Igor writes on the blow up to Andrew C. Kuchins new report regarding "Alternative Futures for Russia to 2017."
First we start with today's Kommersant:
"Kuchins has an entirely different vision. He predicted that Putin will be assassinated at the exit of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior after midnight mass on January 7, 2008 (Russian Orthodox Christmas). The killer will not be caught and Russia will be thrown into immediate chaos. The stock market will collapse, mass strikes and demonstration will begin and, on January 20, a state of emergency will be declared. The murder of Putin will prevent a peaceful transfer of presidential power to Sergey Naryshkin, with Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister, and the enforcement bloc in the Kremlin will gain power, that is, Igor Sechin, Sergey Ivanov and Nikolay Patrushev."
It gets even better:
"As it continues, Kuchin's scenario starts to sound more and more like a suspense novel. After the imposition of the state of emergency, he posits, Vladimir Yakunin, now head of Russian Railways, becomes president and orders the shooting of striking oil worker in Surgut. St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matvienko and Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov are sentenced to death for the embezzlement of billions of dollars. Nationalism will rise significantly along the way. But, after a series political and economic shakeups, there will be a happy ending in 2016, when Boris Nemtsov will become president with the help and funding of the again free Mikhail Khodorkovsky."
WOW. Apparently, all of this nonsense is in the new CSIS report called "Alternative Futures for Russia."
That's one hell of a future.
Obviously, as Lenta has already pointed out , this is clearly a fictional scenario (though one bordering on delusion, but this is Russia after all, so Kuchins just let loose his fevered mind).
Kommersant obviously prints this in all its anti-imperialist glory, of course. But a note to their editors: pssst, the American government does this all the time. Our beloved National Intelligence Council, in their Global Trends 2020 report, for instance, printed a letter from
Bin Laden's grandson to one of his relatives: "Oh, what confusion did we sow with the Crusaders. An almost forgotten word reentered the Western lexicon and histories of early Caliphs suddenly rose to be bestsellers on Amazon.com."
No, really, our tax dollars paid for that. Kommersant really missed out. Then again, Dmitry Sidorov never ceases to amaze me.
If you look at his smart, witty, and sharply critical essays in Ezhednevny Zhurnal, one is bound to be impressed that a Russian journalist (albeit, based in DC) can write so openly and freely. But then, when it comes to his own publication, the man becomes a walking National Inquirer.
Last year, the man did a James Bond on a Carnegie event with Voloshin (strangely enough, Kuchins was Carnegie's director of Russia program then) and outed Fiona Hill as a CIA agent (she was actually at the above-mentioned National Intelligence Council, perhaps penning that letter from Bin Laden's offspring).
"The Kommersant correspondent was able to see through the window of the first-floor hall that there were about 20 people present, including the former ambassadors to Russia and Ukraine Jim Collins and Steven Pifer. Fiona Hill, who was recently named CIA national intelligence officer for Russia, was also at that meeting."
I'm shocked he didn't notice Santa Claus in the corner, plotting Russia's downfall.
We did some checking. Our inside girl at CSIS swears that Kommersant is blowing this out of perspective. Here's the abstract.