the names of the departing ministers, the names and biographical details of arriving ministers and the few changes in reporting lines were released to the wire services. Their correspondents hastened to find Duma members, think tank celebrities and others whom they hoped could make sense of the changes for their viewers.
Eventually, late in the night, a picture emerged of what the latest seismic wave in Russian politics means. I will try to present the generalities here. I will not go into detailed examination of each minister, because such micro-investigation is neither my specialty, nor is it likely to interest an international readership for whom 'which way the wind is blowing' is quite sufficient.
Of course, in the past week, even the contours of political change have appeared inscrutable to Western media who could only fall back on the assumptions that whatever Putin is up to cannot be good.