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'One of the tropes of Western commentary about Russia is that its political system is highly personalised around Putin. Putin supposedly runs everything himself, making all important decisions, consulting only his cronies, with his officials and ministers mere servants of his will. To the extent that policy debate within Russia’s political system takes place at all, it is purely faction fights between oligarchs or 'clans', battling for Putin's favour. This has no connection to reality. Though Putin is obviously the main decision maker, Russia’s Presidential website shows that it is Russia’s Security Council - not Putin alone - which makes the key decisions.'