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Securitising RussiaThe Domestic Politics of Vladimir Putin$
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Edwin Bacon, Bettina Renz, and Julian Cooper

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719072246

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719072246.001.0001

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The security forces

The security forces

(p.22) 2 The security forces
Securitising Russia

Edwin Bacon

Bettina Renz

Julian Cooper

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the role of the siloviki (that is, personnel from the ‘force structures’ or ‘power ministries’, chiefly the security services, the armed forces, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs) in Russian political life. It analyses the degree to which Vladimir Putin's administration has acted to boost the role of the force structures in Russia in the public space, concluding that the picture is not so straightforward as is often portrayed. It argues for a stronger emphasis on existing policies and procedures than on conclusions based simply on the provenance of individual politicians and officials. This chapter also investigates the perception that there is a clear divide between the eras of Putin and Boris Yeltsin in regard to the role and influence of siloviki in Russian politics and civil society. In regard to the question of the ‘spy-mania’ often cited as having developed during the Putin presidency, the chapter shows that this phenomenon also has its roots almost totally in the Yeltsin era, and indeed that some improvements in this regard can be found under Putin.

Keywords:   Russia, Vladimir Putin, siloviki, security services, political life, civil society, Boris Yeltsin, politics, spy-mania, force structures

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