Government;

5. Summoning the ambassadors of France and the United Kingdom to the Foreign Ministry;

6. Exercises on the use of tactical nuclear weapons;

7. Putting several Ukrainian politicians on the wanted list.

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