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The Power Vertical

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Bodyguards

The Daily Vertical: Putin's Bodyguardsi
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February 05, 2016
The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.
By Brian Whitmore

The Daily Vertical is a video primer for Russia-watchers that appears Monday through Friday. Viewers can suggest topics via Twitter @PowerVertical or on the Power Vertical Facebook page.

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by: hn from: Berlin
February 06, 2016 19:36
What does it say about Putin's self confidence? Well I don't know, but it says a lot about the lack of material you had today Brian for your daily vertical and well, you had to find something bombastic, although very thin in content. Sometimes it is impressive how extremes look like each other.

When I want to know about Putin's selfconfidence I try to see what lies behind his big decissions by observing the state of Russia's war in Ukraine or in Syria, and the readiness of the west to keep the sanctions or to try to accomodate Putin behind the scenes. Sending his bodyguards around the country looks more like personal treats for them for their services than anything politically meaningful.
In Response

by: Sharik from: Helsinki
February 07, 2016 14:25
Well it says as much about the strength and stability of meritocratic western institutions as it does about the fragility and untenability of the occupants of positions of power in tyrannical, arbitrary mafia states, kingdoms or parties. It's no small demarcation to draw clear distinction between those responsible only to their electorate and those responsible to the frail, arbitrary and insane dictator that appointed them. One such leader will serve his region or district and as such will be unafraid to speak for his people and be critical of her head-of-state if duty so demands; the other will only serve the crown rather than be the bad dog that bites the hand that feeds it. One is leader with human flaws who can voted out of office if they fail to represent their people; the other is not a leader at all but a follower who, if they fail to flawlessly perform their task with devotion to their Demi-God, will be put down like a bad dog on the banks of the Moscow River.

Yes it's a simple point, but it's one that isn't not always so apparent to the protein-deprived Tsar Worshipers suffering the indignity of dupes inside a suicide cult of personality. From Berlin, you should not only understand this distinction perfectly well but also understand the consequences of muddling up these entirely different power structures, confusing one for the other.

The Russian Federation is not composed of free people.
Putin is nothing but the Warden; his servile lackeys, the prison guards.

by: Yoshua
February 06, 2016 23:49
I believe that the Tsar once said something like this: I trust my enemies, but fear my friends, since it is my friends that will betray me. But then again... he can't employ his enemies. Being a dictator is a tough job.

by: Patrick Verswevelt
February 06, 2016 23:56
Am starting to think that Putin is becoming a bit paranoid. Like many Russian leaders in the past, they don't know anymore whom they can trust. Wonder what the next step will be? Shoot them if they don't perform well? Like in the cartoon?

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The Power Vertical is a blog written especially for Russia wonks and obsessive Kremlin watchers by Brian Whitmore. It offers Brian's personal take on emerging and developing trends in Russian politics, shining a spotlight on the high-stakes power struggles, machinations, and clashing interests that shape Kremlin policy today. Check out The Power Vertical Facebook page or