President Vladimir Putin’s ascent to power has refocused minds in Russia and the west on the state institutions which, in the ﬁnal analysis, are the bedrock for his administration. Without the army and interior troops, Putin’s bark would remain very much worse than his bite.
Increasingly it seems that his administration is conducting a determined and concerted plan – despite all the difﬁculties – to re-centralise Russia and return power as far as possible to Moscow and the Kremlin. This attempt would be undermined considerably were he not able to call upon the services of the military to control any adverse reaction and, if necessary, perhaps enforce his will. There is a visible effort underway to raise the proﬁle and prestige of the military inside Russia, to counteract the Yeltsin years of decline, and instil a new patriotism.