SRB: Russian Succession as Explained by the Godfather

donputin0726.jpgSean’s Russia Blog has an interesting post which argues that just one scene from the beloved film The Godfather “says more about the fabled ‘Operation Successor’ than the typical analysis spewing from the pens and mouths of so-called experts“:

The scene takes place in Vito Corleone’s office where he and Michael are informing their capos Clemenza and Tessio about the Family’s future move to Nevada. “Forgive me, Godfather, but with you gone — me and Pete’ll come under Barzini’s thumb sooner or later…,” Tessio asks. “And I hate that goddamn Barzini! In six months’ time there won’t be nothing left to build on . . .,” Clemenza declares. “Do you have faith in my judgment?” the ailing Don asks. “Yes.” “Do I have your loyalty?” “Yes — always, Godfather…” “Then be a friend to Michael, and do as he says.” Michael, now seated in the Don’s chair explains, “There are things being negotiated now that are gonna solve all your problems and answer all your questions. That’s all I can tell you now…”

Garry Kasparov came to a similar conclusion last July. Sean also does a bit of math on the spy wars: Cherkesov’s famous letter + the Sergei Storchak arrest + the Oleg Shvartsman interview + the Investigative Committee probe = Putin’s selection of Medvedev. Not a gesture of personal power, but of elite survival, he argues.