Tag Archives: Dmitry Rogozin

Vladislav Surkov – Doctor Spin of Pussy Riot scandal ?

According to a statement posted on the website of the Moscow government, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov was appointed as curator also on the relationship of authorities  with religious organizations. In fact, he was returned to a task which had taken in June by his cabinet colleague, minister Olga Golodets. I said, “also on the relationship …” because I think that Surkov himself, put in a situation to quickly mention which are his responsibilities, would be in trouble. 😀 Innovation, mass-media, statistics, government policies in the sphere of justice or culture, and responsibility for the smooth running of the whole administrative machinery of government are just some of the areas that the former (!?) gray eminence of the Kremlin supervises in Medvedev‘s government .

Russian media see the return of Surkov to the desk conductor of relations with religious organizations as rather an attempt by authorities to manage the scandal produced by the group Pussy Riot girls, scandal that seems to have exceeded the standard of public attention expected by authorities. In other words, the prime minister decided to entrust to Doctor Spin, a professional of Power’s propaganda (“master puppeteer“, as called billionaire Prokhorov) the mission to repair (somehow) extremely wrinkled image of the Kremlin, both  – internally and externally. Especially abroad, where many leaders of the international community declared themselves bad impressed or condemning directly (such as the U.S. State Department and U.S. Embassy in Moscow) disproportionately response of state institutions to the protest of young punk girls against Putin.

In fact, I ask: even were these girls (and their unconventional protest like saying obscene insults in a church – even being the most famous cathedral in Moscow) a real problem for Putin’ system and an unthinkable blasphemy for the Russian Church ? Most likely not. I think that overly zealous reactions (with the tacit agreement of the Kremlin) of some politically subservient institutions, full of corrupt officials, ready to anything to appeal to country’s leaders, led to a disproportionately reaction of the public on social networks or journalists from media and resulted was an infantile snowball that has grown into a veritable avalanche that may sweep all in its way, including Medvedev’s post as prime minister.

When the part of some illustrious unknown – I mean of course the girls from Pussy Riot – intervene stars like Madonna or Sting, the media battle seems as lost. Licentious and ironic statements like that of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin only will make the things worse. Do not judge how justified or not, Mr. Rogozin noted (for readers less knowledgeable on the chronology of the scandal – after the concert in Moscow, when during the show Madonna donned a balaclava mask and had a «tattoo» with Pussy Riot band name written on her back in black ink – to demonstrate her support of three girls), Deputy Rogozin acidic commented on his Twitter account that “Every former w. with age seeks to lecture everyone on morals” with direct reference to the gesture of American artist). Rogozin did not accuse Madonna directly in his tweet , but the timing left no room for doubt – all Russian media understood the statement as an attack on Madonna and the shortened epithet was unanimously deciphered as whore. But notice that in terms of communication was a mistake, which transferred to girls from Pussy Riot the sympathy of thousands of fans of Madonna. And expanded a old discussion about the right of the Church to be a moral court. Of course, personally I am among those who acknowledge the lack of decency and exaggerated exhibitionist gesture of three young girls . But from there to make them as some proscribed of the society and condemned to years in prison (to pressure more or less visible representatives of the Church) seems unthinkable for XXI century and for Russia that wants to became a model of modern society, at least at regional level. I think that beyond the political options, Spin Doctor Surkov fully understand this and believe that we will not hear that “Devil has sent the girls from Pussy Riot to divide Russia”, even though – according to his own views – “God sent Putin to save Russia”.

At the same time Vedomosti daily, citing government sources, believes that the Surkov’s return of this post is a response to “the difficult situation of the Russian Orthodox Church leaders.” There were many accusations well known that have hovered in the recent months on Patriarch Kirill autority, the attitude of obedience and support declared of Vladimir Putin or  about his acttraction for a very expensive lifestyle and in real contradiction to what the doctrine teaches Russian people. To these are added a series of corruption scandals involving religious side. Also, the other level of the problems caused by religious mix of Russia, there were a lot of attacks by insurgents from the Islamic republics of religious leaders of Muslim communities, of which one of these attacks last month ended with the death of a Muslim leader. Moreover, in the Chechnya (where long time led with an iron hand the friend of Vice-PM Surkov, Ramzan Kadyrov), are signs to restore the power of Islamic insurgents.

PS: As expected, the Russian Church reacted immediately after the appointment of Vladislav Surkov as knows best. Thus, the Archpriest Vselovod Chaplin, head of the Synodal Department Church and Relations Society told Interfax that “Vladislav Yurievich is a top intellectual and creative person in the true sense of the word. It is interesting and pleasant to work with him”, adding that the short break from June to August makes his return to be very expected. No Muslims were inferior with the statements. Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzayev told journalists from Interfax that he was glad to hear of this appointment because “Surkov is a remarkable politician and a wise man, well aware of our problems and which knows how to take the best decisions for strengthening interreligious and ethnic peace.” Watching the President Putin’s reaction on the image above (original video can be seen here), without intent to compete with the Vice PM Rogozin sharp tongue, I think that Surkov has good reason to buy a pair of durable gloves. Or shoes, as the case. Is it not right, Vladislav Yurievich?

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Russia will have its own Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

Romanian version here.

Russian State Duma approved a proposal to establish an organization responsible for research and development in military technology – Foundation for Advanced Research (FAR). Institution that will meet the dual-purpose: research, the project initiation and implementation of research results can be considered a namesake/counterpart of the famous U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – (DARPA) or like a Military Skolkovo with research in cybernetics and information technology, finding new materials and working techniques, equipment, weapons and military technology, energy, bio-medicine, nano-technology, nuclear technique.
New institution, even if has an uncertain time-line to materialize, will be designed to stimulate the development of weapons field and helps to streamline the procurement process of arms from Russia. The proposal came from the Russian Foundation for research in Advanced Defense Industry and was exposed to officials of Duma by the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, known as responsible for the supervise running of the Russian military-industrial complex. “The main aim of this foundation is to eliminate a gap in our advanced research beside Western partners, after 20 years of stagnation in the whole Russian military science and defense industry” said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin in his speach in front of the Russian parliament, quoted by RIA Novosti.
Rogozin added that the new agency will initially employ 100-150 of experts to monitor on medium and long term “high risk” on research and development projects of Russian defense firms and scientific institutions.
We note that the Russian government plans to spend over 20 billion rubles (614 billion dollars) for procurement of advanced military equipment by 2020. Even before his investiture as Prime Minister in May, Dmitry Medvedev gave assurances that there is money to be invested exclusively for research and acquisition of technology and advanced equipment and to rebuild infrastructure that in turn should to ensure the modernization of Russia’s military-industrial complex. Recently, faced with the heated debate on the adoption of the new budget, the Russian Prime Minister became more reserved. However, I cannot note that the new “Predator science and technology” – as it was called by the Vice PM Rogozin, still lacks a clearly allocated budget (it knows only that will be financed by the Russian state) and its establishment proposal comes amid the controversies existing on the need to reduce military spending. Moreover, it remains unclear of which ministry will subordinate this institution (which will bring together researchers from various fields, inventors from top, military experts, qualified technical staff) – aspects that makes a good project into a nightmare because of bureaucracy of Russian state institutions. All it known at this point is the General Manager of the FAR will be appointed by the president and board of directors will have an equal number of delegates from the presidency and government. Dmitry Rogozin said that the funding for research and implementation of over 150 projects that already are in the FAR portfolio will come from the National Defense Program budget. But experts point out that that program will end in 2020, which means that security of financing for projects with far-reaching is almost nonexistent. Many voices have praised the existence of a institution similar to DARPA, but noted that DARPA reports directly to the Pentagon’s US and is limited to research, while the FAR seems to be just an institution designed to reduce the duties and powers of the Ministry of Defence and expanded research and implementation status of research results made it look at least at this time a type of ostrich-camel with little chance to function effectively and quickly adapt to existing requirements and technological advances of Western partners. However, it is good to remember that since coming to the helm of the military-industrial complex of Russia, Dmitry Rogozin said he would uses all his experience gained from Western partners to reform Russia’s defense industry. In a visit (in May 2012) in the Sverdlovsk region, Rogozin also said bluntly that Russia will not proceeds like China and do not blindly copying Western models, but will have to develop by the ideas and technologies developed by itself. If it will succeed, only the future can tell us.

Russia’s President Medvedev names Kremlin strategist Surkov deputy PM

The continuous moving within the Presidential Administration of the Kremlin and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin subordinated team.

A Kremlin aide who played a key role in helping Vladimir Putin craft his tightly controlled political system was moved to a senior government job on Tuesday by President Dmitry Medvedev. Medvedev appointed Kremlin first deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov as a deputy prime minister, and appointed Deputy Prime Minister Vyacheslav Volodin in his place, Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalia Timakova said. Remember that the last week Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov was appointed Head of Presidential Administration.

Surkov’s appointment was preceded by the return on Russian politics stage of the Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin. The duty of Mr Rogozin as vice-premier will be the management of Russian military-industrial complex.

PS: Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) chief, Colonel General Alexander Shlyakhturov, has stepped down on grounds of age. His successor is Major General Igor Sergun.