Tag Archives: nikolai petrov

DomoDEADovo Exposes Putin’s Failure

Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Center, writing in the Moscow Times:

Last week’s horrifying terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport that killed 35 people should serve as a wake-up call to the public. The suicide bombing reveals the unpreparedness of government officials at all levels to deal with attacks and their inability to mount an appropriate response. President Dmitry Medvedev singled out airport security staff for their inability to avert the disaster, although they were only the last of several agencies that failed to do their jobs. Although airport security could stand to make some straightforward improvements, that is hardly the main problem. The same argument applies to the transportation police, where Medvedev made several high-profile dismissals in the wake of the attack.

The authorities fail to learn the right lessons from their failures like inept generals who stick to the same strategy after losing battles. By requiring everyone entering the airport to pass through a metal detector, the Domodedovo security staff has created a thick crowd in front of the airport. The next explosion could take place there, or in any one of the countless locations in the capital where large throngs of people gather.

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EDITORIAL: Medvedevy the No-Man


Medvedevy the No-Man

The speech is so linguistically tentative, it’s like listening to an excruciatingly polite adjunct professor who is unsure of his material and scared his students don’t like him.


That was Moscow Times linguistic expert Michele Berdy on the most recent state-of-the-union speech by Russian “president” Dima Medvedev, the man the Wikileaks diplomatic leak documents refer to as “Robin” to Vladimir Putin’s “Batman.”

Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Center was even more brutal in his condemnation of the speech.

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Putin is Exterminating Russia’s Mayors

Nikolai Petrov, writing in the Moscow Times:

In its ongoing attempt to transform the political landscape, the government has been stepping up efforts to replace directly elected mayors with nominees from among State Duma deputies — who themselves are put in office not by voters in the districts they represent but as appointees from party lists.

This process has spread to a number of major cities. The direct election of mayors has been canceled in Nizhny Novgorod, Chelyabinsk, Ulyanovsk and Penza. The vote has also been canceled in cities that never even held direct elections, such as Ufa and Saratov as well as in Kazan, where direct elections had been expected to start. Under discussion now is the cancellation of the elections in Yekaterinburg, Perm and Volgograd, among others. According to various estimates, the direct election of mayors has been canceled in a third to half of all municipalities already.

Governors, who are appointed, and United Russia functionaries share a common interest in this change. Incumbent mayors have even given their support in return for assurances that they can remain in office.

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The Hollow Fraud called Putin

Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Center, writing in the Moscow Times:

On April 9, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin spoke in Novosibirsk at the first of eight planned United Russia conferences in the regions. This might have marked the beginning of the party’s campaign for the State Duma elections in 2011, as well as the start of Putin’s own bid for the 2012 presidential race. Putin devoted his talk to the development of a strategy for the social and economic development of every region of Russia.

Putin’s plan for the regions is neither an analysis of their problems nor a proposal for solving them. On the contrary, Putin generally avoids referring to specific problems, and even when he does mention them he prefers to talk about outdated problems from the Soviet era.

Putin’s new “strategic plan” is an attempt to avoid the pitfalls of “Strategy 2020,” a vague and often utopian plan that was reminiscent of former Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s five-year and 10-year plans. Unfortunately, the differences between all of these plans are hard to discern.

The new plan lacks a common logic, and several parts come off as nothing more than empty rhetoric. According to Putin’s approach, regional development should be based on the following principles:

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Once again, to consolidate Dictatorship Putin Ignores Constitution

Nikolai Petrov, writing in the Moscow Times:

Last week, a precedent was set in which a governor initiated the process of removing an elected mayor from office. It happened in the Perm region, well known for its active political and civil life. It was there that Governor Oleg Chirkunov called for the removal of Yury Vostrikov, the mayor of the city of Chaikovsky. (Chirkunov was never elected to his post, having been appointed in 2004 to replace his predecessor, Yury Trutnev, who left to become natural resources minister.) An amendment to the federal law on local government proposed by President Dmitry Medvedev and passed in May served as the legal basis for the move.

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