NewsPutin grooms inner circle for regime succession amid shake-ups

Putin grooms inner circle for regime succession amid shake-ups

Earthquake in Russia. Is Putin already preparing successors?
Earthquake in Russia. Is Putin already preparing successors?
Jakub Artych

18 June 2024 10:44

Experts from the Institute for the Study of War have learned that Vladimir Putin is trying to prepare regime successors from among his close relatives and the children of officials.

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suggests that Russian leader Vladimir Putin is trying to prepare potential successors to his regime from among his children and relatives and the children of other high-ranking Russian officials.

Putin's plan began by dismissing several deputy defence ministers - Nikolai Pankov, Ruslan Tsalikov, Tatyana Shevtsova, and General of the Army Pavel Popov.

Their successors are Deputy Defense Ministers Anna Tsivileva and Pavel Fradkov, while Leonid Gornin was appointed First Deputy Defense Minister.

Anna Tsivileva, Putin's cousin, is the chairwoman of the Kremlin-supported Foundation for Defenders of the Fatherland. Earlier in 2019, she served as a member of the Council for Trusteeship in the Social Sphere under the Russian government.

Leonid Gornin, on the other hand, has extensive experience in finance, having served as First Deputy Finance Minister since May 2018 and Deputy Finance Minister from 2012–2018. From 2010 to 2018, he also held the Minister of Finance and Tax Policy position of the Novosibirsk Region.

Putin’s recent appointments highlight a trend of placing economists in high positions within the Russian Ministry of Defense. This change was marked by replacing Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu with former First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov on 12 May.

Furthermore, on 20 May, former Russian Deputy Defense Minister, Colonel General Yuri Sadovenko, was replaced by Oleg Saleev, a former Deputy Minister of Economy and Auditor of the Federation Council’s Audit Chamber.

ISW notes that these appointments suggest that Putin is prioritizing the appointment of officials he considers loyal to the regime and economists to improve Russia's defense industrial base.

Vladimir Putin's rule the longest in the country's history

Vladimir Putin has been the President of Russia since 1999. From 2008 to 2012, he held the position of Prime Minister. In Russia's modern history, he is among the longest-ruling leaders. He has already surpassed, among others, Leonid Brezhnev (6,601 days) and Nikita Khrushchev (4,232 days). He has also left far behind Boris Yeltsin, whom he succeeded as president and who ruled for just under 3,000 days.

Only Joseph Stalin remains ahead of Vladimir Putin. The dictator held power from 1924 to 1953 (until his death), which was 10,635 days. Interestingly, if Vladimir Putin completes his current term (which lasts until 2030), he will surpass one of the most brutal tyrants in human history and his great role model, which he does not hide.

Putin's rule until 2030 would make him the longest-ruling leader of Russia since the 18th century. Ahead of him is only Catherine the Great, who reigned from 1762 to 1796.

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