Vladimir Putin Jia Yuchen/ZumaPress

Poetin in simpele woorden

MOSKOU – Drie weken vóór de eerste verkiezingsoverwinning van de Russische president Vladimir Poetin in maart 2000 liet zijn campagneteam een boek verschijnen, getiteld First Person: Conversations with Vladimir Putin (Eerste Persoon: Gesprekken met Vladimir Poetin), gebaseerd op 24 uur aan interviews met drie journalisten. Met citaten als “Het leven is echt iets eenvoudigs” onthulde het boek een sleutelidee dat ten grondslag zou liggen aan de leiderschapsstijl van Poetin: Aan een ingewikkelde wereld moet en kan eenvoud worden opgelegd.

Dit wereldbeeld, waarmee vandaag de dag het hele Russische establishment is doordesemd, werd niet door Poetin zelf ontwikkeld; het werd geïntroduceerd door een denktank die in december 1999 was opgericht en onder leiding stond van German Gref, die later onder Poetin minister van Economische Ontwikkeling en Handel zou worden. Vooruitlopend op de verkiezingsoverwinning van Poetin nodigde het Centrum voor Strategisch Onderzoek van Gref deskundigen uit om twee programma's te ontwikkelen – het ene gericht op de economie, en het andere op de hervorming van het openbaar bestuur – op basis van één fundamentele richtlijn: maak de zaken niet nodeloos ingewikkeld.

Vijftien jaar later weerspiegelen de ideologie, het beleid en de activiteiten van Poetin deze obsessie met de vereenvoudiging van systemen en structuren. De scheiding der machten binnen de overheid is te inefficiënt, dus de president moet alle andere onderdelen van het regeringsapparaat overheersen. Het grote aantal politieke partijen, allemaal met hun eigen platform, is te ingewikkeld en moet dus worden vervangen door een korte lijst van een paar geaccepteerde partijen, die allemaal de macht vertegenwoordigen. De vrijheid van meningsuiting leidt tot een improductieve kakofonie van woede, dus de media moeten duidelijke instructies krijgen om hun berichtgeving richting te geven.

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