While addressing the annual State of the Nation, Vladimir Putin, the President, proposed certain constitutional amendments and reshuffled the country's Leadership.
He accepted the resignation of the previous Prime Minister, Dmitri Medvedev and announced certain changes that would allow him to stay in power even after 2024. Putin has been the longest-serving President after Stalin and recent political happenings have left the people of the country spellbound and even shocked the political bigshots.
It is quite natural that questions regarding the sudden ascent of Mikhail Mishustin is in people's mind. For those who are curious to know about him, we have some information about his career as well as his personal life.
Mikhail Mishustin, now 53, joined the Russian government back in 1998. He was born on the 3rd of March, 1966 in Lobnya, near Moscow.
Though not very famous as a politician, he had a very successful career as a technocrat. He does not belong to any political party and has been serving as the Director of the Federal Tax Service. He used to be a student of STANKIN Machine-Instrument Institute (presently known as Moscow State Technological University STANKIN) and completed both graduation and post-graduation from there.
He started his career as the director of a test laboratory and also joined the International Computer Club (ICC), (1992). He, later on, he became the head of the board of ICC.
During the time period from 1998 to 2004, Mishustin functioned as the Deputy Tax Minister and was second to the State Tax Service.Mikhail also worked as the Federal Agency for Real Estate Cadastre in the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and headed the Federal Agency for Managing Special Economic Zones.
He left Civil Service in the year 2008 and started his own business in investment. He then had a two-year regime as UFG Asset Management's President and finally resigned to join the Federal Tax Service. The Double Ph.D. Holder in Economics joined the personnel reserve of the President of Russia in February 2009.
After joining the state service as an assistant for Information System for Account and Controlling, Mikhailbecame the head of the State tax service of the Russian Federation (2010).
After being appointed as the Head of Federal Tax Service, he lodged a war against "dirty data" and started rooting out problems with unjustified VAT refunds. He had a major contribution in digitalizing the tax system of the country and helped in bringing many not-so-big businesses under the formal economy. This was with the view of the simplification of the fight of people against corruption. He made the whole system comparatively informal and amicable. New standards were set for providing services to the taxpayers. According to his interview in the Kommersant newspaper, Mishustin stressed upon embracing digital technology and artificial intelligence as a key requirement for the advancement of the country.
He has been a believer in the interaction of the business owners and citizens with the tax authorities. So far, the tax department had been quite strict with the businesses, but with the strong presence of Mishustin, it changed considerably. Its method of working was changed and more focus was put on analytical work. The inspections of small and mid-sized businesses got reduced.
Mikhail is also the author of more than 40 research articles and 3 monographs.
A hockey enthusiast, the new Prime Minister has been seen a couple of times in various hockey matches. He also happens to be a Board Member of the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia and is believed to have established a rapport with Putin through their common interest in the sport. He is also a songwriter, having written one for the famous pop music singer, Grigory Leps. An amateur musician, Mishustin has also been a pianist.
Despite being a man of talents, he has been the center of controversies for the wealth amassed. His purchase of a house worth hundreds of dollars during his tenure as a Deputy Tax Minister was found out as a result of the investigation.
His wife, a mother of three sons, reported earning 47.709 million rubbles (now coming to $776,000) in 2015.
In Russia’s Parliament, Mishustin got 383 out of 424 votes, with 41 people abstaining from voting and no votes against him! However, there are some eminent personalities who have commented against him. Overall, he has received mixed reviews.
According to lawmaker Gennadiy Gudkov, Mishustin is a faceless functionary without any ambition who is modifying the system in a way that can be detrimental to the country’s economy. A scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center, Tatiana Stanovaya termed him a technocratic placeholder stating that he has neither any popularity with the electorate nor any political experience. On the other hand, Putin’s previous advisor, Analyst Gleb Pavlovsky praised Mishustin, saying that he can make one of the finest bureaucrats of the world.
It is thus evident that the new Prime Minister has faced a mixture of positive and negative remarks about himself and only time will tell whether he will be able to prove himself competent enough for his position!