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The Return of the Siloviki: An Introduction

In: Russian Politics
Author:
Michael Rochlitz University of Bremen, michael.rochlitz@uni-bremen.de

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After a period of relative political liberalization under president Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s security services have again started to play a central role in Russian politics with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012. In this issue of Russian Politics, we analyze three different aspects of this return of the siloviki: the way they think and see the world, how the relationship between governors and siloviki affects economic development at the regional level, and how the strengthening of the siloviki since 2012 compares to the strengthening of the Chinese internal security services, which took place during the same time. We identify a new assertiveness of Russia’s siloviki, as well as a centralization of power around Vladimir Putin through the dismissal of other influential heavyweights within Russia’s security services, and speculate what this might mean for Russia’s short- to mid-term future.

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