The term siloviki is a recent coinage derived from the Russian word sila (power). The notion designates governmental power institutions and agencies such as the police, army, and various security services. The term first appeared in the 1990s, when it was used in colloquial speech to refer to new state power instruments that had often confusing and contradictory jurisdictions. The term eventually became common in the Russian media and officialdom, being used to denote Russian governmental culture after the rise of Vladimir Putin. In the West, the word is used in relation to the individuals who command the state power institutions and who are close to the president of the Russian Federation. The influence of such individuals is often contrasted with the power of the apparatchiks in the late Soviet context and with the oligarchs in the Yeltsin era.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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