Who is being removed from office in Russia and for what reasons
“- It’s their business, frankly. It’s a matter of the American political system, ”said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, commenting on the threat of impeachment of Donald Trump. Indeed, in Russia the political system is structured differently.
There have been two attempts at impeachment in the history of post-Soviet Russia. In 1993, President Boris Yeltsin suppressed the first with tanks. Immediately after that, the Constitution was adopted, which made impeachment almost impossible..
This became clear after the second attempt, in 1995, says Professor Shaninki (MSSES) Boris Kagarlitsky: “It ended in nothing: it turned out that the parliament simply did not have the appropriate capabilities. If the parliament tries to impeach the president, then the president can simply dissolve the parliament. The procedure is very complicated in the Constitution. Voting takes place in several rounds, and between the first (initiation of the vote) and the second (the voting itself), the president can dissolve parliament. This is where the whole procedure ends “.
The President of Russia can leave the post before the end of his term only at his own request. There are no impeachments at the next levels of government. Regional legislatures also cannot dismiss the governor.
“There is no such leverage in Russia,” explains Boris Kagarlitsky. – Rather, there is one citizen who can dismiss anyone. Moreover, this is not even the President of Russia, but President Putin. If there is a president with a different name, we do not know what leverage will be and how it will work. The entire system is built vertically to protect officials from citizens. Therefore, the only control mechanism is from top to bottom “.
Of course, we are talking about federal officials and governors. The lower a person stands on the ladder of power, the more people and forces appear that can deprive him of his home place. The lower the rank, the more unstable the situation. There are many reasons for dismissal. Often, high-profile layoffs occur after no less high-profile speeches..
Ombudsman for the rights of the child Pavel Astakhov met the children who survived the tragedy on Syamozero with the words “Well, how did you swim?” and ceased to be an ombudsman.
Olga Glatskikh, director of the youth policy department of the Sverdlovsk region, received a work book after she said at a meeting with teenagers: “In general, the state does not owe you anything. Your parents owe you. <…> The state did not ask them to give birth to them “.
The Minister of Labor, Employment and Migration of the Saratov Region Natalya Sokolova said that the living wage of 3,500 rubles is enough to meet “minimal physiological needs”, and “macaros always cost the same” – and went to look for a new job.
The Russian authorities are strict about rudeness. Firing an official who has publicly rude to someone is the easiest way to please public opinion. The waves of indignation on the Internet and in the media are enough for this. True, most likely, such a wave will knock down a petty official. Larger fish, and even with strong connections, are not afraid of powerful storms. But if an official has previously raised questions from the Kremlin, and then the population is also dissatisfied, this is a direct road to the exit.
In 2018, after a fire in the Zimnyaya Vishnya shopping center, residents of Kemerovo demanded the resignation of Governor Aman Tuleyev. 73-year-old Tuleyev by that time occupied the chair for more than 20 years.
“I think the presidential administration has long been thinking about replacing Tuleyev with someone younger,” says Kagarlitsky. – But it was not so easy to do it – Tuleyev very clearly structured the local government. He arranged everything in such a way that he had no alternative. In Kemerovo, a local totalitarian system was built, quite closed even in relation to the Kremlin. And until a great misfortune happened, the Kremlin could not approach this topic. And after “Winter Cherry” the Kemerovo bureaucratic elite itself understood that it was necessary to rebuild. Therefore, Kemerovo and Moscow easily found a common language “.
And yet Tuleyev managed to stay in regional power. Immediately after the early termination of his powers, he became a deputy, and a week later – speaker of the Kemerovo Regional Council. Now Tuleyev heads the Kuzbass Regional Institute for the Development of Professional Education.
Another victim of public outrage was the governor of the Kaliningrad region, Georgy Boos. In January 2010, at a meeting of the State Council in the Kremlin, he said that he would like to stay for a second term if the president and the population support his candidacy. A week later, the most massive rally in the history of the region took place in Kaliningrad: 12 thousand people demanded the resignation of the governor. In August of the same year, Boos was not included in the list of candidates for the post of head of the region..
Russian officials do not respond to accusations in the same way as their counterparts in their Western countries. In Europe, those on whom suspicions of corruption or other unfair deeds have fallen, writes a letter of resignation with their own hand. Thus, in recent years, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Pedro Agramunt, the Minister of the Interior of France Bruno Le Roux, the Minister of Economy of Japan Akira Amari and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Necas have left their seats..
Russian officials prefer not to comment at all on the accusations against them, or to brush them off, calling them lies. And even more so, no one would think of voluntarily resigning..
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It happened historically, says Vice-President of the Center for Political Technologies Alexei Makarkin: “In Russia, it is not customary for high-level officials to resign themselves. It is customary to wait for the boss to send you there. This goes back to Soviet times, when a person had to work as long as the Communist Party ordered. Most of the privileges of an official were associated with his work, and when he retired, he became an ordinary pensioner. If earlier officials held onto privileges, now they are holding onto resources. Today, the authorities manage quotas, tenders and money, and voluntarily resigning means losing access to them. “.
In recent years, there have been many investigations about the involvement of high-ranking officials in corruption schemes. Such materials are published by independent media and the Anti-Corruption Foundation. One of the most famous was the FBK film “He’s not Dimon for you” about palaces, yachts and vineyards, which are supposedly owned by Dmitry Medvedev. However, the film did not affect Medvedev’s career in any way..
According to Alexei Makarkin, compromising evidence often does not harm: “If an official has a villa or a relationship with a business, then, on the contrary, the rule is“ not to fire ”. That is, do not follow the lead, do not stimulate wars of compromising evidence. There is an unspoken principle: compromising material is pressure on the authorities. It is believed that if a journalist published it, then he did not publish it himself, someone leaked it to him. And if someone puts pressure on the authorities, the authorities should act in the opposite way. Therefore, after the appearance of incriminating evidence, the official will rather remain at his post and will be in it for a long time. “.
The exceptions are cases when the security forces themselves initiate an investigative experiment and hand over labeled bills to high-ranking officials, as was the case with Nikita Belykh and Alexei Ulyukaev. Then, of course, we are no longer talking about the protection of “friends”, but about real criminal terms.