• 1. This approach to analyzing Russia’s policy behavior in security-related areas differs from the more common approach of security studies specialists, with their focus on whether or not Russia behaves according to a strategy. It could be argued that there is some concurrence between a “strategic” approach and a bureaucratic process, and between a lack of strategy and a crony-based decision-making system, although one would not want to push the comparison too hard. Monaghan (2013) discusses both the personalist and bureaucratic barriers to a strategic approach. See also Monaghan (2014) and Cooper (nd).
  • 2. At a press conference on 4 March 2014, Putin denied that they were Russian soldiers. The next month he admitted that Russian troops were indeed present. president/news/20796.
  • 3. Zygar’ (2016) claims that the first Russian troops were dispatched on 20 February. Reports of a Ministry of Defence campaign medal “For the return of Crimea” with the dates 20 February to 18 March might serve as confirmation (Kates 2014).
  • 4. Bortnikov joined the Committee for State Security (KGB) in 1975 and served most of his career in Putin’s home town of Leningrad/ St Petersburg; Patrushev joined the KGB in 1974, was director of the FSB 1999-2008, and in 1998 worked with Putin in the presidential administration; Ivanov joined the KGB in 1975 and worked in the same department as Putin in Leningrad.
  • 5. Monaghan states that Putin uses the Security Council to give direct instructions (2014, p. 5). In the case cited, in April 2014 Putin departed from the agenda to receive a report from Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov on the outcome of discussions with West European gas customers on issues arising from the situation in Ukraine. In response to the report, Putin asked Lavrov to provide additional information on Russia’s gas contract with Ukraine to those customers. It is clear that the original policy action, a letter in Putin’s name to customers, followed discussion in cabinet, and his rather vague instructions to Lavrov were also addressed to the government. It appears that generally Putin deals with or through the government regarding gas dealings with Europe. Indeed

Putin’s performance at the Security Council reeks of a PR action - that it was published and released on video is unusual for Council meetings. There is not enough evidence from this case to suggest that as sensitive an issue as gas policy is the domain of the Security Council, or that Putin’s instructions derived from a Security Council discussion (kremlin. ru/news/20763).

  • 6. Naryshkin, a Leningrader, reputedly met Putin while studying at the KGB Academy in the late 1970s. Gryzlov went to school with Patrushev. He has a Soviet-era background in the defense industry and in the post-Soviet period worked in business before going into electoral politics. As a break from the Duma, he was brought into the Ministry of Internal Affairs as minister in 2001-2002 to shake things up, and in December 2015 was appointed Putin’s representative at Donbas negotiations. Matvienko worked in the Leningrad komsomol in Soviet times, and then had a diplomatic career through the 1990s before entering politics.
  • 7. Monaghan (2014, p. 10) notes the significance of the timing of this meeting.
  • 8. In putting it this way Monaghan is referring to the entire membership of the Council. See also Ven Bruusgaard (2014, p. 88).
  • 9. Allison (2014, p. 1271) sees it as possible that an annexation plan existed as early as autumn 2008, “for possible activation in the event that Kiev were to move close to accession to NATO in the near future.” This is presumably based on Putin’s reported threats at the Bucharest NATO summit, cited above.
  • 10. The head of which, Anatolii Popov, has a very mixed background in business and state administration, including a brief appointment as finance director of Rosvooruzhenie. His work in charge of reconstruction work in Chechnya in 2001-2003 earned him a medal, “For comradeship in battle,” from the FSB and a trophy gun from the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
  • 11. It is perhaps instructive that in November 2015 there was a series of meetings chaired by Putin on security-related matters. No lists of participants were published, but from the photograph on the presidential website accompanying the report of the meeting on developments in space we can see that Siluanov attended (13 November 2015). If he attended the meeting on defence issues (12 November 2015), he cannot be seen in the photograph and was certainly not sitting where he had been at the 13 November meeting.
  • 12. Zygar’ (2016) claims that government liberals argued vigorously against the decision to proceed to annexation, rather than some form of Russian influence short of that, out of fear of the international reaction. He provides no detail on the forums in which they presented their arguments.
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