What will Putin's fourth term look like for Russia

The inauguration of the president will be held on May 7 at 12:00. The new term of Vladimir Putin will be the starting point for the renewal of the political system in the country, observers already routinely assume. In the previous terms, the reforms were tight.
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The inauguration of Vladimir Putin inevitably raises the question of what kind of policy the Kremlin expects us in the next six years. But guessing about it will be possible only after the formation of a new government, its first decisions and the first (symbolic) presidential decrees.

But that's what will happen - and not at the will of the first person - so this is the replacement in the coming years of the party elite. Zhirinovsky, Zyuganov Yavlinsky and Mironov have already worked out their natural resource: the politicians of the nineties and two thousand have grown old. They will be replaced by new leaders.

An important and often not noticed feature of the party system in Russia should be called the irremovability of party leaders. By and large, the main characters came to us from 1993, when the first elections to the State Duma took place. This applies to all of the above, with the exception of Sergei Mironov, whose Just Russia emerged much later. But even Mironov is shining on top positions in politics since 2001, when he became chairman of the Federation Council.

During the same time, the leaders of the parties in Eastern Europe and the Baltic changed many times, as, indeed, the parties themselves. Such a lack of alternative leadership is an important feature of Russian politics, which speaks a lot about the peculiarities of the existing system.

Leaders instead of opinion leaders

Parties in Russia are not parties in the generally accepted sense of the word. Rather, they can be called closed joint-stock companies, in which the controlling stake is held by the leader. Such a leader, by an interim agreement, allows some minorities (sponsors) to join the party. So in due time the Communist Party sold the place of the vice-speaker of the State Duma Gennady Semigin, "Yabloko" a similar post to Mikhail Yuryev, and the LDPR - to Mikhail Gutseriev.

True, there have been attempts by investors to buy the whole project, as it happened in the Communist Party in 2003-2004. At that moment, Semigin tried to push Gennady Zyuganov away, and the old communist leader had to sweat to keep control of the party. Except for this case, the position of the leaders of the Russian parties remained unshakable.

This was facilitated not only by the preservation in their hands of all the levers of power in the parties, but also by the complete indifference of society. There was no pressure from the socium: the parties were organized not from below, on the basis of a common ideology, but from above, as typical war projects. Even the Communist Party, which had at least some kind of ideology and support in society, could not escape the temptation of leadership and quickly turned into Zyuganov's personal project.

The forthcoming replacement of party leadership between the electoral cycles of 2016-2018 and 2021, when the next parliamentary elections will be held, will be conditioned not by a change in the characteristics of Russian society, but by the natural process of aging. It will be absolutely ridiculous and ridiculous if leaders in the age of seventy-five years lead the elections in 2021. Even the youngest among them Sergei Mironov will turn sixty-eight.

Party heirs

It is obvious that the nomination of new leaders will take place without the participation of the public. Instead of open elections or public discussion of the party, a process of nomenclature selection awaits in which outgoing leaders will have to give certain guarantees, and the change of elites should not allow "stir up" the situation in the parties. Roughly speaking, the current leaders will be replaced by Zyuganov-2, Mironov-2 and Yavlinsky-2.

However, in the LDPR the name of the heir is already known - this is the son of Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Igor Lebedev. He has zero charisma and a negative image with which the party can only wait for complete defeat. As a result, without Zhirinovsky's participation in this or that quality, it will be impossible to manage.

"United Russia" is the only parliamentary party that does not have a nominal leader in the State Duma. The party of power is associated primarily with Vladimir Putin, and the situation inside "United Russia" is determined not so much by intraparty intrigues, as by decisions taken in the presidential administration. From a formal point of view, the change of power within United Russia occurred recently - with the arrival of Andrei Turchak, the former governor of the Pskov region.

What will happen to the heroes of the election-2018

It is much more interesting to look at those projects that may appear in the last Putin term outside the usual party paradigm. The presidential election in 2018 showed that the society has both an update request and those wishing to respond to it. Pavel Grudinin and Ksenia Sobchak became the discoveries of last spring.

After the election campaign, Grudinin took a break. Now the politician tries to participate simultaneously both in the work of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and in the activity of the association called the PDS of the People's Democratic Party of Russia ("The Permanent Meeting of the National-Patriotic Forces of Russia"). In the first case, it attracts a strong organization, which is virtually impossible to create at the current level of apathy and administrative resources.

On the other hand, in the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Grudinin will always be in second place, which was the result of the campaign. This is said a lot by the closest policy adviser Yuri Boldyrev, completely disappointed with the results of the elections, the low result of which he attributes to the sabotage of functionaries from the Communist Party. In the PDS PDPD, Grudinin has every chance to become a full-fledged leader with unclear prospects for the movement itself.

Ksenia Sobchak also does not make harsh statements. Right now it is unclear whether she will remain in politics. If she chooses her father's career for herself, she can theoretically unite moderate liberals around herself with the favorable attitude of the Kremlin administration. Then the question of returning liberals to the Duma can be on the agenda.

New Generation Policies

It is impossible to exclude the appearance of other leaders, which are as yet unknown to the broad masses. Among the possible future political discoveries can be identified, for example, the head of the Serpukhov district of the Moscow region Alexander Shestoun, who thundered in Youtube with his appeal to Vladimir Putin: Sixteen managed to name the executors of the alleged Kremlin order to eliminate political opponents at a time when he had not yet lost his post - with terrible details about bribery, blackmail, threats and full-scale pursuit of the objectionable.

The fact that the request for renewal exists shows the events that took place between voting and inauguration: garbage battles in the Moscow region, an outburst of indignation throughout the country after the fire in Kemerovo, severely dispersed by the authorities "children's rallies" on the eve of Putin's entry into office. Discontent spontaneously breaks here and there, but there is no one to lead it. Official parties abstain, taking an extremely cautious stance, non-systemic oppositionists, such as Alexei Navalny, do not offer a systematic response and a clear plan of action.

Here, and opens wide scope for the activities of "new people." The same Shestun broke the usual canons of behavior: he broke the rules of silence, took out his dirty linen and stayed on his post. It seems that the Kremlin does not know what to do with it: now they simply fear to touch it.

What Putin will do

In the coming autumn elections of the mayor of Moscow will be held. Surprises are not expected on them, but they can become a test of the readiness of the presidential administration to allow broad discussion of urban problems in a wider format than before. In previous years, the Kremlin itself pounded itself into a pit, clearing a public field from all the more or less independent politicians. The municipal filter has turned into a muzzle-strangling country, and the election has become a farce with mummers clowning. Possible easing in the upcoming elections in the capital can become a hint at least a declarative revival of regional politics.

For six years, Vladimir Putin has to take a number of fundamentally important decisions on the future functioning of the political system in Russia. Do not forget that as a politician (albeit a hardware type), Putin formed into perestroika and the nineties, making a bid for the democrats in the person of Anatoly Sobchak. The 1990s taught him complete distrust of public policy, understanding that in Russia freedom of speech and public activity are primarily used by swindlers and rascals. But do not be that Russia, which came into motion, he would never become president himself, and did not make his fantastic career.

Theoretically, in the face of eternity, thinking about its place in history, Putin of the sample of 2018-2024 can rely on selfless power and carry out such reforms that will give Russians the opportunity to influence their own life more. If the Kremlin is afraid of free elections of heads of regions and parliament, then it can give voters the opportunity to freely form local authorities. Now they are completely belittled, deprived of authority and independence.

Sooner or later, the dismantling of the current construction will have to start - and do it better gradually and with a long-range vision, rather than chaotic revolutionary.