The Silovik-Industrial Complex: Russia's National Guard as Coercive, Political, Economic and Cultural Force
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 29, Number 1, Winter 2021
- pp. 3-29
- Additional Information
The creation of the National Guard (Rosgvardiya) in 2016 represented a striking reorganization of Russia's public order and internal security forces, suggesting a growing concern on the part of the Kremlin that it might need to deploy force onto the streets. It also created a powerful new institution with political, business and even cultural ambitions, one that uses its coercive muscle to capture new economic opportunities. As such, its emergence and evolution can be used to assess not only the coercive capabilities and intent of the regime, but also why and how bureaucratic structures compete, seek to build empires, and extend their influence into new domains. In particular, it offers insights into the continued importance of horizontal politics in a system too often conceptualized in purely vertical terms.