All CISAC News Commentary March 16, 2022

The World’s Most Dangerous Man

Putin’s Unconstrained Power Over Russia’s Nuclear Arsenal. Putin has turned his government into a personalist regime: a system in which he monopolizes meaningful authority.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin Meeting with members of the Government (via videoconference).
President of Russia Vladimir Putin meeting with members of the Government (via videoconference). Photo credit: kremlin.ru accessed via Wikimedia Commons

On the third day of the invasion of Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin called a meeting with Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the general staff of the Russian Armed Forces, and Sergei Shoigu, the minister of defense. Seated at the opposite end of an extraordinarily long table, Putin ordered them to “transfer the deterrence forces of the Russian army”—which include its nuclear weapons—“to a special mode of combat duty.” The directive was aired on Russian national television. As Putin made his announcement, both Gerasimov and Shoigu looked surprised and uneasy.

Read the rest at Foreign Affairs