Putin and the siloviki

The KGB (Komitet Gosudárstvennoy Bezopásnosti), was the name of the Intelligence Agency (equivalent to the CIA) as well as the main agency of the USSR’s secret policy (equivalent to the FBI) from 1954 to 1991, popularly known as “The Centre” and until Khrushchev in charge of obtaining and analysing all the nation’s intelligence information for the Kremlin (the sword and shield of the USSR).

Bakatin defined the KGB as a “vicious state” within a state and was charged by Gorbachev with cleansing the KGB of officers averse to Glasnot and Perestroika, a term coined during Gorbachev’s tenure to define “a reform process based on restructuring the economy with the aim of reforming and preserving the outdated socialist system and giving Soviet society a certain spirit of enterprise and innovation”. This process, accompanied also by a hesitant democratisation of political life, led to profound socio-economic changes that brought about the end of the Gorbachev era, the subsequent collapse and disintegration of the USSR and the enthronement of economic globalisation under Yeltsin.

Putin and officialdom

The FSB, which employed 75,000 people, had been set up on 12 April 1995 by Yeltsin’s decree-law to replace the defunct KGB and appointed an unknown Vladimir Putin as Director in 2000 in place of Nikolai Kovalyov, who took power after the Yeltsin era. In 2004, Putin approved the reform of the secret services and in record time succeeded in defenestration of the primitive ruling class from the Yeltsin era (oligarchs), a corrupt mafia clique equivalent to a mini-state within the Russian state since 36% of the great fortunes would concentrate in their hands the equivalent of 25% of GDP, and their replacement by subjects of proven loyalty to him, without political fickleness and with the sole aim of quick profit.

Thus, with Putin we are witnessing the establishment of officialism, a political doctrine that combines the expansionist ideas of Russian nationalism, the blessings of the all-powerful Orthodox Church, the unpayable services of the FSB (successor to the KGB), the exuberant monetary liquidity obtained by the energy companies (GAZPROM) and part of the Khrushchevian ideology symbolised in an autocratic personalist power by attempting to unite in his person the Head of State and the Presidency of the Party.

Putin is wobbling?

However, following Putin’s falling out with the head of the Wagner group, Putin’s so-called chef de Putin, Prigozhin, the once unwavering support of the siloviki, or Russian power elite, for Putin has reportedly begun to waver in its values. In the Russian political lexicon, the siloviki would be ‘politicians who started their careers from the security or military services, usually as officers of the former KGB or other Russian security agencies’, also called securocrats, and who rose to power under Putin.

This ruling elite would include Gazprom chairman Alexei Miller, Rosneft oil company chairman Igor Sechin, oligarch and Putin’s personal friend Arcady Rotenberg, as well as Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, General Staff chief Valeri Gerasimov and FSB director Alexander Bortnikov, all led by Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council.

In the event of a peace agreement with Ukraine that is advantageous to Russia’s interests not being reached, Putin’s once omnipotent power could be further weakened and an endogenous plot could be hatched with the aim of staging a coup against Putin.

This plot would be executed by the FSB), and he would be accused of the same charges with which he decapitated the oligarchic clique: abuse of power, corruption and tax crimes (reviving the coup against Khrushchev in 1964 and his replacement by Leoniv Brezhnev after being accused of personality cult and political errors), not ruling out the reappearance of the Troika to prevent the accumulation of autocratic power in the post-Putin era.

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Foreign Policy News is a self-financed initiative providing a venue and forum for political analysts and experts to disseminate analysis of major political and business-related events in the world, shed light on particulars of U.S. foreign policy from the perspective of foreign media and present alternative overview on current events affecting the international relations.

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