Staunton, July 22 – This week marks the 25th anniversary of the formation of the Russian Presidential Administration, a shadowy structure that deserves the closest possible examination because it is “the CPSU Central Committee Secretariat of today,” the chief directing organization of the Kremlin, according to Irina Pavlova.
Vladimir Putin’s decision to greet the Presidential Administration on its 25th anniversary earlier this week (kremlin.ru/events/administration/52539) underscores, the US-based Russian historian says, that his form of rule traces its origins to Boris Yeltsin’s decree No. 13 of July 19, 1991 (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2016/07/25.html#more).
In fact, she says, it would be more appropriate to trace this institution back to 1922/1923 when Stalin, having become general secretary of the Bolshevik party, created an institution that continued until July 19, 1991 and then “was modernized first by Yeltsin and then in 2000 by Putin.” (On this structure, see kommersant.ru/include/inc-archive/materials/archive-material-newWind.asp?textPath=/documents/reforma.htm&textTitle=%20%C4%CE%CA%D3%CC%C5%CD%D2%20&id_arcdoc=10&year=2000).
But whatever organizational changes have been carried out, Pavlova says, “the essence of the activity of this organ has remained unchanged” – as the chief structure through which the head of the country exercises his control over the government and thus over the Russian Federation as a whole.
And that structural continuity, Pavlova says, is one of the chief reasons that she does not accept the arguments of those who predict an early end to Putinism or to some fundamental transformation of the Russian government after his time.
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