Ten men to rule the nation. Dozens of clans fighting for resources. One arbiter to settle disputes.
It has gone by different names, from the collective Putin to Putin's Politburo. But most Kremlin-watchers agree that Russia is not, in fact, governed by formal institutions like the Cabinet of Ministers and the State Duma, but rather, by an informal collective leadership -- with Vladimir Putin as its front man and decider-in-chief.
The respected political analyst Yevgeny Minchenko has been monitoring and analyzing the composition and dynamics of this shadow ruling elite for years. And this week, his Minchenko Consulting Group released the latest update of their series, "Putin's Politburo 2.0."
In the latest edition of the Power Vertical podcast, I discussed the state of the "collective Putin" with co-host Kirill Kobrin of RFE/RL's Russian Service and special guest Sean Guillory of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies and author of "Sean's Russia Blog
Listen to or download the podcast above, or subscribe to "The Power Vertical Podcast"