Vertical of power

   While the notion of a “vertical of power” (vertikal’ vlasti) within the Russian state dates to 1993, when Boris Yeltsin used it to describe an attempt to streamline governance in the Russian Federation, the concept became synonymous with the administration of Vladimir Putin. From 2000 to 2005, Putin set about implementing his plans to reduce the power of the federal subjects vis-à-vis the central government, especially with the gubernatorial electoral reforms of 2004-2005, which allowed him to create a “single chain of command” and expand the power of the executive branch of the government. In addition to the depletion of asymmetrical federalism, Putin also sought to reign in the press and eliminate the oligarchs as a political force in the country. Through the encouragement of an alliance between the so-called siloviki> and corporate interests, he was able to create synergy between Russia’s economic and political elites. Putin framed his neo-authoritarian agenda as an attempt to purge Russia of the chaos (bespredel) of the 1990s, when mafia, separatists, and other antistate interests sapped Russia of its power and prestige around the world. The dramatic resurgence of the state under Putin, however, has been viewed as acutely detrimental to the country’s fledgling civil society. Since assuming the presidency, Dmitry Medvyedev has signaled his intent to hew the sharper edges of the vertical of power.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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