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November 15, 2012


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Ross Maclare

Not hard to find -;1632697

A few critical voices - Chikov, Shibanova, Parfyenov, Khakamada,others. But diluted in an expanded council membership, and one to which, as you point out, Putin happily thumbed his nose at the first opportunity.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Patrick,

Thanks again for your usual outstanding summary.

My own brief take on the Serdyukov affair is that it was not pre planned. He was in some ways an effective hatchet man and seems to have done a thorough job cutting out waste. However his background was that of an accountant or even a bookkeeper rather than a manager and it is clear for some time that he has been struggling to manage the new procurement programme effectively. His habit of sourcing equipment from the west must also have made him enemies within the defence industries and as you say his relations with the generals have for long been poor. When it became clear that one of the predominantly female civilian officials he recruited was involved in a corruption scandal and that he was (apparently) having an affair with another who was also involved in some way in the same scandal his position became simply untenable.

I doubt that there is more to this scandal than this. I don't put much value into some of the more farfetched theories that have been circulating about this affair. If it does send out a signal to other corrupt officials (which hopefully it does) I think this was probably inadvertent.

As to the two other scandals, Sergei Ivanov has said that the investigations into the GLONASS scandals have been underway for at least two years, which if true suggests that they extend far back into the Medvedev Presidency. I have a vague memory of an angry reaction from Medvedev following the failure of a GLONASS launch and I wonder whether it was that which precipitated this investigation. As for the APEC scandal, the APEC conference would in itself have sufficed to draw attention to any corruption issues there.

Alexander Mercouris

Dear Patrick,

One other brief comment: you are of course right to comment on the delays in the legal process. Sadly that is almost the nature of the legal process. "The insolence of office and the law's delay" were after all one of the things that brought Hamlet to the brink of suicide.

Patrick Armstrong

Mr Maclare
Thanks for this.
As to the HR Council, the selection methodology has been changed.
For better or worse.

But, I agree, 2 days is not much re-consideration.


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