The Political Elite in Post-Soviet Russia

  • Peter Rutland


The political elite in Russia is often thought to consist of three prominent groups: Putin’s inner circle, the oligarchs, and the siloviki. To these, I add a fourth, less visible but equally important: the state bureaucrats. At the apex of the elite system, these groups overlap: some siloviki have become business heads, while some oligarchs have moved into the security branches. The oligarchs, siloviki, and bureaucrats all head hierarchical organizations that have hundreds of thousands of lower-level officials. The mass base of Putin’s inner circle is less easily defined and rests to a high degree on the managed charisma of Vladimir Putin. The sustainability of this system in the face of a prolonged economic downturn remains an open question.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Rutland
    • 1
  1. 1.Wesleyan UniversityMiddletownUSA

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