Staunton, February 2 – The decision of Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov to create “a Youth Government of the Republic,” the name he has given to a plan to identify through competition young people who can be groomed to assume power in the future, is calling attention to a broader move outside of Moscow.
Copying what Vladimir Putin has done with his cadres reserve, the leaders of a large number of federal subjects over the last month have created similar institutions, although none of the people involved in these have in fact yet been named to significant posts, according to journalist Anton Chablin (akcent.site/novosti/7073).
Kadyrov’s move has caught attention not only because of his special relationship with Vladimir Putin but also because the announcement of the competition for membership in this “Youth Government” coincided with his reported illness and widespread speculation that he might be leaving Grozny for another job in Moscow.
These institutions bear close watching for at least three reasons: First, the criteria used to select members of these bodies will signal where the Kremlin is heading not only in the regions but also at the center. Second, such institutions are likely to breed fears among current members of the elite and tensions between those selected and those not in the regions.
And third, and most ominously, the selection of such reserves across the country could set the stage for the kind of purge of existing officials that many have speculated Putin may soon want to carry out as part of his “transition” program. If successors have been identified, getting rid of those now in office will be all the easier.