Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Vladimir Mau Has Been Arrested

 Vladimir who? I appreciate that most readers have never heard of this individual. But this is the sign of a major new shift in the situation in Russia. To make clear why this is important: until quite recently Vladimir Mau was the top economic advisor of V.V. Putin. Just prior to his arrest, he has just been reelected to the Board of Gazprom, the most important state-owned company in Russia. Apparently his arrest is part of a broader wave of arrests of prominent Russians who have apparently criticized the current policy of Putin. But I do not know what Mau said or did that led to this arrest. For all I had heard and knew he was a strong Putin supporter.

This is arguably the fuller confirmation of an older report that had been floating around for several years. This report was that in the past Putin paid attention to economic advisors such as Mau, for better or worse, with some of us, frankly, not particularly big fans of Mau. But he also paid attention to others as well, such as super capable Central Bank President, Elvira Naibullina, who reportedly attempted to resign from her position, but was blocked from doing so by Putin himself. But her husband has managed to get himself out of running the Higher Economic School of Economics ("Vwishka" for insiders). I have only the greatest worry and concern and sympathy for these people at this time, especially given this recent arrest of Mau.

What seems to have happened is that Putin stopped paying attention to his economic advisors, led by Mau, probably about the time of the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led him to retreating from most public interactions. So, reportedly, instead of economic advisors like Mau, he concentrated on an inner circle following the essentially fascistic "Eurasianist" views of people like llya Ilyugin and more importantly, Alexander Dugin, whose 1997 book on this stuff is now required reading by Russian senior military officers. 

Barkley Rosser

Barkley Rosser


Cassandra said...

With all due respect, your sources on Russia appear to be feeding you dodgy information. My contacts have lived in Russia for decades and still have extensive, senior contacts. One said "Anyone who says Putin listens to Dugin can be dismissed right away." The other said that Mau is under house arrest. Further comment:

Putin listens to his economic advisers on the "right" -- Kudrin is the obvious one. He listens to those on the "left", like Glazyev, but he never decides in their favour. He listens even more to the oligarchs, and of far more significance to the future of the economy than Mau is the "merger" of Rusal with Nornick which Potanin appears to have endorsed of Deripaska's old idea.

Mau was one of Gaidar's men and I knew Gaidar to be corrupt personally, something which never figured in the damage he wreaked on the country. Mau's supporters now coming out in support indicate he's still aligned on the "right", but I don't know if he has had someone commercially powerful behind him. My hunch is that he's done the embezzlement he's charged with, small beer though that is. But his "soft" arrest -- he's allowed to stay at home -- indicates he has protectors and the arrest is no more than a warning and a sign of the considerable battle under way behind the scenes over how to run the war economy. Mau would have been a business-as-usual opponent of nationalization, capital controls, and everything a sophomore -- no, freshman -- understands to be required of an economy in Russia's present situation, but Nabiullina, Kudrin, et al. continue to block.

There are rumors that Mau looks to have had his hand in the till at Gazprom, but Gazprom would never confirm if true, so (yet other) sources aren't certain. More leaks from independent channels to Gazprom may firm this up.

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...


Sorry, but my connections trump yours by a longshot, like personally knowing a bunch of the people ware talking about, including mau and Naibullina. I am not sure the meaning of your italicized portion. Is this a quote from somebody over there?

Anyway, house arrest is an arrest, although obviously not as bad as what has happened to some others, and he has been a top economics adviser of Putin's, so his arrest is a pretty big deal, which is why I reported it.

As for Putin not paying attention to Dugin, your people are the ones seriously misinformed if they are not aware of this. Heck, Dugin has for many years borne the nickname, "Putin's Brain."

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

BTW, cassandra is wrong to assume that I or my sources are somehow fans of Mau's or maybe think he has not been corrupt. As a matter of fact, not particularly a fan of his and have also heard the reports of him being corrupt, which seemed to fit for somebody advising Putin. But that does not mean I think it is just great or a good sign that he has been arrested, even if it is just a house arrest.