爱思英语编者按:谢尔盖·绍伊古,现任俄罗斯国防部长,曾担任过统一俄罗斯党最高领导人;俄罗斯联邦副总理;国家紧急情况部长;莫斯科州州长, 获得过一次“俄罗斯英雄”称号。

Russia's Sergei Shoigu
谢尔盖·绍伊古

Master of emergencies
紧急情况大师

The trusty defence minister is the only person to serve in every government since the fall of the Soviet Union. He could be the next president
这位深受信任的国防部长是自苏联奔溃以来唯一一位在每一届政府中都服务过的人。他可能成为下一任总统。

谢尔盖·绍伊古.jpg

ON VLADIMIR PUTIN'S birthday in October, his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, brought him a gift: the latest briefing on Russia's military campaign in Syria. It included news that cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea had struck targets nearly 1,500km away. “We know how complicated such operations are,” Mr Putin replied approvingly. That evening the pair celebrated by playing an ice-hockey match with their amateur club. Mr Putin knocked in seven goals, and Mr Shoigu scored one for good measure. Their team won handily.

在今年10月普京生日的那一天,他的国防部长谢尔盖·绍伊古带给他一份礼物:俄罗斯在叙利亚军事行动的最新简报,它包括了发自里海的巡航导弹击中了接近1500公里外目标的新闻。“我们知道,此类行动是如何的复杂,”普京赞同的回答道。那天晚上,两个人参加了业余俱乐部的一场冰球赛,庆祝了普庆的生日。普京打进了7个球,绍伊古锦上添花,也打进了一球。他们的球队轻松地赢了比赛。

Since Mr Shoigu took over the defence ministry in late 2012, his partnership with Mr Putin has flourished off the ice, too. The Russian armed forces have emerged as the primary instrument of Mr Putin's foreign policy. In Crimea and eastern Ukraine, along the edges of NATO airspace and now in Syria, Russia has projected power with newfound effectiveness. Under Mr Shoigu, Russia's armed forces have “demonstrated a capability and organisation and logistics skill-set that we have not seen before,” says Evelyn Farkas, who was until recently the Pentagon's top official on Russian affairs.

自绍伊古在2012年年末接任俄罗斯国防部长后,他与普京的合作也实现了破冰,亲密程度迅速升温。俄罗斯军队已经现身为普京外交政策的主要工具。在克里米亚和东乌克兰,在北约空域边沿地带,如今是在叙利亚,俄罗斯以焕然一新的效率投射了军事力量。刚刚卸任的五角大楼俄罗斯事务高级官员伊芙琳·法尔克斯说,在绍伊古的领导下,俄罗斯军队“展示了一种我们未曾见过的能力、组织和后勤保障。”

But Mr Shoigu is much more than Russia's latest defence minister. At 60, three years younger than Mr Putin, he is the longest-serving member of the Russian government; his tenure stretches back to 1990, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, when Mr Putin was still toiling in obscurity in the St Petersburg mayor's office. He made his name at the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MChS), a semi-militarised rescue service with a wide remit that he built himself and led for nearly 22 years. By skilfully navigating Russia's Byzantine bureaucracy, he has accrued power and popularity without making any notable enemies. “There's no one else like him in the ruling class,” says Evgeny Minchenko, an analyst who studies the Russian elite. “It's an absolutely unprecedented story.”

但是,绍伊古不仅仅是最新一任的俄罗斯国防部长。今年60岁的他,比普京小三岁,是俄政府中服务时间最长的官员;他的任期可以追到苏联崩溃前的1990年。当时,普京还在圣彼得堡市长办公室中默默无闻地工作。他成名于俄罗斯紧急情况部。紧急情况部是一个由他一手建立的半军事化救援机构,管辖范围宽广,他领导这个机构将近22年。他凭借着高超的能力,周旋于俄罗斯臃肿的官僚机构之间,逐渐积累了权力和人气,没有结下任何仇敌。“在现在的领导层中,还没有一位像他那样的人,”研究俄罗斯精英阶层的分析师叶甫根尼·明琴科说。“这是一个绝对前所未有的故事。”

Russia is a land of emergencies, from droughts and forest fires to sinking submarines, apartment-block bombings and school hostage dramas. The most recent addition is the crash of a charter plane over the Sinai peninsula, possibly due to terrorism. So it is hardly surprising that the minister of emergency situations should become one of the best-known figures in Russian politics. Although Mr Shoigu does not belong to Mr Putin's coterie of ex-KGB men from St Petersburg, he is a trusted insider. Mr Minchenko, who releases a widely circulated yearly report called “Politburo 2.0”, puts Mr Shoigu second in influence among Mr Putin's associates, trailing only his chief of staff, Sergei Ivanov. When big decisions like the operations in Ukraine or Syria are made, Mr Shoigu is indispensable. His combination of loyalty, competence and popularity also makes him one of a handful of potential successors to Mr Putin.

俄罗斯是一个紧急情况的国度,从洪水和森林火灾,到潜艇沉没和居民楼爆炸,以及校园劫持事件,各种突发事件层出不穷。最新的一起事件是,一架包机可能由于恐怖主义在西奈半岛上空的坠毁。因而,如果紧急情况部部长成了俄罗斯最出名的政治人物之一,几乎不会令人惊讶。尽管绍伊古不属于普京的由来自圣彼得堡的前克格勃官员组成的小圈子,但是,他是一位深受信任的局内人。明琴科在他发布的一份广为流传的年度报告《政治局2.0》中,将绍伊古排在了普京合伙人影响榜的第二位,仅次于俄罗斯总统办公厅主任谢尔盖.伊万诺夫。每一次重大决策出台的背后,比如像乌克兰或叙利亚军事行动,绍伊古都是不可或缺的人物。他的忠诚、能力和人气还让他成为了屈指可数的几位可能接替普京的人之一。

Mr Shoigu grew up in southern Siberia, in the little-known republic of Tuva. He had a liking for sports, backyard brawls and risky stunts, such as hopping the ice floes across the powerful Yenisei river. Such high jinks earned him the nickname Shaitan (“Satan”). An engineering degree in Krasnoyarsk and several successful construction projects led to a summons to Moscow in 1990 by the Communist Party leadership. After a stint on an architecture committee, Mr Shoigu took over a new corps of rescue workers, turning it into the highly effective organisation that eventually became MChS. He also showed unflinching loyalty, coming to the aid of Boris Yeltsin during the attempted coup in August 1991 and again during the constitutional crisis of October 1993.

绍伊古在南西伯利亚鲜为人知的图瓦共和国长大。他爱好体育,喜欢打篮球,经常表演像乘着浮冰穿越奔腾咆哮的叶尼塞河这样的高危特技,此类冒险活动为他赢得了“魔鬼”的绰号。 1990年,他凭借着在克拉斯诺亚尔斯克获得的一个工程学学位和多个成功的建筑项目,被当时的苏共领导层招致首都莫斯科。在经过了在一个建筑委员会的一段任期后,绍伊古接手了一支新型的救援队伍,将其打造成了一个最终成为紧急情况部的高效率组织。此外,他还展示了不知不扣的忠诚,在1991年8月的未遂政变和1993年10月的宪法危机期间给予了叶利钦极大的帮助。

In the chaos of the 1990s, Mr Shoigu became a reassuring presence. Besides handling fires and natural disasters, he served as a mediator in conflicts from South Ossetia to Tajikistan and Chechnya. In 1999, as Mr Yeltsin prepared to hand the reins to Mr Putin, his team tapped Mr Shoigu to lead a new political party called Unity, which later morphed into United Russia, the current ruling party. Mr Yeltsin described Mr Shoigu as “our greatest star”.

在上世纪90年代的混乱中,绍伊古成了一个令人放心的存在。在处理各种火灾和自然灾害之余,他还先后在南奥塞梯、塔吉克斯坦和车臣,扮演了一位冲突调停者的角色。1999年,随着叶利钦准备将大权交给普京,他的团队说动了绍伊古去领导一个新政党——团结党。后来,这个政党演变成了现在的执政党——统一俄罗斯党。叶利钦曾把绍伊古描述为“我们最伟大的明星”。

When Mr Putin took power, his strategists needed to define the amorphous new leader for the public. Gleb Pavlovsky, a former Kremlin adviser, says the administration “consciously crafted” Mr Putin's image in part on Mr Shoigu's: “Putin was supposed to be a rescuer, too.” Mr Shoigu, who had never wanted to enter party politics, wisely ceded the spotlight. He understood, as Mr Pavlovsky puts it, “that one log can't support two bears”.

当普京从叶利钦手中接过权力时,他的团队曾需要定义这位新领导人的公众定位。克里姆林宫的前顾问格列布·帕夫洛夫斯基说,政府曾有意识地按照绍伊古的形象塑造了普京:“普京也被设计成一位救援者。”从未想要进入政党政治的绍伊古明智地让出了聚光灯的焦点。正如帕夫洛夫斯基所说,他知道“一根原木支撑不了两头熊”。

Instead, Mr Shoigu ingratiated himself. In 2000 he gave Mr Putin a black labrador, Koni, who became the president's favourite dog. He accompanied Mr Putin on his macho, shirtless adventure trips. He patriotically took holidays in Russian forests rather than on French beaches. The men shared an interest in history; Mr Shoigu became president of the Russian Geographical Society, a revived tsarist-era group that serves as a club for the Russian elite.

相反,绍伊古巴结上了普京。2000年,他送给普京一条黑色的拉布拉多犬,这条狗成为了普京的爱犬科尼。在普京那些展示男子汉气概的冒险之旅中,他陪王伴驾不离左右;度假时,他爱国地选择了俄罗斯的森林而不是法国的海边胜地。两人都对历史感兴趣;绍伊古成为了俄罗斯地理学会这个复活了的沙皇时代的俄罗斯精英俱乐部的主席。

Officer and gentleman
指挥官和绅士

After Anatoly Serdyukov, the previous defence minister, fell out of favour, Mr Putin put the armed forces in Mr Shoigu's hands. Mr Serdyukov oversaw much-needed reforms, but alienated the top brass. Mr Shoigu has largely preserved the changes while restoring morale. “Under Shoigu, the army began to believe in itself,” says Mikhail Khodarenok, editor of the Military-Industrial Courier, a defence weekly.

在前任国防部长阿纳托利·谢尔久科夫失宠后,普京把俄罗斯军队交到了绍伊古手中。谢尔久科夫主持了急需的改革 ,却疏远了高级将领。绍伊古在极大地保留了这些改革的同时却恢复了士气。“在绍伊古的领导下,军队开始有了自信,”防务周刊《军工信使》的主编米哈伊尔·霍达列诺克说。

Mr Shoigu has concentrated on military readiness—and public relations. He has ramped up exercises and snap inspections, says Dmitry Gorenburg of Harvard University, an expert on the Russian army. Early decisions, such as ordering soldiers to switch from archaic cloth foot-wraps (portyaniki) to socks, helped restore the reputation of an army that had been derided throughout the post-Soviet era.

绍伊古的重点是战备和公共关系。哈佛大学的俄罗斯军事专家德米特里·格伦堡说,绍伊古增加了一系列演习和突击抽查。像命令士兵用袜子代替裹脚布这样的一些早期决定,促进了一支曾在后苏联时期备受嘲笑的军队的名誉的恢复。

At first his pragmatic attitude held for relations with the West, too. Mr Shoigu affably called Chuck Hagel, then the American defence secretary, by his first name. “Whereas the default position for many Russian security officials is to throw up roadblocks, he seemed to relish blowing through them,” says Derek Chollet, a former assistant secretary of defence.

他的务实态度最初还体现在了与西方的关系上面。绍伊古曾经友好地用姓来称呼时任美国国防部长哈格尔。“就在许多俄罗斯安全官员的默认位置仍是设置路障时,绍伊古似乎已经在享受去除这些路障了,”前美国国防部长助理德莱克·夏洛特说。

The Ukraine crisis ended that chumminess. When Mr Putin decided to seize Crimea, Mr Shoigu dispatched a deputy, Oleg Belaventsev, to oversee the invasion. (Mr Belaventsev is now presidential envoy to Crimea.) Mr Shoigu's experience as a crisis manager served him well. “The Crimean operation demonstrated a new Russian army,” says Mr Minchenko. “And Shoigu became a symbol of that army.”

乌克兰危机结束了这段蜜月期。当普京决定占领克里米亚时,绍伊古派出了一位副国防部长Oleg Belaventsev来负责这次入侵(Oleg Belaventsev现在是总统的克里米亚特使。)绍伊古的危机管理者经历帮了他很大的忙。“克里米亚行动展示了一支全新的俄罗斯军队,”明琴科说,“而绍伊古也成了这支军队的象征。”

On May 9th, during celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany, Russian television cameras fixed on a black convertible ferrying Mr Shoigu onto Red Square. Decked out in full military regalia, he crossed himself as he passed under the Kremlin walls. The highly unusual gesture was seemingly designed to allay any questions about the half-Tuvan, half-Russian's Christianity. The attention bestowed upon Mr Shoigu became the topic of fresh speculation: was he destined for higher office?

5月9日,在苏联战胜纳粹德国70周年的庆祝活动期间,俄罗斯各大电视台的摄像机都对准了载着绍伊古前往红场的一辆黑色敞篷车上面。一身戎装的他,在克里姆林宫宫墙下通过时,在胸前画了十字。这个罕见举动似乎是专门为了打消人们对对这位来自图瓦共和国的俄罗斯东正教教徒的各种疑虑而设计的。倾注在绍伊古身上的注意力已经成了最新猜测的话题:他会被委以更高的职位吗?

The ultimate emergency
终极紧急情况

The question of what comes after Mr Putin haunts Russia's political system. The president's grip on power is based in part on the idea of bezalternativnost, the lack of alternatives. If a real number two were to emerge, it would “be the start of a game that [Mr Putin] fears because he cannot control it,” argues  Pavlovsky.

普京之后是谁的问题是俄罗斯政治体系所面临的一个难题。总统抓着权力不放部分是基于替代人选匮乏的想法。如果一位真正的二号人物出现了,这会成为“[普京]所担心的那种争斗的开始,因为普京无法掌控这种争斗。” Pavlovsky说。

But if a shortlist exists, Mr Shoigu is probably on it. He remains Russia's most trusted and popular politician not named Putin. He has avoided scandals and is perceived as relatively clean. (The anti-corruption campaigner, Alexey Navalny, has accused him of building a gaudy pagoda-style home worth $18m—charges Mr Shoigu's representatives have denied.) Mr Shoigu has long denied having political ambitions. Yet that may work in his favour. “He's not obviously desperate to climb the greasy pole,” argues Mark Galeotti, a Russia scholar at New York University, “which might mean that he's precisely the one who ends up on top of it.” When the ultimate emergency strikes, Russians may well turn to their first rescuer-in-chief.

但是,如果这样一份名单真的存在,绍伊古可能会名列其中。他仍然是俄罗斯除普京之外的最受信任和最有人气的政客。他避免了各种丑闻,并且还被认为是一个相对干净的人。(反腐败运动人士阿里克谢·纳瓦林一直在指责他建造了一幢价值1800万美元的豪华别墅。但是,绍伊古的发言人已经否认了这项指控。)绍伊古长期以来一直否认自己有政治野心。然而,这可能对他有利。纽约大学的俄罗斯学者马克·盖罗迪指出:“他明显不是不顾一切往上爬的那种人,而这一点恰恰可能意味着,他就是最终登上最高位的那个人。”当极端紧急情况袭来时,俄罗斯人极有可能转向他们的首任救援队长。