Russia: ‘The Russian people are to choose my successor’ – Putin
Has Putin decided on his successor?
According to some, recent events indicate that Defense Minister Shoigu may be trying for this role.
MOSCOW – By the standards of Vladimir Putin, everything was rather modest. He didn’t ride a horse with a naked torso and didn’t save the film crew from a tigress supposedly out of nowhere that appeared in the forest..
On the eve of his 67th birthday, the Russian leader came to nature in Siberia, where he seemed to look more like a brooding person than someone ready to go for something new, which contrasted with his previous birthdays..
Accompanied by 64-year-old Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and reporters from state media, Putin picked mushrooms and talked from a hill overlooking the Yenisei.
Is Putin preparing his country for change? Or he his assistants used his birthday as an excuse to once again make people wonder?
This is not the first time the defense minister has been vacationing with Putin in Siberia, but this time it happened a few days after the usually taciturn head of the military department gave the first extensive interview in seven years, in which he praised Putin’s role in the revival of the Russian armed forces..
According to polls, Shoigu is second only to Putin in terms of his popularity, and some believe that he seemed to be interviewed – either in order to replace Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, or even with the expectation of a future presidency.
Others took the combination of the interview and the mountain walk as a sign that Shoigu had already been selected to succeed Putin..
Or is it the Kremlin that wants people to think so, although in fact the decision has not yet been made?
The author of We Need To Talk About Putin, Mark Galeotti, in a series of articles for the Dutch website Raam op Rusland, admits that it is difficult to judge Putin’s intentions, given that his management style is “evasive , hints and rumors “.
The result, he said, is systemic problems, since “no long-term political strategy can be devised” until Putin decides whether he will stay or leave..
Kremlin insider in an interview with Voice of America said he suspects that Putin has not yet made a decision.
“Why would he? He has two or three more years, “he said..
It is believed that in addition to Shoigu, others are trying for a big role. Among them is the Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin.
Previously, Putin seemed to be encouraging – whether deliberately or not – power struggles by curbing rivals. Maybe this is what Putin is doing now, encouraging rivals to prove themselves, only to put them in their place?