Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of "Putin's squire"

The Security Council gives the go-ahead: how one of the most closed and important centers of power in modern Russia works

Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of
Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of

Who are you, Dr. Patrushev: an attempt at a political portrait of "Putin's squire"

Xeberinvar.com - reports that -Nikolai Patrushev, the long-term secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and a person who is one of the most influential politicians in modern Russia, turns 70 this Sunday. One of the former secretaries of the Russian Security Council told me the following juicy story about the circumstances of his appointment to this post. Having received an unexpected personnel offer from the president, he went to the head of the Kremlin administration to sort out all the technical details.

When, it would seem, everything was discussed, the new appointee asked the most important question: "When should I start?" - “How when? Tomorrow and start! " - "And how can I start right tomorrow, if there is still no decree on the dismissal of my predecessor?" Hearing this phrase, the head of the Kremlin's staff changed his face and rushed to call the president: "We never told the current secretary of the Security Council that he was being dismissed!"

I deliberately do not mention the names of all the participants in this episode. After all, the point here is not only and not so much the forgetfulness of the president and his right hand. The point is in the special role of the position of the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation for a considerable period of time since its establishment in 1992.

Formally listed as one of the highest leaders of the state, in fact, the holder of this title was often the fifth wheel in the cart, or, at least, an element that can be dispensed with. You can't do without Patrushev. Nikolai Platonovich Patrushev, who held the post of FSB director from 1999 to 2008, categorically does not like to PR and from time to time with longing in his voice exclaims at the sight of representatives of the "fourth estate" at official events: "Again there are journalists!"

As the people around the NP say with a grin (as his subordinates call him behind the back of the secretary of the Security Council), some especially naive small officials are sometimes misled by Patrushev's desire not to flicker in the foreground. They say they are convinced that the Secretary of the Security Council is just one of many high-ranking functionaries, of which there are not just many in Russia, but very many.

To be honest, the presence of such people in the Russian state apparatus was a real discovery for me. It seemed to me that in our political circles absolutely everyone is aware of the special role of Nikolai Patrushev in governing the country. Although, on the other hand, the widespread opinion among political experts that the current Russian Security Council is the modern equivalent of the old Soviet Politburo, I also consider it to be deeply mistaken.

The General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee was considered among the members of the Politburo only the first among equals. In the Security Council of the Russian Federation, there can be no talk of any formal universal equality: there is a president and there are his subordinates. In Soviet times, the position of a member of the Politburo was considered to be bossy in itself. In the current historical era, the status of a member of the Security Council is, as a rule, an appendage to the chair of the head of a key Russian state agency.

So what exactly then is the special role of the Security Council in the current system of government in Russia? I consider it correct to speak not about the special role of the Security Council, but about the special and even completely unique role of Nikolai Patrushev personally.

Among Patrushev's twelve predecessors as secretary of the Russian Security Council were such political heavyweights as Yuri Skokov, Alexander Lebed, Vladimir Putin (very briefly), Sergei Ivanov (future defense minister), Igor Ivanov (former foreign minister). But only Nikolai Patrushev managed to make this position the way it actually was intended. Since joining the Security Council in 2008, Patrushev has been quietly and without unnecessary advertising as the coordinator of all Russian law enforcement agencies and, to a certain extent, with the understanding and recognition of Lavrov's enormous political weight in Russian foreign policy. Who is in the subject, he understands what this means.

"The rise does not depend on the rebound"

In Yeltsin's times, in that part of the presidential administration building complex on Staraya Square, where Nikolai Patrushev's office is now located, one large chief of the economic profile, very close to the president, lodged, among others. And this big boss had a quirk. On almost any external event, he preferred to go back to back.

But just do not think that this was due to the large business workload of this leader. The official just caught a buzz from the fact that he, the Kremlin celestial, is rapidly rushing through the tightly blocked streets, and all ordinary mortals, cursing, are stuck in traffic jams.

At the beginning of Yeltsin's rule, the president also had another ally, at one time formally considered almost the second person in the country. This big boss had a similar habit. Calling his subordinates at a strictly agreed time, he made them sit for a long time in his waiting room. At the same time, he also did not have any urgent matters. Forcing all sorts of "little bugs" to toil in the hallway, this leader raised his self-esteem.

Having crossed the threshold of Nikolai Patrushev's office in January 2016 for the first time in my life, I immediately understood: the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation is the complete opposite of the two "big bosses" described above.

Patrushev's office had everything he needed for work. But at the same time, it was felt that the owner of the office was absolutely not interested in any external attributes of a commanding position. The meeting table in the office of the Secretary of the Security Council was, in my subjective opinion, too large for a room of this size. And the door to his waiting room opened directly from the flight of stairs.

Considering the well-known volume of potential opportunities of Nikolai Patrushev, as well as the fact that he was the first secretary of the Security Council, occupying this office (before the demolition of the 14th building of the Kremlin, the owners of this position had lodged there), all this left no room for doubt: Putin's closest ally quite comfortable in this ascetic space by the standards of major Russian officials.

The impeccable politeness of Nikolai Patrushev immediately drew attention to itself (not to be confused with the feigned external cordiality characteristic of some Russian officials). From the former director of the FSB, it seemed to me, a little bit cold. But at the same time he very attentively, patiently and correctly answered any of my questions - both those that I asked in the framework of a formal interview, and those that I asked “not for print,” but for the sake of satisfying my own curiosity.

When, in the process of preparing this material, I began to talk with people who know Nikolai Patrushev well, I realized that those initial impressions were both absolutely justified and very accurate. If you try to describe the secretary of the Security Council in one phrase, then I would use this: a disciplined ascetic.

Nikolai Platonovich is never late for anything. Patrushev never makes visitors wait longer than the appointed time in his reception area. When ministers and other colleagues come to him, he must go outside his office to meet them.

Patrushev is indifferent to food and drink. During his long and difficult business trips, he can easily skip lunch. And when he still does not miss it, he eats very little.

As for this feature of the Secretary of the Security Council, I, however, managed to build my own theory. Both of Nikolai Platonovich's parents were blockades. From the first days of the Great Patriotic War Platon Ignatievich Patrushev served on the Skilled and Threatening destroyers of the Baltic Fleet, and his wife Antonina Nikolaevna worked as a nurse in the evacuation hospitals of the Leningrad Front.

But here's what was "a real shock." As I was assured, the former FSB director does not drink vodka at all. The most he can afford is a glass of white wine.

Working next to such an unpretentious person in his needs is clearly not easy. But in the case of Patrushev, this is compensated by such a feature of the Security Council secretary as a very attentive attitude to the needs and words of those around him.

One of the people close to Nikolai Platonovich told me the following episode in color: “Once, during a meeting with a narrow circle of Russian ministers that lasted until late in the evening, one of them spoke barely audibly, looking at the set table, where only tea and cookies were prepared for the heads of departments : "I wish I could eat for the first time in a day - at least sausages!" As it turned out, the request was heard. At the next meeting under the leadership of Patrushev, in the middle of the table, in addition to documents, cookies and tea, the participants of the event were waiting for a huge plate of sandwiches with thickly sliced ​​sausage. "

Sausage sausage, but I still insist on the thesis: working with the Secretary of the Security Council is very difficult. According to knowledgeable people, Patrushev is simply organically incapable of sitting idle. Even on his many business flights, he either holds work meetings or studies a spoken English textbook.

Patrushev is not in the habit of yelling at his subordinates. For example, when during business trips he cannot find one of his people, the “guilty” invariably receives a “scolding” in the form of Nikolai Platonovich's favorite phrase: “The principle of getting away from the bosses and closer to the kitchen has not justified itself!”

But not everyone can keep up with the pace of work of the Secretary of the Security Council purely physically. Patrushev has another favorite phrase, which can be considered his life motto: "The rise does not depend on the release." It is normal for him to return late at night to Moscow from a distant business trip, and in the morning, despite the ten-hour flight, to be in his office in a fully functional state.

A natural question arises: how does Nikolai Patrushev manage to work almost continuously at such a frantic pace for many years? The Secretary of the Security Council loves to relieve fatigue by swimming a kilometer in the pool in a freestyle. But the main passion and main outlet for Patrushev is still volleyball. At least four times every week, he always goes to the volleyball court wearing a jersey number thirteen. In the field of Russian volleyball, Patrushev knows, if not all, then almost everyone: all the leading players, all the leading coaches, all the leading specialized journalists.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.vvv

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

According to well-versed Nikolai Platonovich, when it comes to this sport, it changes before our eyes: it ceases to be a statesman buttoned up. Having learned about this fact, I greatly regretted that until now I had not had a chance to see Patrushev on the volleyball court. During the preparation of this text, I learned a lot of interesting details about the secretary of the Russian Security Council - right down to the names of his pets (Alabai named Gaplan and Jack Russell Terrier named Billy). However, it seems to me that I have not yet been able to fully understand the essence of Nikolai Patrushev as a person.

But maybe such a task was not initially feasible? One of Nikolai Platonovich's colleagues in the top leadership of Russia spoke about him like this: “Patrushev became director of the FSB in 1999 after two other people rejected Putin's offer to take this position. Patrushev did not reject and was not afraid - although at that moment the country was actually in a state of civil war.

During all the difficult trials, Patrushev always behaved with dignity and external equanimity. But at the same time, I know for sure that everything inside him was seething. " Perhaps, it is in this combination of external equanimity and deep internal seething invisible to outsiders that the essence of Nikolai Patrushev's character lies.

However, enough about Patrushev as a person. Let's talk about Patrushev as the secretary of the Security Council.

Post that worked

In the book by Mikhail Zygar, “Everyone is Free,” the circumstances of Alexander Lebed's dismissal from the post of Secretary of the Russian Security Council in the fall of 1996 are described as follows: “The last straw was the events of October 15th. Lebed arrives at the headquarters of the airborne forces and opposes the recent decision of the Minister of Defense to reorganize the Airborne Forces. The directive of the minister, says the secretary of the Security Council, "borders on a crime" and should not be carried out.

The paratroopers stand up and chant “Glory to the army! Glory to Russia!" - there is no doubt that they perceive Lebed as a new leader ... From that moment on, the former analytical group (for the election of Yeltsin for the presidency - "MK" ) becomes the headquarters for the removal of Lebed.

Chubais at that time - the head of the presidential administration) worries that the secretary of the Security Council may resist - to command two divisions loyal to him to go to the Kremlin. Therefore, it is necessary to neutralize him, to deprive him of the opportunity to give any orders. “He has all the turntables, he has all the special communications. If he wanted to, he gave a command, blocked the entrance, set up security on the street, whatever you want, Chubais recalls now. “He had more power resources than ours, so the technique of such dismissal is a very difficult matter.”

In the nearly thirty-year history of the Russian Security Council, this episode is the most dramatic and most atypical. With the possible exception of Yuri Skokov, only General Lebed came up with the idea of ​​using the post of Secretary of the Security Council as a launching pad for his transformation into "Russian Napoleons." Those Security Council secretaries who did not hold this post concurrently and were not ready to confine themselves to representative functions, had much more modest political ambitions. Believe it or not, these ambitions were mainly about the desire to fulfill their direct official duties. But time after time such aspirations remained only aspirations.

Why, in principle, is the post of secretary of the Security Council necessary? Then, the foreign policy of the country is traditionally engaged not only in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as it may seem to people who are far from the realities of the apparatus. Various Russian special services, the Ministry of Defense, the leadership of the presidential and government administration, the Central Bank, key economic ministries - this is not a complete list of departments that in fact are most directly related to the formation and implementation of Russia's foreign policy.

Of course, the emphasis in this list should be on its first points. The foreign policy lot of economic departments in Russia is usually to be led. But this leaves the Foreign Ministry and power structures in brackets.

What does this vague phrase mean in practice? The fact that on the same important foreign policy issue the president can get, say, four reports that are opposite in their meaning and content. In the case of the most fateful problems, the right to cut or unravel the Gordian knot of interdepartmental contradictions, of course, should only be possessed by the president.

But what about problems that are important but not life-changing? In theory, the secretary of the Security Council should have been involved in the game here - to be included as a mediator, arbiter, negotiator, capable of bringing together the positions of various departments into a single and consistent whole and submitting the resulting “product” for consideration by the president. A beautiful theory is beautiful and until 2008 had little in common with reality.

Try to put yourself in the role of the head of one of the departments, whose work in theory should be coordinated by the secretary of the Security Council. Direct access to the president is, in Russian conditions, almost the most important political, managerial and apparatus resource. You save this direct access like the apple of your eye. But suddenly an intermediary in the form of the Secretary of the Security Council arises between you and the president and, by virtue of his direct official duties, is trying to make your access more limited.

What are your actions? Naturally, you are trying to carefully bypass this intermediary. Outwardly, the assigned number of bows is beaten off to the Security Council Secretary. But in fact, they try to ignore him to the maximum. “I regularly held meetings with the heads of our power structures,” one of the retired secretaries of the Russian Security Council shared with me. “But some of these leaders sometimes came to these meetings of mine, and sometimes they didn't. And one particularly large and important department has always kept itself apart. "

This situation could only be reversed by the appearance of a figure in the post of Secretary of the Security Council, whose authority in the eyes of the siloviki would be absolutely unconditional. Having moved from the FSB to the Security Council in 2008, Nikolai Patrushev became such a figure.

Why such a personnel and managerial revolution took place at this very moment is absolutely clear. The first Putin secretary of the Security Council was a very close person - Sergei Ivanov. But after he became Minister of Defense in 2001, his old position began to be used as a kind of place of honorable exile for respected politicians who, for one reason or another, had to be removed from real managerial levers.

The first among such "exiles" was Vladimir Rushailo, who was dismissed from the post of Minister of Internal Affairs. Then, in 2004, the post of Secretary of the Security Council was offered to Mikhail Kasyanov at the time of his release from his duties as prime minister. When Kasyanov refused, Igor Ivanov, the head of the Foreign Ministry, who at one time rejected the proposal to replace Primakov as head of government with the prospect of becoming Yeltsin's successor, was transferred to the Security Council.

However, in 2008 the concept changed radically. When Putin handed over presidential powers to Medvedev, it was important for him to build into the Russian system of power as many different safety mechanisms as possible. Patrushev in the role of the secretary of the Security Council was one of such safety mechanisms. When Vladimir Vladimirovich returned to the presidency four years later, the need for insurance seemed to have disappeared. But, apparently, the new system turned out, from his point of view, so convenient that everything remained as it is.

So, why did Patrushev get what almost all his predecessors broke their teeth on? The answer to this question, by and large, was given in the collection of dialogues with Putin, published in 2000, “From the First Person”: “There is also such a thing as the feeling of being united. With Ivanov, such a feeling arises. And with Nikolai Patrushev, too, and with Dima Medvedev. " But the point, of course, is not only the personal trust between the two politicians. The point, as I see it, is the commonality of their views on the world and the place of Russia in this world. Putin and Patrushev do not just speak the same language. They understand each other perfectly well - or even without words at all. In practical terms, to report something to Patrushev means to report something to the president.

An extremely important role is also played by the fact that Patrushev and his replacement in the position of FSB director Alexander Bortnikov, as far as I know, continue to work in a professional tandem. The former "civilian" secretaries of the Security Council were often cut off by the siloviki with the help of their favorite phrase: "We cannot disclose our sources of information." Such tricks do not work with Nikolai Patrushev.

Add to this the above-described ability of the Security Council secretary to respectfully deal with all his colleagues and such his quality as loyalty to a given word - if Patrushev promised something, he will definitely do it - and you will get a fairly complete picture of the current cuisine of Russian politics.

Whether this current policy of Moscow will turn out to be successful in a broad historical context is, of course, a completely different question. The question, the exact answer to which will be received only by the next generations of citizens of our country. Vladimir Putin and his faithful squire and associate Nikolai Patrushev are convinced that this verdict of history will be positive. Hope they are right.

source : Google News MK.RU