Monday, April 25, 2022

Both the Siloviki and the Oligarchs May Be Swept Away in the Coming Struggle for Power, Grashchenkov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 15 – Most analysis of the current situation at the top of the Russian political pyramid assumes that the future of Russia will depend on whether the force structures or the economic elites will come out the winner, but there is a very real possibility, Ilya Grashchenkov says, that both will lose out to others.

            The reasons for that are obvious, the president of the Moscow Center for the Development of Regional Policy says. They are rooted in the fact that neither group has developed close ties with the population or come up for programs designed to promote its betterment (

            Instead, each has pursued its own narrow interests, the first in immediate control of the country and the second in gaining wealth for itself, and thus may be swept aside by new political forces that are able to combine the functions of these two groups with the important one of linking power and population to develop the country.

            That of course is what a revolution does, but Grashchenkov stops short of saying that or specifying what this new group of potential rulers might look like. But his insight is important: Often in Russian history, the outcome of the struggle for power often ends not in the victory of one of the participants but in the coming to power of someone else.

            Who that might be is unclear, but he is certainly right to suggest that analysts should be alive to the possibility that those on whom they are placing their bets for and against today may not prove to be the ones who will matter. After all, before it happened, no one expected the Bolsheviks to come to power when they did or the so-called Russian democrats 74 years later.

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