Putin’s “most dangerous rival”

The Russian Prime Minister has finally found an opponent worthy of putting up a true fight.


In a series of articles published in major Russian newspapers, Putin’s contender attacks the current government on its’ past failures.  It also lays out a vision of Russia's future, covering all the major issues.


Titled "Building Justice. Russia's Social Policy," the latest article warns that if the demographic decline is not turned around, Russia's population will shrink to 107 million by 2050, down from 143 million today. But with the new, "comprehensive strategy" proposed by the author of the article, the population should grow up to 154 million within the same period.


The first of the articles was published in Izvestiya on January 16th, and dealt with the major challenges Russia is facing now. The next article was released in Nezavisimaya Gazeta a week later to focus on ‘the national question’. The third and fourth articles in Kommersant focused on Russia’s economic development and democracy.


On corruption, the issue that most infuriates the country, the author is scathing. “The problem is much more profound [than that of individual corruption] - it comes from the lack of transparency and accountability of government agencies to society ...


"Teenagers who in the runaway 1990s dreamed of becoming oligarchs, are now opting in their droves for a career as a civil servant...Many see this as a route to quick and easy money".


All these challenges to Russia’s development can be overcome, says the writer, only through more political competition, real rule of law, openness and transparency.


The articles unveil what looks like a carefully crafted election program. But who’s the mysterious author of the biting critiques? Well, it’s none other than Mr Putin himself – the great architect and the guardian of the system he methodically built over the past 12 years.


What is the strategy behind publishing these articles? Can Mr Putin truly become a credible alternative to the system he created himself?  Igor Bunin, a political scientist at the Center of Political Technologies, shares his insights


Listen here:

Comments or opinions expressed on this blog are those of the individual contributors only, and do not necessarily represent the views of FRANCE 24. The content on this blog is provided on an "as-is" basis. FRANCE 24 is not liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the content or use of this blog.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • No HTML tags allowed

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.