Who controls the Russian military?

What are the political dynamics surrounding the Russian military? Exploring potential scenarios for Russia’s civil-military development and implications for NATO and Europe

, Berlin time (CEST, UTC+2)

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  • Camille Grand, distinguished policy fellow, ECFR
  • Kirill Shamiev, visiting fellow, ECFR

Chaired by

Kadri Liik, senior policy fellow, ECFR

For over two centuries, Russia has thwarted military coups, with its armed forces faithfully executing civilian decisions on the use of force. However, civilian control over the armed forces encompasses more than just protection against coups, and the complexities of civil-military relations in Russia require a closer look. While President Putin curtailed the military’s autonomy, Russian armed forces hold sway over defence policy making, presenting challenges to President Putin’s reform agenda in the sector. Moreover, the interaction between domestic security agencies, the armed forces, the defence industry, and affiliated civil society groups within an increasingly authoritarian regime has elevated the status of the military elite in Putin’s public affairs.

In this webinar, our speakers will delve into the political dynamics surrounding the Russian military and present potential scenarios for Russia’s civil-military development in the future. All the while, they will ask what this means for NATO and Europe, exploring the implications and lessons learned from Russia’s civil-military dynamics and its impact on the global stage.