Staunton, May 7 – Four of the five new governors Vladimir Putin has named are graduates of his Governors School, a training academy that promotes both ideological uniformity among regional heads and the unity of the country’s political elite, according to Yevgeny Minchenko, a political consultant best known for his conception of “Politburo 2.0.”
In the past, he says, there was no such shared background among the new governors, something that made each appointment riskier as the Kremlin often could not know in advance exactly what the new regional heads thought and how they would perform once in office. But now the situation has become more predictable (ura.news/articles/1036284512).
Those selected for the Governors School and then chosen as governors have experience both in the regions and in the federal center, Minchenko says, arguing that the latter is critical because Moscow does not want to see any of its governors captured by regional elites even though such officials must be capable of working with them.
At the same time, he continues, governors must be able to quickly win the confidence of voters in the regions to which they are assigned, a quality that means elections remain important as another component of the Kremlin’s strategy of keeping its appointees to the regions from becoming too close to others in the regional elite.
Minchenko draws these conclusions on the basis of a close examination of the careers of the five new governors.