De ryska kraftministerierna: Maktverktyg och maktförsäkring
Publish date: 2006-01-01
Report number: FOI-R--2004--SE
Written in: Swedish
Twelve Russian ministries and services are directly subordinated to the president. The first impression is that they represent a rather motley crew. In fact they all perform a number of vital functions for the Kremlin. Sometimes, these are referred to as "power ministries" since a number of them administer armed troops. This is but one of several important power tools for the president. The power ministries also supply him with unique information. In addition, they constitute a form of power insurance, since they deliver infrastructure to the country´s highest leadership in the form of safe premises, protection and secure communications. There have been a number of speculations on the takeover of power by the old KGB or its heir, the Federal Security Service (FSB).However, it is most unikely that Putin would allow the FSB to become a contender for power. Instead, the different power ministries are locked in fierce competition with each other and Putin maintains a delicate balance of power between them as a means of controlling them. Demonising the power ministries and their influence involves the risk of papering over the more basic problems. The power ministries have an indirect influence on Russian policy making in that they deliver analyses and information. However, the most troubling aspect is the absence of control and scrutiny of this sphere of Russian politics. Neither an independent parliament nor a judicial system performs this function. The media and NGOs do not have the possibility to scrutinize this sphere. In other words, systemic errors, abuse of power, corruption and inefficiency thrive unchecked - something that has dire consequences for the development of democracy.