Authors in this article present the findings of the research project on the leadership and the ethnopolitics in Tatarstan. They are making an attempt to conceptualise the ethnocratic leadership, they characterise the existing model of leadership through the ethnopolitics and Russian regionalism. The research leads to the conclusion that as a result of the Tatarisation of the political regime an ethnocratic model of leadership has been formed in the republic. The model shows some hybrid characteristics and constitutes peculiar synthesis of ethno-politics, authoritarianism and clannishness with the elements of the facade democracy. This model of leadership is manifested in different forms and shapes depending on the specific environment, as well as political and situational contexts. Much attention was paid to the genesis and evolution of this model of leadership and its links with the republican elite which recruitment, circulation and legitimacy is strongly connected with the ethnicization of politics.