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The Daily Vertical: Whom Does Putin Trust? (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

Pretty soon we may get a good idea of whom Vladimir Putin trusts.

Pretty soon, we may find out who the Kremlin leader is not afraid of.

Pretty soon, we may learn who will be the second-most-powerful person in Russia.

If Putin is really about to resurrect the old KGB in the form of a new Ministry of State Security -- uniting Russia's main security agencies under one roof -- a lingering question is: Whom will he choose to lead it?

Because the new MGB could turn out to be even more powerful than the old KGB, which, after all, was tightly controlled by the Soviet Communist Party.

Whoever ends up heading the MGB will have power potentially rivaling that of the president himself.

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Whom Putin entrusts with this power will be very telling at a time when the Kremlin leader has been tossing his old pals under the bus and becoming increasingly isolated

For the past year, Putin has been busy removing his old security-service cronies from key posts, most recently dismissing Sergei Ivanov as Kremlin chief of staff.

There are many reasons for this, but one appears to be that the Kremlin leader wants to eliminate any potential challenge to his rule from within his court.

When Putin established a new National Guard, he made sure it answered to him alone and placed his uber-loyal former bodyguard, Viktor Zolotov, at its helm.

So we know Putin trusts Zolotov. But who else?

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