Russian scientist and editor Vladislav Inozemtsev cautiously describes the Russian fourth branch in an article that appeared last week.
Not a very optimistic story: You would think that with this massive apparatus at the state’s disposal it would be possible to ensure strict observance of the law and provide people with effective protection of their lives and property. But statistics indicate that this is not the case at all, Inozemtsev writes. A bit further he adds: Russia has now become something of a security economy that is only able to extract raw materials from the earth and guard the system created for their distribution.
The author seems not very sure about the long term economic viability of the oligarchic police state in its current form. I suppose the system is likely to survive the 2008 presidential election, though.