Anonymous source: Alexander Elatontsev runs dry as professional
Penza, 2 November 2015. PenzaNews. Alexander Elatontsev, current acting head of Internal Policy and Mass Communications Department of the Penza region, has run his course as a professional, an anonymous source from the governor Ivan Belozertsev’s close circle told PenzaNews agency.
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According to the source, Alexander Elatontsev was greatly valued and even respected in the team of the previous Penza region governor Vasily Bochkarev, as he “frequently took on jobs others shunned and generated ideas his chief liked.”
“But the times has changed, and the new leader takes no interest in old ‘conspiracy theories.’ The former governor made it easy and even convenient to regularly make enemies out of bystanders. Like, for example, a certain opposition party member, a civil organization, a party, a journalist or a whole media source. Then they ‘blew into their chief’s ears,’ so to say, convince him these enemy elements ‘threaten’ the political stability of the region, as well as himself and his interests, although that ‘threat’ was but a mirage. Next, ‘struggle’ followed, and a very ‘ferocious’ one: they directly reported any ‘difficulties’ they always faced, that the situation is tough, need to ‘make another push,’ but it always resulted in victory. The ‘enemy’ is defeated, the chief is ‘protected,’ the job is done, the premium pay is pocketed. Everyone is satisfied. And the circle begins anew, but with other dramatis personae. They could lose their job otherwise – if you don’t have ‘enemies’ to fight, that means you don’t make results,” the source explained.
According to it, the so-called “daily media monitoring” still being prepared by “Penzenskaya Pravda” publishing center along with the Internal Policy and Mass Communications Department of the Penza region that founded it, continues to remain one of the tools of persuasion.
“Last Thursday, the press service of the city hall made a mistake and sent the Penza journalists a ‘Media Monitoring List on Socioeconomic and Political Situation in the Penza Region, October 28 2015,’ thus revealing the current political reality. Firstly, how could that even happen in the glorious kingdom of ours? Secondly, the publications are marked in a very odd fashion. The negative ones list only two articles from two online sources that have no weight in the overall stream of quotable info. Thirdy, the 43-page report itself is highly superfluous, many important newspieces absent. And why does the first person in the region needs this kind of filtered information? What do the report’s compilers seek? Forming a false image of the outer world for the governor? Does Elatontsev control the formation of these reports? Does he even know what goes to the governor’s table for reading?” the source asked in an interview with PenzaNews agency.
According to it, the absence of Alexander Elatontsev at the October 30 grand press conference of Ivan Belozertsev, his first as the new governor, after the report mishap is very notable.
“But it is he – the head of all press of the Penza region – who needs to be the first person seeking to be present at that press conference. Maybe then the online stream of the press conference, so highly and fashionable promoted shortly before, wouldn’t have flopped. And it’s no use trying to put all the blame on the Penza region government press service or the ISP who allegedly failed to provide good communications. When nobody understand who is responsible for what, chaos ensues. When there’s time for awards and premiums, the winners are quick to be found, but when it comes for being responsible for failures, out comes the old responsibility shifting, and that responsibility is a fairly vague one at that. What’s the government press service responsible for? What’s the Department responsible for? What do all those people even do? It appears that everyone’s responsible for everything, and for nothing and no-one at all in case of failure. It seems that was an a priori right strategy to follow under Bochkarev’s rule, if everything kept working, but that doesn’t count it with Belozertsev. Such approaches are completely false to begin with. But it appears that Elatontsev does not want to change anything, or simply cannot, since he ran his course as a professional. And if that’s the case, it is Elatontsev who must be replaced,” the source said.
It also reminded of the April 22 conflict related to Communists laying flowers to Vladimir Lenin monument, saying the issue that has been ongoing for over six months “was not quenched but puffed up by Elatontsev – and it seems that was intentional.”
“This scandal got blown up to federal level, with no small help from his statements. Currently, Lieutenant-Colonel Mameshin is pouring fuel into the fire. I wouldn’t be surprised if that appears to be another one of Elatontsev’s ideas to make a ‘filigree’ job of shifting the accents – from the department to the police, to show the opposition who is the boss. If that appears to be correct, this is another argument to fire him,” the source stressed.
“Elatontsev’s methods of working with the media are glaringly obsolete, while the new ones haven’t been thought out by him. And it’s likely they won’t, because he has nobody else to help him in this regard. His ally [Sergei] Pulikovsky [who managed the media field as deputy chairman of the Penza region government] is no longer a member of the gubernatorial team. [Acting chairman of the Penza region government Valery] Savin is no helper either, he’s got issues of his own – hard to be building media concepts when he begins to losing ground: either a chairman or a ‘shiftee.’ Though there are two more specialists from the authorities who had attracted attention before: Alexander Artobolevsky (the one who created the April 22 conflict with the Communists at the drop of a hat), and also Denis Abramov – no comments at all on the latter. Other people who had been helping Elatontsev, both in service and outside, turned away as well. He either has to take the gloves off and work hard, or write notice and keep stiff upper lip after refusing the sizeable salary and other state benefits,” the anonymous interviewee concluded.