Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2012

In Osteuropa 6-8/2012

Putin and His Friends
Russia’s Elite and the Fractious Nature of Power

Benno Ennker

Deutsche Fassung


Since his first election to the Russian presidency in 2000, Vladimir Putin has systematically filled all of the key positions in Russia’s constitutional bodies and the administration with his own appointees. These leading figures are personally dependant on Putin. This has led to a client-oriented bureaucracy. But this bureaucracy is by no means homogeneous. Conflicts of interest are nourished in particular by unequal access to resources, which provides opportunity for enrichment. Putin’s loss of legitimacy since December 2011 and the erosion of the elite’s subjective ability to rule pose a threat to the regime’s stability. The onset of repression that followed Putin’s coronation on 7 May 2012 has a secondary function. It also aims to discipline Putin’s elite.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2012, pp. 125–144)