August 21, 2009: Western pundits and journalists like to throw around the idea that Russia is currently being run by veterans of the Soviet era KGB. A check of the public record quickly reveals that this is not so. Of the top hundred officials in the Russian government, only twelve percent had worked for the KGB (the Russian version of the U.S. CIA). Another (Sergei Stepashin) had worked for the MVD (the Interior Ministry, which had intel capabilities similar to MI5 in Britain) and Vladimir Putin worked for the GRU (similar to the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency). Only four of the twelve former KGB men still work in intelligence. None of Russian president Medvedev's top 21 officials have any KGB experience.
The KGB influence in the Russian government is real, but far less than dominating. Most KGB officials have found better paying jobs in the booming civilian sector. The KGB was always known as where the "best and brightest" of Soviet society went. These guys are smart enough to avoid getting tied down in a government job, no matter how high up in the food chain.