The KGB in the Kremlin: Vladimir Putin and the "Vertikal" of Power

  • 2017

The KGB in the Kremlin: Vladimir Putin and the "Vertikal" of Power

Author:
Cedric Crawley
Abstract:

Since March 2000, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has ruled Russia. From his ascension to power after the downfall of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, Putin has created a “vertikal” of power that has ensured his continued reign over the Russian state for the last sixteen years. And, if current indications continue, he may go on governing his homeland for perhaps decades to come. Putin’s “vertikal” is not simply the unquestioned domination of one man, but a system of control where his personal apparatchiks declare loyalty to a Putinist Russia and are then seeded into positions of authority where their individual ambitions – and in the case of Russia’s financial oligarchs, their vast wealth – serve the interests of the state first and foremost. It is a system combining, for now, a soft autocracy with all the overlays of social democracy. But how did Vladimir Putin arrive here? And how did he build this vast network of near-unchallenged authority? To understand the Putin of today it is essential to know the Putin of yesterday, what shaped him, what motivated him, and what overriding mission compels him forward in the modern era. Is he simply driven by a strong nationalist pride to exalt Russia once more to a central place on the world stage, or is there more? This investigation looks at the young KGB officer who was Vladimir Putin and projects the lines about what the world may expect from the man who is now President Putin, leader of the Russian Federation.