Long Soviet shadows

Maria Snegovaya and Kirill Petrov just authored an interesting paper in the Scopus indexed journal Post-Soviet Affairs in which they present a possible explanation for the fact that Russian elites are siding with Putin. Check the abstract below:

“Recent studies of Putin-era elites have focused primarily on the role of siloviki. We bring the focus back to an analysis of the elite continuity within the Soviet regime. By compiling a dataset of the Putin-regime elites, we track their professional and family backgrounds to discover that the proportion of Putin-regime elites with Soviet nomenklatura origin (which comprised only 1–3% of the population during the Soviet period) constitutes approximately 60% of contemporary elites. Most have ties in the middle and lower, rather than the top, ranks of the nomenklatura. In addition, the share of those with nomenklatura backgrounds in Putin-era elites is significantly higher than the share of siloviki. These results reflect a noticeable continuity between the Soviet-era and Putin-regime elites 30 years after the transition. This often-ignored characteristic helps understand the absence of an elite split and a high degree of elite compliance with re-autocratization in Putin’s Russia” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1060586X.2022.2062657

Be there as it may, the fact is that Tatiana Stanovaya (nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) recently authored an article that puts the relationship between Putin and the Russian elites in a “different” light: “…Recently, the president lambasted the governor of the Kaliningrad region, Anton Alikhanov, for complaining that the “special military operation…had created logistics problems in the construction industry. Putin’s emotional response was that the war has nothing to do with that and should not be used to justify failings in other areas. This approach means that the elites are left to deal with any problems on their own…”

PS – Ironically, Kaliningrad (the former Prussian city of Königsberg, birthplace of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant) has just become the reason why Putin is (cowardly) threatening Lithuania https://www.euronews.com/2022/06/22/uk-ukraine-crisis-kaliningrad