Writing in Moskovskiy komsomolets, Mikhail Rostovskiy examines the possibility that the government might be shaken up, or ministers turned into political human sacrifices in the runup to the December 4 Duma election.
We’ve been on this topic before when Aleksey Makarkin tiptoed around it, examining only the possibility that Defense Minister Serdyukov or Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova might be sacrificed to appease angry Russian voters.
About Serdyukov’s chances, Rostovskiy writes:
“Victim No. 4. They say that Defense Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov is not liked very much by his subordinates. On the other hand, they value him very much up above. Here they believe that Serdyukov is achieving what his predecessor Sergey Ivanov couldn’t manage. They say, for example, that under the current minister the real battle to introduce elementary administrative and financial order in the army began. Therefore I would rate Anatoliy Serdyukov’s chances of surviving a ritual ministerial sacrifice as high.”
Is Serdyukov better than Ivanov? Vote here.
Just to round it out, here’s Rostovskiy’s full list, from most to least likely to be sacrificed:
- Minister of Education and Science Andrey Fursenko
- Minister of Health and Social Development Tatyana Golikova
- Minister of Transportation Igor Levitin
- Minister of Defense Anatoliy Serdyukov
- Minister of Sports Vitaliy Mutko
- Minister of Internal Affairs Rashid Nurgaliyev
- Minister of Finance Aleksey Kudrin
What issues have brought Serdyukov political heat?
Most recently, the prime minister and government — Deputy PM, VPK Chairman, and Serdyukov predecessor Sergey Ivanov in particular — really want to tag the current defense minister with the GOZ-2011 mess.
The dustup between Serdyukov and the commander of the VDV training center at Seltsy last fall became a political faux pas for Anatoliy Eduardovich.
Last summer’s fires around military bases, and seemingly perpetual ammo dump explosions were and are weak points for the defense minister.
The bottom line is Serdyukov was always and remains part of Team Putin. He’ll see his fifth anniversary on the job early next year. What happens to him after the presidential election depends (obviously) on the outcome of the election. But he will probably find himself with a bigger, better, possibly somewhat less troublesome portfolio.