Policy Memos

Power Ministries and Federal Reform in Russia

Policy Memo:


Publication Date:




Despite two and one-half years of federal reform under Russian president Vladimir Putin, there is still no clear understanding of just what this federal reform is supposed to achieve. The scope, impetus, and intended outcome of the reform project can still be analyzed from many different angles. This memo argues Russia’s power ministries or power structures are a source and driving force of reform, with their restructuring being one of the major goals of federal reform.

The reform, which created seven federal districts, was both a natural continuation and a revision of the military-administrative reform (whereby Russia’s military districts were consolidated into six districts). Military-administrative reform began in 1998. The goal was rationalization and simplification of how the power ministries had divided up territory for administrative purposes. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Department of Comparative Politics; Senior Research Fellow
Higher School of Economics, Russia; Chatham House, UK