Surkov, who is half-Chechen himself, not only co-founded Putin’s United Russia party and the Nasche youth organization, but was also long considered the Kremlin’s chief ideologue. During his career in the Russian presidential administration, he was responsible, among other things, for the economic development of the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. He is said to have supplied the leaders of the Ukrainian separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk with finance and weapons, and he therefore maintains good contacts in this region. As a result of these activities and his proximity to Moscow’s rulers, he was put on a US sanctions list as early as 2014.
It was all the more surprising in 2020 that he was relieved of his post due to disagreements and alleged corruption allegations. The next level of escalation now seems to have been reached with the pronounced house arrest.
The Moscow government currently appears to be taking rigorous action against all opponents, including those within its own country: Also on Monday, one of Putin’s most prominent opponents, Vladimir Kara-Mursa, was arrested. Kara-Mursa had already survived a poison attack by the FSB secret service seven years ago.