Sunday, November 28

It constitutes a firewall in front of US intelligence.. Who is the influential narrow circle around Putin?

Moscow- What CNN recently revealed – quoting a “source” in Congress that the administration of President Joe Biden is facing a crisis in understanding Russian intentions – has re-lighted what the Western media calls the “close circle” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. and its role in determining the state’s internal and external policies.

The network stated that the source – whom it described as “informed” of the secrets of the intelligence world – explained to it that the intelligence work has gradually become more difficult, and is approaching what can be described as a “forbidden zone”.

According to the network, the Biden administration is facing difficulties in extrapolating and understanding the mechanism through which decisions are taken in Russia on foreign issues, which was evident during the crisis of the recent maneuvers of Washington and its allies in the Black Sea.

By “exclusion zone” is meant the narrow circle of President Putin, which plays a direct role in determining the basic directions of the internal and foreign policies of the Russian Federation.

Reports say that the Biden administration (left) is having difficulty anticipating Moscow’s directions due to the circle surrounding President Putin (European).

The growing influence of the Russian Security Council

In this context, the Russian “Minchenko Consulting” institution, which specializes in studying and analyzing lobbies and assessing policy risks, had published a report on Putin’s inner circle under the title “Political Office and the anti-institutional wave” that, according to the report, affects decision-making in the Kremlin.

The report – which chose a symbolic title reminiscent of the terminology of the party system during the Soviet era – confirms that it is based on data obtained by its authors from their own sources in the government and semi-governmental institutions.

The report focuses on the increasing influence and prestige of Security Council President Nikolai Petroshev in Putin’s narrow circle, due to the Council’s increasing influence on the regulation of industry, and the economy in general, as the body responsible for protecting secrecy in the manufacturing sector, in light of the escalation of confrontation between Russia and the West.

The report points out that the external situation (tension with the West) caused the absence of a number of representatives of private commercial companies from the circle surrounding the president, due to factors related to lack of confidence and ease of pressure on them.

This led to a series of measures to increase the permanent presence of the state in the economy, not only in regulation, but also in the ownership of assets, as state control over the sectors of the economy has recently reached 70%.

narrow circle

Observers confine the narrow circle around the Russian president to 7 personalities who influence his local and international strategy. These personalities are:

نيكولاي بيتروشيف Secretary of Russia's Security Council Nikolai Patrushev attends the Victory Day parade, which marks the anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in central Moscow, Russia May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Maxim ShemetovNikolai Patrushev, one of the most powerful figures in the security field in Russia (Reuters)

Nikolai Patrushev

In 1998 he was appointed Deputy Director of the President’s Administration and Director of the Presidential Oversight Department, and in the same year he became Deputy Director of the Intelligence Service and Head of the Economic Security Department of the Service, and since 1999 he became the First Deputy Director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.

In 1999 he became Director of Intelligence until 2008, when he was appointed Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation by decree of President Putin.

Igor Sechin is one of the most influential figures in Russia and has been subject to US sanctions (Reuters)

Igor Sechin

The head of one of the largest oil companies in the world “Rosneft”, and is considered one of the most powerful men in Russia, has worked since the early nineties with Putin in the mayor’s office of St. Petersburg, before following him to Moscow, and continued to work as assistant to the president and then deputy prime minister.

In 2014, in light of the Crimean crisis, he was one of 7 Russian officials and 17 Russian companies who were signed into the list of sanctions imposed by the US Department of the Treasury on entities linked to the political leadership in Russia.

Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg, a childhood friend of President Putin (Reuters)

Arkady Rothenberg

A Russian billionaire, and a childhood friend of Putin, in 1964 he started wrestling (sambo and then judo) in the same group with Vladimir Putin.

In the early 1990s, he worked as an aide to Putin, who at that time was chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Saint Petersburg City Council, before becoming president of the Hockey League.

He carried on various commercial businesses, and in 2009 without a bid he received several contracts from Gazprom for the construction of a gas pipeline, and he is one of the defendants in the “Panama File” in which official documents were revealed confirming that in 2013 he withdrew $231 million to an account Offshore Corporation of the Virgin Islands, which is also on the US sanctions list.

In 2021, he said that he was the real owner of what was called “Putin’s Palace”, stressing that it belonged to him for years and not to the president.

غينادي تيمشنكو Russian tycoon Gennady Timchenko attends a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with members of the presidential council for physical culture and sports in the southern city of Krasnodar, Russia, May 23, 2017. REUTERS/Sergei KarpukhinGennady Timchenko is one of Russia’s richest and most influential (Reuters)

Gennady Timchenko

He is among the richest and most influential people in Russia, and among those whom the United States has imposed personal sanctions on, and the company “Novatek” – which he owns – was under the US embargo last July.

He headed the “Volgo” group for consolidating the assets of Russian businessmen in the energy, transport, infrastructure construction, finance and consumer sectors.

He holds Russian and Finnish citizenship, and in 2014 he took third place in the Forbes rating for government tenders.

According to the same magazine, in April 2021, he was the sixth richest businessman in Russia, with a fortune of $22 billion.

فياشيسلاف فولودين FILE PHOTO: Russia's State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin is seen before the Victory Day Parade in Red Square in Moscow, Russia June 24, 2020. The military parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, was scheduled for May 9 but postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File PhotoVyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the Russian State Duma (Reuters)

Vyacheslav Volodin

Speaker of the State Duma (Russia’s parliament), prior to taking office in 2016 he spent 5 years managing the Kremlin’s domestic policy.

From 2011 until October 2016, he served as the chief of staff of the Russian president after massive protests that followed the elections in Russia in 2011, after which he worked to strengthen the power of the ruling party, according to the Carnegie Moscow Center.

Sanctions have been imposed on him by the United States, which says the decision to annex Crimea was based on consultations with Putin’s closest advisers, including Volodin.

دميتري ميدفيديف Deputy Head of Russia's Security Council and Chairman of the United Russia political party Dmitry Medvedev attends a meeting with President Vladimir Putin via a video conference in Moscow, Russia June 2, 2021. Sputnik/Yulia Zyryanova/Pool via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY.Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (Reuters)

Dmitriy Medvedev

The former president of the country (2008-2012), and a former prime minister (2012-2020), worked in the early 1990s with President Putin in the St. Petersburg municipality, and after Putin moved to Moscow and assumed the premiership, Medvedev was appointed deputy chief of the President’s Office.

Currently head of the “United Russia” party, deputy chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, he is an advocate of a large-scale modernization of programs to improve the Russian economy and society, and reduce the country’s dependence on oil and gas.

سيرغي شويغو MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JUNE 24: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu takes part in the Victory Day military parade in Red Square marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in World War II, on June 24, 2020 in Moscow, Russia. The 75th-anniversary marks the end of the Great Patriotic War when the Nazi's capitulated to the then Soviet Union. (Photo by Ramil Sitdikov - Host Photo Agency via Getty Images )Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (Getty Images)

Sergey Shoigu

The current Minister of Defense and former Minister of Emergency Situations, played an important role in Russia’s victory in the armed conflict in South Ossetia during Medvedev’s presidency, and in its recovery from the global economic crisis.

He undertook important reforms in the field of law enforcement, launched an anti-corruption campaign, and is one of the most powerful figures in the military and political scenes in Russia, and is a strong candidate to succeed Putin. He is also a member of the Supreme Council of the ruling United Russia party.

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