We ultimately ended our Bush-era debate by concluding that the intelligence services had not taken over Russia. To be sure, a former intelligence officer was - and again is - ruling Russia, and had staffed the top levels of the government with men sharing his background. Still, <...> we decided that the services answered to Putin rather than the other way around. This conclusion seems as correct today as it did then, especially as Mr. Putin has expanded our insight into how he uses the skills he learned as a KGB officer. Still, <...> no one controls Putin. Whatever Russia’s fate in the years ahead, he will be the man who is responsible.
Министр обороны Великобритании Филип Хэммонд:
<...> all the evidence suggests that the Russian agenda is being very much run by President Putin personally. And other Russian players, including Minister Shoygu, may express views, but it's a moot point, and we cannot know, we do not know to what extent all of those people are really inside the inner circle in which President Putin is planning this exercise.