In Russian politics, there is always the “troika,” like three horses unevenly pulling the sleigh thorough the cold and rugged Russian countryside. I had wondered if or where was the third horse with Putin and Medvedev in their “tandem” harness. The third horse was evidently the mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov. I had overlooked that. I thought Luzhkov was some way permanent in that city. Maybe he still does assume that, even though President Medvedev has sacked him. After all, until, in 2005, when then President Putin eliminated direct gubernatorial elections, Luzhkov had won three elections with majorities of about 80%. Moscow, in many ways, operated as quasi –state.
The troika is a perfect metaphor for the predictable unpredictability of Russian politics, and the future of a man whose wife owns Moscow real estate valued at $2-9 billion in the capital city representing about a quarter of the GDP of the whole country clearly has claim to a seat on the unpredictable troika. Or does he? Has Medvedev shown his power by pulling the sword on Luzhkov? Or has Putin shown his power by keep his sword sheathed in this affair, letting Medvedev take the action, and maybe the penalty if it “somehow” it was a mistake. We will have to wait and see.