There has been much debate surrounding the classification of the kind of regime which developed in Russia following the collapse of communism and this has only intensified during the Putin era. This article considers whether the concept of bureaucratic-authoritarianism is really applicable in the case of Russia. Lilia Shevtsova was the first to tentatively state that Russia is a case of bureaucratic-authoritarianism. However, to provide more assured acceptance or rejection of the concept, this article returns to the paradigm’s roots. The concept of bureaucratic-authoritarianism was developed by Guillermo O’Donnell and thus the characteristics he outlined are applied to the case of Russia in the Putin era. Doing so allows for a level of precision and depth in concluding that bureaucratic-authoritarianism is a relevant paradigm. Confirmatory evidence for all seven of the characteristics enumerated by O’Donnell is found, suggesting that Russia in the Putin era can be considered a case of bureaucratic-authoritarianism.