Who is Nikolai Patrushev, the possible successor to Vladimir Putin?

Who is Nikolai Patrushev, the possible successor to Vladimir Putin?

Nikolai Patrushev is considered by all to be the natural successor of Vladimir Poutinethe most influential figure in the entourage of the Russian president and his best friend since his youth in St. Petersburg, then called Leningrad.

Both sons of families loyal to the regime, with veteran parents of the Second World WarThey attend the schools of the Communist Party reserved for the training of the ruling class and then join the Committee of State Security, the legendary KGB. In the spy services they started their careers at the heights of power.

They describe him as a hawk, as if he is one of those who sits with Putin in the strategy security Council a pigeon could fly.

Reserved but friendly, one of his sons is a national government minister and his only distraction from work is volleyball. Three times a week he trains, wearing a jersey with the number 13.

The Western press reports and discusses his figure after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine with full support and partly inspiration from Patrushev.

In particular, the number two of the regime returns to the forefront when it comes to diseases that Putin would suffer, from cancer to Parkinson’s disease.

In recent days, for example, statements by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official, have flourished. He says Putin “needs permanent medical care”, but says he doesn’t know what serious illness he has.


Vladimir Putin and Nikolai Patrushev, in a 2003 image, in Moscow. Photo: EFE

None of versions on the health of the Russian president has so far been confirmed.

As the meetings of the Security Council, whose secretary is Nikolai Patrushev, last an hour, Putin would withdraw in an interval to be monitored by his doctors.

Steele headed the “Russian desk” of MI6, Britain’s spy agency, for several years and what he says shines a light on the body that makes the final big decisions in the ongoing war.

From the KGB to the inner circle of the Kremlin

Patrushev was the director of the FSB, an acronym which inherited the functions of the KGB until 2008when Putin had to spend a period out of the presidency, for constitutional reasons that no longer exist, and was prime minister of the faithful Dmitry Medvedev. So he decided to promote his friend Nikolai to key fee Secretary of the Security Council.

Both share the ideas of Russian nationalism, strongly conservative and religiouswho consider the West guilty of having fought the role of world power that corresponds to Russia since the time of Ivan the Terrible, in the 15th century, considered the founder of the Russian state.

Putin and Patrushev maintain a common strategy that was applied during the invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 to permanently overthrow what they saw as Russia’s western siege across the NATO with American leadership

A year ago, the Russian essayist Alexei Solovej wrote: “They think alike, they are made of the same stuff. And they have an extremely simple secret purpose. Avoid dangers for the State, guarantee a progressive transition decided by it and not called into question by internal and external challenges.

Last year, Patrushev celebrated the 70th anniversary of the main news programs of Russian television, which the laureate received with his usual deadpan style.

He is an army general throughout his career at the heights of espionage, a doctor of legal sciences and an engineer laureate at the University of the Navy in Saint Petersburg.

He is considered the leader of the Siloviki, which means “strong men” in Russian. They are those who work for the security services, military or civilian. It is the Siloviki which direct the machinery of governmentespecially since one of them, Vladimir Putin, former boss of the KGB and the FSB, has governed the Russian state since January 1, 2000.

The head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev speaks.  Photo: AFP

The head of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev speaks. Photo: AFP

Tougher than Putin

The elite of this elite are those who are part of the State Security Council. Their names: Sergei Ivanov, Victor Ivanov, Sergey Shoygu (Minister of Defense), Alexander Brotnikov, Sergei Naryshikin. And of course Nikolai Patrushev, who leads the organization.

Rumors credit Patrushev with developing the concept of “denazification” of Ukraine which was used by Vladimir Putin as the main cause of the invasion.

Patrushev is considered even stiffer than Putin. Last year, when war was already brewing, he told the Gazeta Rossiiskaya of March 31, that “to contain Russia, the West is trying to destabilize the socio-political situation in the country, to inspire and radicalize the protest movement and to erode traditional Russian spiritual and moral values”.

Mark Galeotti wrote in the Moscow time what is it one of the most belligerent figures in Putin’s inner circle.”

These ideas are reflected in the national security strategy document published in May 2021, authored by Patrushev.

“Russia could use methods of force to thwart or prevent hostile actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federation,” he said. A year later, the invasion of Ukraine began.

As well raised the path of collision with the West writes that “Russian traditional spiritual, moral, and cultural-historical values ​​are being actively attacked by the United States and its allies, as well as by foreign nonprofit and nongovernmental corporations and religious, extremist, and terrorist groups.”

Mark Galeotti wrote that “the new strategy paints a more alarming picture of the threats Russia faces from the West”. Galeotti believes that Russian security strategy is shaped by Patrushev.

In the same “crescendo” that ended with the invasion, Patrushev also felt that the campaign of Russophobia attributed to Ukraine before the war was a consequence of Western propaganda. Extending the historical quote to the time of Ivan the Terrible, the national security strategy document points out that as early as the 16th century Westerners “didn’t like the Russian Tsar not recognizing their political and moral leadership.”

Patrushev wrote that the fall and dissolution of the Soviet Union “Totally untied the hands of the western neoliberal elite so that they can impose their values.”

Nikolai Patrushev met then Argentine President Mauricio Macri during a visit in 2017. PHOTO: Argentine Presidency

Nikolai Patrushev met then Argentine President Mauricio Macri during a visit in 2017. PHOTO: Argentine Presidency

nationalist and conservative

In an interview with the Russian publication Arguments and lies, said this waste of values ​​has led to “the renaming of father and mother as parents number one and two.” He added: “They want to give children the right to determine their own sex.”

These concepts recall those of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Cyril against homosexual celebrations as weapons of Western dissolution.

Patrushev seems to have followed the path of President Putin, who evolved from an atheist and communist into a nationalist with conservative ideas strongly linked to the teachings of the Orthodox Church.

General Nikolai Patrushev also said last week that “the anti-Russian campaign of the Americans and their satellites shows convincingly that Ukraine has become the pretext for waging an undeclared war against Russia.”

Russian number two is no stranger to Argentines. He went to our country at the head of a large delegation which dealt with “questions of technical-military cooperation”.

On December 5, 2017, he met with the then President Mauricio Macri, with whom he was photographed presenting him with a Russian national team jersey in view of the World Cup which took place in this country a few months later. Argentina and Russia had signed a comprehensive strategic association agreement two years earlier.

Rome, correspondent

BC

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