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SOURCE RUSSIA! magazine
WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Stanislav Belkovsky Foundation named key Russian government and media conflicts of 2013 in a report presented in Washington, D.C. and released today by RUSSIA! magazine.
Stanislav Belkovsky, well-known political analyst, provided a detailed account of topics which were covered in the Russian media in 2013 and which, in his opinion, would shape Russian politics in 2014. Belkovsky presented the report to a US audience at the Heritage Foundation in January.
According to Belkovsky, some of the key conflicts of 2013 included a prelude to a likely dismissal of Dmitry Medvedev's government, firing Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov over corruption allegations, the Magnitsky List and its role in relations between Russia and the US, actions by opposition politician Alexei Navalny and the attempt to dismiss Russian Railways President and CEO Vladimir Yakunin. Moreover, most of these events are interconnected.
Belkovsky states in his report that modern Russian politics is largely defined by the battle of clans, and that all major political and business shifts are controlled by those clans. For example, he sees the likely dismissal of current Prime Minister and former President Dmitry Medvedev as inevitable, because practically all clans stand to gain from it, and each of the clans is connected with a personal friend and close ally of the current president Vladimir Putin.
Belkovsky tends to connect even the actions of influential opposition politician and well-known critic of the Kremlin Alexei Navalny with the interests of the clans. He believes that Navalny's media attack against Yakunin was timed to coincide with the actions by one of the Kremlin clans which was interested in seeing Yakunin fired and very nearly successful in organizing his dismissal (the news of which was broadcast by government-controlled media, but retracted after last-minute emergency negotiations between Yakunin and Putin).
Belkovsky also notes the Magnitsky List and the associated "Magnitsky Bill" recently signed into law in the US (which lists Russian government officials responsible, in the opinion of the US Congress, for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, former attorney of Hermitage Capital) and the chances of being added to the list or guarantees of being excluded from it has become a potent tool to influence the Russian government and business elites not only in the hands of Hermitage Capital core shareholder Bill Browder, but also Russian politicians for whom supporting Browder and discrediting Putin's regime could be possible goals.
"Kremlinology is in demand once again. Previously, it was used to analyze and interpret the tiny morsels of information seeping through the Iron Curtain. And now it has become an instrument for reading the mind of Vladimir Putin. Belkovsky is a top-flight Kremlinologist, and we are happy to get a window on his analysis," RUSSIA! Magazine Communications Director Greg King said. The full text of the Belkovsky Foundation report is available from the magazine's website.
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