Sunday , December 6 2020

Putin critics ask how his PM choice acquired expensive properties – The Guardian, Theguardian.com


Russian opposition figures have raised questions about how Vladimir Putin’s surprise choice for new prime minister has acquired properties worth millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, the Russian president’s allies have rushed to support (Mikhail Mishustin) , the former head of Russia’s tax service, who claimed to have been stunned and “not [to have] slept all night” after Putin named him as the (replacement for) *********************************** Dmitr**************** (y Medvedev) . ******

Supporters have praised Mishustin’s credentials as a technocrat and a “self-made man”. Mishustin was confirmed in the post by Russia’s parliament on Thursday and is the country’s first new prime minister since .

Mishustin’s appointment is part of a sweeping reorganization of Russian government that will help enable Putin to maintain power after his expected exit from the presidency in 2024 under term limits. Analysts said Mishustin may play a role as a “caretaker” figure but was unlikely to be Putin’s long-term successor.

(9 August) ********************************************************************************

Acting prime minister

Boris Yeltsin sacks his cabinet and appoints Putin, a political neophyte who headed the main successor to the KGB, as his acting prime minister and heir apparent.

(************************************************************************************************** (December)

************************************************** (Acting president)

Yeltsin stuns (Russia) and the world by using his traditional new year message to announce his resignation and hand his sweeping powers, including the nuclear suitcase, to Putin.

(****************************************************************************************************************** (March************************************************************************

President (first term)

Putin wins a surprisingly narrow majority in his first presidential election, taking (************************************************************************************************************% of the vote and avoiding a second round run-off.

(************************************************************************************************************ (March) *********************************************************************************

President (second term)

Putin consolidates his centralized control of power by cruising to a second term as president with (*********************************************************************************************************% of the vote, having limited press access to his opponents and harassing their campaigns .

(8 May)

****************************************** (Prime Minister)

Putin is prevented by the constitution from running for a third term as president. The First deputy prime minister Dmitry Medvedev is elected in his stead. One of his earliest moves is to appoint Putin as prime minister, leaving little doubt that the two men plan, at the very least, to run Russia in tandem.

(4 March)

President (third term)**************************************

Amid widespread allegations of vote-rigging, Putin returns to the role of president, taking .6% (****************************************************.Medvedev becomes his prime minister. “Putin has named himself the emperor of Russia for the next 14 years, “says protest leader Alexei Navalny.

(**************************************************************************************************************** (March) ***************************************************************************

President (fourth term)

Putin is re-elected until (with (***********************************************************************************************% of the vote, amid high tensions between London and Moscow over the Salisbury nerve agent attack. Opposition activists highlight a number of cases of vote-rigging and statistical anomalies.

Opponents of Putin have begun digging into Mishustin’s record. Shortly after his nomination, the investigative site Proekt reported, state property registers began hiding Mishustin’s name in connection with a house in Moscow’s fashionable Rublyovka suburb as well an apartment in downtown Moscow. Proekt estimated the value of the properties at nearly $ m (£ 7.6m). The owner is now listed as the Russian government, common for properties denoted as secret.

Researchers for Alexei Navalny, the opposition politician and anti-corruption researcher, noted that Mishustin’s wife had earned nearly m rubles (nearly £m) in the past nine years, according to government declarations. Little is known about her business and there are no companies listed in her name, the investigative group said.

“Mishustin has been a ‘servant of the people’ for (of the past) *********************************************************************************************************************** years, ”Navalny wrote in the investigation. “So why is he so damn rich?”

Corruption scandals hounded Medvedev in recent years, helping to spark protests by young Muscovites in 2017, and the Kremlin hopes that Mishustin’s record as a technocrat will protect him from similar attacks. Strict laws limit the official earnings of Russian government officials, but less so their families.

Mishustin served as the head of the Russian investment company UFG from 2012 – and as the laboratory head for a non-profit in the early s. He first joined Russia’s tax service in and was appointed its head in (******************************************************************************. ********

Allies of Putin, including those considered his potential successor, also fell in behind Mishustin. He “knows how to balance the interest of both business and the state”, said Alexei Kudrin, a former finance minister seen as a liberal ally of Putin.

“The school of life has been tough for this man, and he is capable of big missions,” said Vyacheslav Volodin, the hard-nosed chairman of Russia’s parliament, adding that Mishustin was a “self- made man ”.

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