NEWSWATCH: “Can government reshuffles bring any hope for #Russia?” – bne Intellinews/Mark Galeotti
The unexpected removal of Sergei Ivanov … has inevitably created a frenzy of kremlinological speculation. A reshuffle is certainly underway … there is clearly some longer-term political goal. However, one aspect which has largely been neglected has been how this will affect the governance of #Russia in the short term, and the perennially any-day-now prospects of meaningful economic reform. … We do not, cannot know precisely what is going on. … * * * At best, so long as the tsar is in his heaven, Russia can hope for a slight amelioration of the present conditions. A little less wasteful geopolitical adventurism, a little more social provision, reining in the elite a touch, stressing the rule of law. * * * The real question to watch is whether, as usual, the masses have to pay for the avarice of the elites and the ambitions of the Kremlin, or whether the pain will be distributed a little more widely, and offset with any limited systemic change. Or else, all we will be seeing is the Titanic taking on a mid-cruise change of crew.