Monday, May 11, 2020

All Members of Putin Elite Now Feel Vulnerable, Dubov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 10 – Yuliy Dubov, a former general director of LogoVaz who left Russia after Boris Berezovsky, has lived in London for 18 years, and knows something about feeling less than fully secure, says that all members of the elite around Vladimir Putin now feel vulnerable, a change that has the potential to change politics as a whole.

            Dubov who attracted attention for his novel about that elite, The Big Slice, on which the film “The Oligarch” was based, tells Svetlana Branitskaya of the Snob portal that the suicide of Bosos and the subsequent arrest of Bykov suggest that the power vertical is weakening and that there is an intensified struggle for property much like in the 1990s (

            Nothing has really changed, not the people nor the system, the former oligarch says.  But what this also means is that now, as opposed to an early part of Putin’s reign, “there is no one or almost no one” among the elite “who doesn’t feel himself to be vulnerable.” And vulnerable people act differently as do those who know that others are vulnerable.

            “When fights for money begin in a small circle,” Dubov says, “this means that this process is not controlled. Yes, this is a weakness of the vertical above. The pandemic is likely one of the things that has contributed to this story. One can’t be involved in one and the same things without consequences.”

            The London-based Russian knew both Bosos and Bykov and many other members of the Putin elite. Branitskaya asks what he expects now.  Dubov says he hasn’t been there for 18 years and so finds it difficult to be very specific. “But if one looks at the trends,” then he suggests, the following playing out of this story seems likely.

            First, he says, there is likely to be “a sharp growth of unemployment to the level beyond even that of the 1990s or any other time. The amendments to the Constitution will be adopted. And I think that before 2024, there will be a change in the power in Russia. And this event will occur in not the best variant.”

            If he can see this, Dubov suggests, so too can those around Putin and so they are engaged in fighting to have as large a slice of the pie as possible before everything heads south. The new regime’s policies are impossible to predict fully. “But there is the likelihood that they will be hidden behind the use of police powers.”

            “Such risks exist, but there is also the possibility for change.”

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