Policy Memos

Putin's Court: How the Military Fits In

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The style of Vladimir Putin's presidency, while slightly unpronounced as yet, has certain unmistakable militaristic features. On many occasions during his first year--awarding gift knives to soldiers in Chechnya, congratulating the Pskov Division on Airborne Troops Day, or addressing the relatives of the crew of the Russian submarine Kursk--Putin sought to present himself not just as military-friendly, but as a leader who naturally belongs to this culture, with its self-discipline, professionalism, and a specific commandand-control mindset. This picture may be wrong in more than just detail. It hides not only a less than confident grasp of most military problems, but also a deep-seated mistrust which in the near future could cause a split or even conflict. [...]

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About the author

Research Professor
Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)