Staunton, Jan. 21 – It is almost inevitable that any new leader will bring along with him people from his past; but in the case of Vladimir Putin, Igor Eidman says, the people he brought with him also brought the criminal subculture of the incompletely urbanized elements in the Northern Capital along with them and extended it to Russia as a whole.
This is the latest shift from one group of the population to another as the source of the rulers of Russia, the Russian commentator says. Before 1917, the aristocracy ruled Russia; then after that, it was run by professional revolutionaries until Stalin destroyed most of them and replaced them with those from the peasantry (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=63CE37DC097A2).
From the death of Stalin until the retirement of Yeltsin, with the brief exception of Andropov, Russia was ruled by peasants. But with the rise of Putin, they were replaced by the children of peasants who had moved from the village to the cities and who had lost the culture of the former without gaining the culture of the latter.
“Putin and many close to him (Sechin, Patrushev and so on) belong to the second generation of peasants who had moved to the city,” Eidman continues. “Their parents had lost peasant cultural habits but the culture of the city remained alien to them. And they could not transmit to their children in a full degree either the one or the other.”
According to the commentator, “the street replaced the family” and it became the place where the new Russian “’elite’” was educated, an elite that acquired its values not from the peasantry or the more fully urbanized population but from the criminal underground, first petty and then organized.
Since 2000, people with this background have come to form “not just the top of present-day organized crime … but also the leadership of the Putinist state. They did not inherit from their ancestors any stable cultural codes passed down from generation to generation but had those replaced by the understandings of the criminal world.”
Not surprisingly, he concludes, those understandings are what they live by and the basis of their formation of the policy of Russia today.