chapter  6
10 Pages

Political war in action

WithMark Galeotti

The Presidential Administration is the single most central institution in modern Russia, cocooning the president, curating his information flows and communicating his wishes. But it also has a unique breadth of responsibilities and unusual level of coherence. Russia’s is a broad-based campaign in which the majority of individual ventures spring from the initiative of individuals within and without the government apparatus, guided by their sense of the Kremlin’s desires rather than any detailed masterplan. Dmitrii Peskov – despite his bizarre role in the so-called ‘Steele Dossier’ as the reputed coordinator of a grand Kremlin political operation to suborn and elect Donald Trump – lacks the time, experience or authority to work outside the realm of the media. The role of the Kremlin, mediated largely through the AP, is thus threefold. It is an inspiration for myriad bottom-up initiatives, setting direction and offering the hope of political and economic favour for those who deliver.