Who is this “man of great merit”? He’s just another up-and-comer who has a lot to learn about that sort of life. And we see how dangerous these people are, how they say one thing one day and another the next. They are all vile.
Kutuzov is a great scapegoat if it all goes to hell. Right man at the right time.
I love how this choice links back to the letter Bagration wrote in the previous chapter.