Russia’s influential Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov, best known as the architect of Russia’s ‘sovereign democracy’ political system, stepped down on Wednesday.
The voluntary resignation was signed by Russian president Vladimir Putin the next day after a Tuesday conference in which Putin chided government ministers for their slow progress implementing his 2012 decrees on long-term economic development.
Vladislav Surkov, who is considered to be one of the architects of the Kremlin-centric “power vertical” political system, was appointed by then-President Dmitry Medvedev as deputy prime minister in charge of modernization in 2011. He previously worked as the deputy head of the presidential administration and was always considered by political experts to be Russia's "gray cardinal."
Surkov is also a member of the board of trustees for the Skolkovo innovation hub’s coordinating body, the Skolkovo Foundation, and chairman of the board of trustees of the project’s university, the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. The Skolkovo Foundation has been recently suspected in misapplication of funds. However, presidential press secretary Peskov tressed that the Surkov's departure was not connected with Skolkovo.
Many political analysts say that the resignation was a sign of changes that await Russia’s entire political structure, which is currently “swallowing its own fathers.” “It's not the last resignation in the power elite, it just a small step in the long-running turf war between Russia’s ruling clans. There were people linked to Surkov and following his lead, they may have to quit now too,” political analyst Sergey Strokan said.
Author: Julia Alieva