ISSN 2330-717X

‘Party Of Silence’ May Hold Key To What Putin Will Ultimately Do In Ukraine – OpEd

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Regarding Putin’s war in Ukraine, there are now three parties in Moscow, “the party of war” which backs what the Kremlin leader is doing, “the party of peace” which wants an end to the war, the relaxation of tensions with the West and an end of sanctions; and “the party of silence” which has not yet taken a public position, Andrey Pertsev says.

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Drawing on sources within the Russian elite, the Meduza journalist offers what have become the usual suspects in lists of the members of the party of peace and the party of war as far as Ukraine is concerned (meduza.io/feature/2022/06/17/kak-partiya-mira-pytaetsya-sklonit-putina-k-peregovoram-a-partiya-voyny-k-prodolzheniyu-vtorzheniya-i-pochemu-sobyanin-s-mishustinym-popali-v-partiyu-molchaniya).

In this first group, Pertsev includes Sergey Chemzov, Andrey Kostin, German Gref, YUry Kovalchuk and Mikhail Kovalchuk. In the second, he lists Dmitry Medvedev, Sergey Kiriyenko, Nikolay Patrushev, Vyacheslav Volodin, Andrey Turchak,and the heads of the force structures like the FSB.

At present, the journalist says, the latter is stronger and has more influence on Putin than the former. But there is a third party, “the party of silence,” which may come to play a decisive role. At present, it includes bureaucrats and businessmen who “up to now prefer to the extent they can not to speak about the war” one way or the other.

Among those in this informal “party,” Pertsev continues, are Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin. Were they to go to the side of one of the other parties, that could prove decisive; but by not taking a position now, they are putting themselves in a position to be decisive depending on how events unfold.

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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