Russian intelligence and security services : an indicator of Democratic reform
Muldoon, Thomas C.
Johnson, Terry D.
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Russia is nominally a democracy, but less than ten years ago it was a communist state. This thesis gauges the level of Russian democratic reform by analyzing the nature of its intelligence and security services. The autonomous and penetrative nature of the KGB clearly reflected the totalitarian nature of the Soviet Union. Now that Russia is a democracy, it follows that the current intelligence and security forces should be much less powerful than the KGB had been. Currently, the crises of regional militant nationalism, corruption, organized crime, and economic turmoil have allowed the services to retain a higher level of power than one would expect in a democratic state. Executive, legislative, and judicial oversight is dubious. Current laws allow the services to conduct penetrative investigations and surveillance. These same crises have created the conditions for a demoralized and underpaid security intelligence apparatus that is susceptible to corruption and freelancing. The conclusion of this thesis is that Russia's intelligence and security services are indeed less powerful than in the Soviet era, but they still are not appropriate for a liberal, democratic state. Russia still has not made the full transition to democracy.
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