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High Noon
The Siloviki Showdown

Our own Karina Orlova has been on a roll lately, with her excellent reporting and incisive analysis of the latest fight inside Russia’s security services getting noticed by a lot of people.

American coverage of Russia tends to focus exclusively on the person of Vladimir Putin, with less heed being paid to how the relationships between the various power centers below him play out. The latest drama in siloviki land appears to be the result of the rise of General Viktor Zolotov, Putin’s long-time chief of security, who was recently appointed to head up the National Guard. Extortion, turf wars, politicians’ arrests, oligarchs going into exile—this story has it all. Here are some links, in chronological order, to make it easy to catch up:

On His Majesty’s Secret Services

Old Guard Billionaire to Leave Sinking Russian Ship

Making the Oprichnina Great Again

The FSB Goes After an American Company

One Man’s Land: Behind the FSB’s Attack on Russia’s Investigative Committee

Putin Puts the Brakes on Sechin

After you’re all up to date, we encourage you to surf on over to RFE/RL’s website to listen to Karina discuss the story with the excellent Brian Whitmore and Mark Galeotti on the Power Vertical podcast. Galeotti in particular is the rare Western analyst who does in fact keep close tabs on this aspect of modern Russia. It’s a very illuminating episode:

Finally, earlier this month, Karina did a podcast over at CIPE to talk about current living conditions in Russia, people’s attitudes towards corruption, the challenges facing journalists working there, and what finally made her decide to leave.

Stay tuned, there’s more to come!

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