(Moscow Times) The Russian government is pushing ahead with a long-rumored mini-reshuffle this week in what analysts see as a mark of both newly installed prime minister Mikhail Mishustin’s growing influence and President Vladimir Putin’s divide-and-conquer approach to keeping his underlings in check.
A handful of mid-ranking cabinet members have been shuffled out and replaced by new faces, mostly hailing from the industries which they will now be responsible for overseeing. [...]
However, Mishustin’s growing influence should not be overstated. It is tightly constrained to domestic policy, Nikolai Petrov, a Chatham House senior research fellow told The Moscow Times — an area many commentators say Putin’s interest has dwindled in over his 20 years in power.
“Mishustin has got a more narrow sphere of responsibility, but almost a free hand within that sphere of responsibility,” he said. Instead of focusing just on the reshuffle, Petrov argues, it should be seen within the context of Putin’s other maneuvers to tinker with Russia’s decision-making structures. [...]
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