In Markov’s opinion, there is a third version, which looks like a real conspiracy theory. According to it, people connected with the U.S. secret services might be standing behind Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and his inner circle. Allegedly, subversive work against Vladimir Putin is being conducted for this particular reason.
Recently, Sergei Sobyanin has been actively transforming from Moscow Mayor into a significant political player of a federal scale. Sobyanin's active actions in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge number of questions. So, many experts believe that he is trying to come into the spotlight by winning media focus, climbing up the political agenda and gradually even squeezing Vladimir Putin out of leadership.
Previously, many political scientists voiced the opinion that there might be a kind of hidden confrontation between Russian President and Moscow Mayor.
Moreover, they have recently got another confirmation of this version even if it looks not very obvious. It became known that Mikhail Mishustin, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, instructed the relevant authorities to scrutinize Sobyanin’s recent decrees for compliance with current legal acts. At least, this is the reason given by the Cabinet itself. However, the real motives of the federal center might be much deeper.
“Putin's Opponents Might Stand Behind Sobyanin”
Sergey Markov, a well-known Russian political scientist, maintains a very radical version of the checks of Sobyanin’s activities. According to him, today, there is an opinion that the real opponents of Vladimir Putin are hiding behind Sobyanin. Allegedly, strict quarantine measures were introduced in the city only to cause irritation among the residents, which might be later redirected at the incumbent Russian President.
In an interview with the media, Markov noted that there are two main reasons why Mishustin decided to examine the actions of Moscow’s authorities and its Mayor.
“The first explanation is that this scrutiny might be the government's response to people’s queries,” said Markov. “The Russians have a lot of questions on whether the actions taken by Sobyanin and other governors to restrict people’s basic rights are legal and legitimate. For example, the residents were deprived of the right to take strolls in the streets. If this question arises, a well-reasoned and detailed answer should be given to it. Of course, the Prime Minister, who acted in with his duties, decided to ask this question to the authorities that are responsible for it.”
According to Sergey Markov, there is another version of what is happening. It sounds quite radical, but it is not beyond the reach of reason to suggest. ‘It is not ruled out that Putin's opponents are standing behind Sobyanin,” said Markov. “They irritate people on purpose in order to make them vent their discontent on Putin. For example, this might be done to disrupt the voting on the amendments to the Constitution in the capital. In this case, the turnout is likely to be extremely low as a result of dissatisfaction with excessive restrictions. Of course, after this, the authorities might be accused of using an administrative resource. This discredits the referendum itself.”
In Markov’s opinion, there is a third version, which looks like a real conspiracy theory. He believes that people who are connected with the U.S. secret services might be standing behind Sergei Sobyanin and his inner circle. Allegedly, subversive work against Vladimir Putin is being conducted for this particular reason. Sergei Sobyanin might be promoted to the position of the next Russian President upon achieving the outcome.