One reason for the low regard Russians had for so many of their ministers was that they saw them less as great officers of state – men of wealth, power, lineage, or ability – than as chinovniki, superior to run-of-the-mill civil servants in nothing but rank. When an admirer of Stolypin wanted to stress his uniqueness he described him as 'an unusual type of minister, not the bureaucrat who floats with the current in pursuit of personal well-being'. 1