In other countries this would be a minor event, however in Russia the real role of this body is higher than that of the government and parliament
The presidential administration (AP) is awaiting resignation and new appointments. The changes are not particularly significant - the new leadership was formed quite recently, following the results of the parliamentary election campaign in 2016. But vacancies also opened in the AP: for example, after the departure of Konstantin Chuichenko, the post of the head of the control department was vacated in the government. This post was once occupied by Vladimir Putin himself.
In addition, it is expected that several leading employees (such as Vladislav Surkov) will be dismissed, who also have to be replaced by someone. The role and importance of administration in the current design of power can not be overemphasized, and therefore it is worthwhile to take a closer look at its activities.
How the AP got power
When in 1991 the Russian government suddenly became the legal successor of the USSR, and that, accordingly, disappeared, it turned out that Boris Yeltsin did not have a corresponding apparatus to run a huge country. The government of Burbulis-Gaidar was focused on reforming the economy and solving urgent problems of survival. And even its leaders did not have any managerial experience.
As a result, a huge workload was placed on the newly organized administration of the president under the leadership of Yuri Petrov, the old comrade-in-arms of Yeltsin from the Urals. Both Yeltsin and Petrov were old party workers and, accordingly, saw in the AP an analogue of the Central Committee of the CPSU. The presidential administration was initially created in the image and likeness of the main party organ.
A feature of the Central Committee was that the committee was, as it were, needed by all authorities, not officially entering their system. All before him were accountable, and the Central Committee of all controlled. But the Central Committee did not substitute for ministries and departments, its main tool was staff selection. The Central Committee was approved by several thousand leaders who were part of the nomenclature.
The presidential administration gradually regained such authority in regional politics. The selection of governors and tracking the situation on the ground is a direct prerogative of the AP. Another question is that the AP can not, like the Central Committee, select personnel for ministries. In this sense, the presidential administration does not have the power of the Central Committee, which through the administrative department conducted appointments in the army, the KGB, the Interior Ministry, the prosecutor's office and the courts.
But in the absence of real political competition, the administration plays an important role in the political and public life of the country. In other countries, the "ruling belt" is the ruling party, its apparatus, the faction in the parliament. It is there that bills are born, a development strategy is defined, and parameters of the current and prospective policy are set.
Why does the work of the AP contradict the law
In Russia, not parties form the power, and the power creates a party of the name of itself and allows it to function to "opposition" parties. Therefore, it is not surprising that the AP in its present form, in addition to the tasks to ensure the vital activity of the head of state (in which it coincides with similar institutions in other countries, say, in the US or in France), is a political headquarters. It is there that solve the tasks that parties abroad are engaged in.
It is impossible to imagine that the Washington White House formulated the goals of the election campaign, called from it staffs for propaganda and agitation. One such call - and a new "Watergate" is ready.
In the US, for taxpayer funds, officials can not help any party or challenger. A call on government communications or the use of official vehicles and there is a similar violation. In the apparatus of the White House, by the way, there is not even a government that would be responsible for working with the states.
In Russia, we are so used to the established order of things that no one seems strange to the interference of officials in the electoral and political process. As the various governors repeatedly said: "In Russia there is only one politician - the president". Based on this thesis, the current functions of the AP are not unacceptable.
Who works in the presidential administration?
Part of the AP are numerous assistants and advisers to the president. As a rule, they become either retired ministers and other senior officials, or third-party "experts." The first, in fact, duplicate the profile ministers. In the United States, the aides and advisers to the president on economics (there are several of them in different statuses) appear to be purely experts and do not try to substitute cabinet members.
The current head of the AP Anton Vaino became one of the youngest leaders in her entire history. He belongs to the post-Soviet generation of managers. Vaino, by his origin, is not part of Putin's informal inner circle, although he can not help communicating closely with the president. In the administration of Boris Yeltsin, too, were such. For example, Sergei Filatov was a sort of commissar from the "democrats" and also was not close to the head of state, just like Nikolai Bordyuzha and Alexander Voloshin.
Vaino reminds the last two. The same significant difference in age with the president, excluding spiritual intimacy, and the same hypostasis of the executive technocrat. Only if Bordyuzha and Voloshin acted in an unstable era, when there was a bitter political struggle, then Vaino is the product of a calm, stable, predictable era. No wonder all the "political" was given to a much older Sergei Kiriyenko, the first man who once visited the head of government.
In its current form, the president's administration can remain indefinitely long if there are no political shakes and challenges. Now AP is not intended for crisis management, and the next six years of Putin do not imply sharp changes and crises.
But by the end of the last term of the incumbent president, the question of successor will be urgent. And then the AP can undergo significant changes - the same as that which occurred in the last year of Boris Yeltsin's rule. At that time, the presidential administration was a kind of combat headquarters, in a manual mode, who ruled Russia and fought with the Luzhkov clan.