The article 'Ustinov's firing reveals clan maneuvring inside Kremlin' was published in the June 5 issue of Eurasi Daily Monitor produced by the Jamestown Foundation, Washington DC.
It is quite clear that Putin, insisting on his intention to vacate the chair on schedule, wants to remain totally in charge of the succession process, keeping the pretenders on short leashes and reserving the final decision. Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to have a penchant for surprise cadre changes that invariably leave experts second-guessing the move. His decision to sack Prosecutor-General Vladimir Ustinov, taken late last Thursday (June 1) and approved by the astonished Federation Council at the next morning’s session, fits this pattern perfectly (Izvestiya, lenta.ru, June 2). Moscow political circles have been stirred into a frenzy of speculation, particularly since no official explanation for the abrupt punishment was offered except Ustinov’s “own request.” Sergei Mironov, chairman of the Federation Council, was only able to venture an opinion that the decision had a “technical character without any politics or hidden drivers” (Newsru.com, June 1). Equally unconvincing were cautious suggestions from the disciplined parliamentarians that perhaps Ustinov was simply tired after six years in a very demanding job, yet they had confirmed him for a second five-year term just over a year ago.