Saturday, July 10, 2021

Siloviki Set to Increase to More than a Quarter of Duma Membership

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 5 – At present, 81 of the 450 members of the Duma are from the military or security services; but after the September elections, analysts say, it will rise by more than 50 percent and thus people in uniform will form more than a quarter of all the members of that legislative body.

            Fifty-two of the 225 United Russia candidates running in single member districts are in uniform, and another 40 military and security personnel are in regional groups, URA reports. But there are also more military figures running as members of the KPRF, LDPR, and Just Russia-For Truth parties (\

            On the one hand, such people when elected are certain to follow orders from the government even more loyally than others; and on the other, the presence of such personnel in the supposedly “systemic opposition” parties makes the latter even less independent than they now are, the Urals news agency suggests.

            But perhaps the most important impact of this development will be in the subjects of laws proposed and passed and their quality. In the future Duma, these people are likely to push legislation about national security; and they are even less likely than the current members to be concerned about the fundamental rights of the population.

            The URA report does not mention what this trend means more generally, but it seems obvious that this is a reflection both of the increasing role of the siloviki in the Russian government at large and of the growing authoritarianism of that government which clearly views those in uniform as the best or at least most obedient executors of its will.


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