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Russia

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Title: Russia


1
Chapter 12
  • Russia

2
I. Authoritarian Oligarchy or Budding Democracy
  • Between 1945-1991 global politics defined by
    competition between the USA and USSR
  • Collapse of Soviet Union in 1991 left the Russian
    Federation as the largest piece of territory
    remaining from the USSR, its population was cut
    in half, but it still remained the largest
    country in the world in terms of geographic size
  • Boris Yeltsin became 1st president of the Russian
    Federation, he initiated Shock Therapy reforms
  • Democracy
  • Free Market Economy

3
Oligarchy vs. DemocracyContinued
  • Oligarchy a small group of Yeltsins family
    members and personal advisors took control of
    government and granted themselves favors and
    inviting political and economic corruption
  • Vladimir Putin replaced Yeltsin in 1999 and has
    attempted to contain the oligarchies influence in
    some aspects of government
  • Centralization of Power in President
  • Movement towards authoritarian rule
  • Unpredictability of Russia (No experience with
    democracy and free market economy)
  • Slavic roots provide strong tendency to
    autocratic rule

4
II. Sovereignty, Authority, and Power
  • Most of 20th century authority in Soviet Russia
    came from the Politburo of the Communist Party
  • Politburo small group of men who climbed the
    ranks of the party through the nomenklatura
    system.
  • Nomenklatura ordered path from local party
    soviets to the commanding heights of leadership
  • When the Soviet Union dissolved the authority and
    power of the Politburo dissolved with it.

5
III. Legitimacy
  • Political legitimacy for Russia is currently very
    low, partly because changes are a drastic
    departure from the past
  • Recent evidence that country is stabilizing under
    Putin.
  • Putin may use authoritarian strategies to
    solidify Russias weak, illiberal democracy.
  • Historically Russias political legitimacy has
    been based on strong, centralized, autocratic
    rule
  • Tsars
  • Communist rule propagated by Marxism-Leninism
  • Democratic-Centralism rule by a few for the
    benefit of the many
  • Stalinism changed the regime to totalitarianism
  • Constitution of 1993 provided for a strong
    president, although power of the president can
    technically be checked by popular elections and
    the Duma

6
IV. Historical Influences on Politics
  • Absolute, Centralized Rule
  • Extensive Cultural Heterogeneity ethnic
    diversity and numerous republics and
    autonomous regions reflected in name Russian
    Federation
  • Slavophile vs. Westernizer
  • Revolutions of 20th Century

7
V. Political Culture
  • Characteristics
  • Geographic Setting
  • Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Equality of Result
  • Hostile toward Government
  • Importance of Nationality

8
Geographic Setting
  • Geographic Setting
  • Largest country in world
  • Contains 11 time zones
  • Majority of country is north of 49th degree
    latitude (U.S. Canada border)
  • Abundance of Natural Resources that exist in
    inhospitable or inaccessible geographic locations

9
Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Eastern Orthodoxy
  • Early in their history Russians established ties
    with Constantinople and adopted Eastern Orthodox
    Christianity as their religion
  • This meant that they did not share the values of
    the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific
    Revolution and Enlightenment
  • Russians came to value a strong state to protect
    them from geographic vulnerabilities instead of
    individualism
  • Russian statism existed in contrast to Western
    civil society
  • Eastern Orthodoxy also linked with the state,
    separation of church and state therefore did not
    exist in Russia
  • Russia developed a sense of global mission linked
    to there self-proclaimed title as the Bastians
    of Eastern Christianity. This sense of global
    mission would be promoted by the Soviet Union in
    their spread and preservation of communism (the
    Third International)

10
Equality of Result
  • Equality of Result
  • Communist regime instilled a value of equality in
    the Russian people already strong in a country of
    peasants with similar living standards
  • Egalitarianism has survived the fall of the
    Soviet Union
  • Most Russians resent differences of wealth or
    income
  • Equality of Result vs. Equality of Opportunity
  • Russian political culture is not particularly
    conducive to the development of capitalism

11
Hostility toward Government Nationality
  • Hostility to Govt
  • Despite strong, central authority and Russian
    statism citizens can be surprisingly hostile
    toward their government
  • Years of repression spark resentment that leads
    to badmouthing of political leaders
  • Pessimism towards political and economic policies
  • Importance of Nationality
  • Cultural heterogeneity
  • Discrimination and historical stereotypes
  • Baltic peoples usually viewed favorably,
    Muslim-Turks viewed in a negative light
  • Anti-Semitism was strong under the Tsars, some
    nationalists in Russia blame the Jews for
    Russias current problems

12
VI. Political Economic Change
  1. Long period of Autocratic rule by Tsars ruled
    Russia from the 14th century to the early 20th.
    Control of Russia passed down through the Romanov
    family from the 17th century on, but transitions
    were often accompanied by brutality and
    assassinations
  2. 20th century rule by Communist Party began in
    1917 when Lenins Bolsheviks seized control of
    the government after the last tsar, Nicholas II,
    was deposed. The regime toppled in 1991 when a
    failed coup from within the government created
    chaos
  3. Regime change to Democracy and Free Markets in
    1991 President Boris Yeltsin put western-style
    reforms in place to help create the Russian
    Federation

13
Early Tsarist Rule
  • First tsars were princes of Moscow who cooperated
    with Mongol rulers in the 13th century
  • After Mongol empire weakened the princes named
    themselves tsars in the tradition of the
    Caesars of ancient Rome
  • Autocratic from the beginning to protect
    themselves against invasion and attack
  • Tsars served as official head of Eastern Orthodox
    Church, they were seen as political and religious
    leaders

14
Western Tsars
  • Peter the Great
  • Ruled in late 17th and early 18th century
  • Introduced western technology and culture to
    Russia
  • First tsar to travel to Germany, Holland,
    England
  • Brought engineers, carpenters, and architects to
    Russia
  • Set Russia on course to becoming a world power
  • Catherine the Great
  • Originally from Germany
  • Ruled during the late 18th century
  • Russia gained warm water access to the Black Sea
    under her reign
  • Enlightened Despot interested and read
    Enlightenment ideas, she ruled absolutely but
    with the good of the people in mind
  • Tsars after Peter and Catherine alternated
    between emphasizing Slavic roots and tolerating
    western reforms

15
19th Century
  • Russia invaded by Napoleon in 1812
  • Alexander I resists invasion and ultimately
    drives French out of Russia
  • Russian intellectuals influenced by Western
    thought grew weary of tsarist absolutism and
    revolted Decembrist Revolt of 1825
  • Revolt crushed by Nicholas I
  • Crimean War Russia defeated by UK, France, and
    Ottoman Empire. Defeat was a significant blow for
    confidence in tsarist leadership among Russians
  • Tsars used secret police for investigations, as
    well as exiling and execution of dissenters in
    19th century
  • Alexander II only 19th century tsar to embrace
    reforms, however he was assassinated in 1881.
  • He freed Russian serfs
  • Set up regional zemstvas (assemblies)
  • Alexander III reacted to assassination by undoing
    reforms and intensifying efforts of secret
    police.

16
Revolution of 1917
  • Causes
  • Russias defeat in Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905)
  • Ineffectiveness in World War I
  • Riots first break out in 1905 after Russians
    defeated by Japanese
  • Revolts were suppressed but state collapsed in
    1917 amidst World War I
  • Russian soldiers were fighting without guns and
    shoes, military defections from the war helped
    send the state into chaos

17
Lenin and the Bolsheviks
  • Mensheviks Russian Marxists who believed that
    socialist revolutions would first take place in
    industrialized countries such as Germany and
    England, Russians would have to wait to modernize
  • Vladimir Lenin communist who disagreed with
    Mensheviks, he argued for democratic-centralism,
    or a vanguard leadership group to lead the
    revolution in the name of the people
  • Bolsheviks followers of Lenin, practice
    Marxism-Leninism, took control of Russian
    government in late 1917 (October Revolution).

18
Lenin Bolsheviks continued
  • Brest-Litovsk Treaty negotiated between
    Bolsheviks and Germans to end Russian involvement
    in WWI. Russians ceded a third of their arable
    land to the Germans under the Treaty
  • In 1918 civil war broke out in Russia between the
    White Army, led by Russian military leaders and
    backed by the Allies, and the Red Army led by
    Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Red Army victorious.
  • New Economic Policy (NEP) instituted by Lenin
    in 1920 following civil war, allowed for a great
    deal of private ownership to exist under a
    centralized leadership
  • Lenin dies in 1924, after brief struggle for
    power amongst Bolsheviks he is succeeded by Josef
    Stalin, Man of Steel

19
Stalinism
  • Stalin places Communist Party (CPSU) at center of
    control
  • Leaders identified through nomenklatura process
    of selecting individuals from lower levels within
    party (Kept a file for anybody who was somebody)
  • Central Committee group of 300 party leaders who
    were the top government officials
  • Politburo heart and soul of Communist Party,
    group of 12 men from the Central Committee who
    ran the country, all government agencies and
    departments were at their disposal and carried
    out their decisions
  • General Secretary head of the Politburo,
    dictator of the country (Stalin was General
    Secretary from 19271953)

20
Stalinism II
  • Collectivization Industrialization
  • Replaced the NEP with collective farms
  • Private land ownership abolished, kulaks forced
    to move to cities or labor camps
  • Five-Year Plans ambitious goals for production
    of heavy industry such as oil, steel, and
    electricity. Labor and factories fueled by
    agricultural surplus produced from the farms
  • Gosplan Central State Planning Commission, in
    charge of Five-Year Plans, became the center for
    the economy, determined production and
    distribution of virtually all goods in Soviet
    Union
  • Stalinism the two-pronged program of
    collectivization and industrialization, carried
    out by central planning, executed with force and
    brutality

21
Stalins Foreign Policy
  • Primary concern internal development, foreign
    policy was meant to support this
  • Stalin advocated socialism in one country
  • Signed Non-Aggression Pact with Nazi Germany in
    1939
  • After Nazis invade Soviet Union in 1940, Stalin
    joins the Allies to fight Germans in World War II
  • Red Army drives Nazis out of Soviet Union and
    back to Berlin where the Germans are defeated in
    1945.
  • Red Army occupies majority of Eastern Europe
    during this time period
  • Tensions between Soviets and the West,
    particularly the United States, become a growing
    foreign policy concern for Stalin
  • Cold War

22
The Purges
  • Execution of millions of Soviet citizens
  • As many as one million communist party members
    executed
  • Stalin obsessed with disloyalty within the party
  • Generals, Central Committee members, and
    Politburo officials purged as a result of
    Stalins paranoia

23
Khrushchev
  • Follows Stalin as General Secretary after brief
    power struggle in CPSU
  • 1956, gives secret speech (based on letter
    written by Lenin) denouncing Stalinism, initiates
    reforms that lead to DeStalinization process in
    Soviet Union
  • Diplomatic and military failure of the Cuban
    Missile Crisis leads to his downfall and removal
    as General Secretary

24
Khrushchevs Reforms
  • Loosen government censorship of press
  • Decentralization of economic decision-making
  • Restructuring of collective farms
  • Peaceful Coexistence foreign policy in Cold War
    diplomacy with U.S. (Cuban Missile Crisis
    threatens this initiative)

25
Brezhnev
  • Eventually succeeds Khrushchev as General
    Secretary of CPSU and head of state of the Soviet
    Union
  • Hard-line, conservative member of Communist party
  • Ends reforms initiated by Khrushchev
  • Détente is dominant foreign policy in Cold War
    diplomacy with U.S., this ends with the Soviet
    invasion of Afghanistan ordered by Brezhnev in
    1979

26
Gorbachev
  • Takes over as General Secretary in the mid-1980s
  • Leads a younger generation of communists
  • Educated and more westernized then previous
    Soviet leaders
  • Initiates a wave of reforms that included
  • Glasnost
  • Perestroika
  • Demokratizatsiia

27
Glasnost Openness
  • Open discussion of political, social, and
    economic issues
  • Allowed for open criticism of government and
    government policies
  • Gorbachev stressed that the ultimate test of the
    party lay in improving the economic well-being of
    the country and its people
  • Open market relations
  • Pragmatic economic policy
  • Less secretive government

28
Perestroika Restructuring
  • Loosened controls of the Communist Party,
    allowing group formation in other sectors of
    society
  • Economic Restructuring
  • Modernization from within
  • Transfer economic power from central government
    to private hands and market economy
  • Authorization of privately owned companies
  • Penalties for under-performing state factories
  • Price reforms
  • Encouragement of joint ventures with foreign
    companies
  • Leasing of farm land outside the collective farms

29
Demokratizatsiia
  • Gorbachev wanted to insert some democratic
    characteristics into the old Soviet structure
  • However, he did want to maintain Communist Party
    control
  • Reforms included
  • A new Congress of Peoples Deputies with directly
    elected representatives
  • New position of President that was selected by
    the Congress
  • Deputies were often critical of Gorbachev
  • Increasing levels of displeasure with government
    from both liberal and conservative members of
    Communist Party

30
Revolution of 1991
  • August 1991
  • Led by Conservatives (those opposed to, or who
    wanted to abandon Gorbachevs reforms)
  • Vice-president
  • Head of the KGB
  • Top military advisers
  • Coup failed when popular protests erupted and
    soldiers defected rather than support their
    leaders
  • Protesters were led by Boris Yeltsin, president
    elect of the Russian Republic
  • Gorbachev restored to power, but by December 1991
    eleven Soviet republics declared their
    independence
  • Gorbachev officially announces dissolution of
    Soviet Union

31
Boris Yeltsin
  • Former member of Politburo, removed because his
    radical views offended conservatives
  • Even more extreme than Gorbachev
  • Elected president of Russian Republic as result
    of voting procedures put in place by Gorbachev
  • Emerged as president of the largest republic,
    Russian Federation, after Soviet Union dissolves
  • Attempts to create a western-style democracy
  • Shock Therapy economic reforms (Immediate
    market economy)
  • Russian economy does not respond to shock
    therapy reforms
  • Conflict erupts between Yeltsin and the Duma

32
Yeltsin II
  • Poor president
  • Hires and fires numerous prime ministers
  • Alcoholic frequently ill this leads to erratic
    political behavior
  • Resigns before the 2000 elections
  • Vladimir Putin, Yeltsins prime minister, takes
    over and wins the 2000 2004 elections

33
VII. Citizens, Society, and the State
  • Nationality
  • Most important single cleavage in Russia
  • 80 of population is Russian
  • Others include
  • Tatars
  • Ukrainians
  • Armenians
  • Chuvashes
  • Bashkis
  • Byelorussians
  • Moldavians

34
Nationality continued
  • Nationality cleavages determine the organization
    of the country into federations, autonomous
    regions, republics, and provinces
  • Many ethnic groups would like to have their
    independence, but are enticed by trade benefits
    with the Russian government to stay in the
    Federation
  • Chechnya is the one exception

35
Chechnya
  • Primarily Muslim region of Russia
  • Contains some valuable resources, such as oil
    fields
  • Independence movement is strong, and Russian
    government has struggled to keep Chechnya region
    within its control
  • Chechens have reverted to terrorist tactics
    including taking over a heavily attended Russian
    theater and in 2004 the seizure of a school that
    resulted in the deaths of over 350 people, mostly
    children

36
VII. Citizens, Society, and the State continued
  • Religion
  • Russian Orthodox under the tsars
  • All religion prohibited during the Soviet Unions
    rule
  • Boris Yeltsin encouraged Russian Orthodox Church
    to reestablish itself as a signal of a break from
    communism and a reflection of old Russian
    nationalism
  • Other religions represented in very small
    percentages (Roman Catholic, Jews, Muslims,
    Protestants)

37
VII. Citizens, Society, and the State continued
  • Social Class
  • Russian society much more egalitarian than
    western societies with a few notable exceptions
  • Nomenklatura only about 7 of the citizenry were
    CPSU members, and all political leaders were
    chosen from this group. However within this group
    egalitarian measures were followed, and little
    significance was given to economic and social
    background
  • Business Oligarchy emerged during Yeltsins
    regime, often former KGB and CPSU leaders,
    granted favors by Yeltsin government to promote
    business. Struggled in late 1990s but have
    emerged as leaders in Russia after acquiring
    major corporations, ie. Media Most Yukos Oil.
    Putin had to arrest or send into exile CEOs of
    these companies for refusing to pay or
    underpaying government taxes

38
Rural vs. Urban Life
  • 73 of all Russians live in urban settings,
    usually in the western part of the country
  • Economic divide between rural and urban residents
    is wide, however, all Russians have been hit hard
    by recent economic woes of the post-Cold War
    Russia
  • Urban residents tend to be more educated and in
    touch with western culture

39
Beliefs and Attitudes
  • Mistrust of Government result of treatment and
    government secrecy during tsarist and Soviet
    regimes
  • Statism despite mistrust of government, Russian
    citizens still expect the state to take active
    role in their lives
  • Economic Beliefs nearly all groups and
    political factions favor market reforms, although
    not all do so enthusiastically
  • Westernization - Slavophile vs. Westernizer
    some political parties emphasize nationalism,
    Russian interests, and Slavic culture others
    emphasize reform, and integration of Russia into
    world economy and global trade

40
Political Participation
  • During Soviet rule political participation was
    forced, and therefore was close to 100
  • Gorbachevs reforms created competitive elections
    in the Soviet Union that followed through to the
    Russian Federation
  • In 1991 voter turnout in the Russian Federation
    was higher than the U.S.
  • Political participation for the Duma elections of
    1993 was only 50.3, but this followed a failed
    attempt by the Duma to take over the country
  • Presidential voter turnout has declined from 75
    in 1991 elections to less than 65 for the 2004
    elections
  • Lack of participation may be due to Russias
    underdeveloped civil society
  • Only 1 of Russias citizens report being a
    member of a political party
  • Few Russians are members of clubs, churches, or
    cultural groups

41
VIII. Political Institutions (Federalism or
Unitary)
  • Although the Soviet Union was highly centralized,
    it still maintained a federal government
    structure
  • Russian Federation has retained this model, with
    the current regime consisting of 89 regions, 21
    of which are ethnically non-Russian by majority
  • Each region is bound by treaty to the Federation,
    not all have officially signed on (Chechnya)
  • Most regions are called republics
  • Many republics ruled themselves independently,
    but Putin has cracked down on this
  • Putin ended direct election of the 89 regional
    governors, they are now nominated by the
    president and confirmed by the regional
    legislatures

42
IX. Linkage Institutions
  • Political Parties
  • Elections
  • Interest Groups
  • Media

43
Political Parties
  • Began forming after Revolution of 1991
  • Small, factional
  • Formed around particular leaders
  • Bloc of General Andrey Nikolaev and Academician
    Svyaloslav Fyodorov
  • Yuri Boldyrev Movement (Yabloko)
  • Formed around particular issues
  • Party of Pensioners
  • Agrarian Party of Russia
  • Women of Russia
  • Political Parties Today (United Russia, Communist
    Party, Reform Parties)

44
United Russia
  • Founded in April 2001
  • Merger between Fatherland All-Russia Party and
    the United Party of Russia
  • United Party put together by oligarch Boris
    Berezovsky and other entrepreneurs to support
    Putin in the election of 2000
  • Merger put even more political support behind
    Putin
  • United Russia won 221 of the 450 Duma seats in
    2004 elections
  • Putin won re-election in 2004 as the United
    Russia candidate
  • United Russia is hard to define other than that
    it is pro-Putin

45
Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF)
  • Communist Party of the old Soviet Union (CPSU)
  • After 1995 elections held 157 of the 450 Duma
    seats
  • After parliamentary election of 2003 only
    retained 51 of the 450 Duma seats
  • Party leader Gennady Zyuganov finished second in
    the 1996 and 2000 elections, but support for the
    party dropped each time, he withdrew from the
    race in the 2004 election
  • Party was weakened in 2004 when a breakaway
    faction led by Vladimir Tikhonov split from the
    party
  • Party is less reformist than other parties,
    Zyuganov opposed the reforms initiated by
    Gorbachev
  • Party emphasizes central planning and nationalism
  • Would like to see Russia regain territories it
    lost after Soviet Union dissolution

46
Reformist Parties
  • Yabloko
  • Taken strongest stand for pro-democracy
  • Survived since 1993
  • Grigori Yavlinski, leader, finished 3rd in 2000
    presidential election
  • Name is acronym for its three founders, also
    means apple
  • Gained 4.4 of vote in 2003 parliamentary
    elections (4 seats) making it ineligible for
    proportional representation
  • Union of Right Forces
  • Rightest only in the sense of seeking truth
  • Emphasizes development of free market
  • Supports privatization of industry
  • Had 29 seats in Duma prior to 2003
  • After 2003 elections only won 3 seats (less than
    5 of the vote)

47
Liberal Democratic Party
  • Controversial party
  • Headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky
  • Extreme nationalist
  • Anti-semitic
  • Sexist
  • Attacks reformist leaders and disliked Yeltsin
  • Said he would use nuclear weapons on Japan if he
    were elected
  • Party reformulated as Zhirinovskys Bloc for
    2000 presidential election, he received 2.7 of
    vote
  • Party did receive about 11 of vote in 2003 Duma
    elections (won 37 seats)

48
Elections
  • 3 types
  • Referendum
  • Duma Elections
  • Presidential Elections

49
1993 Year of Elections Year of Transition
  • March 1993 parliament attempts to impeach Yeltsin
  • Legislative-led coup tries to usurp control of
    the government
  • Yeltsin dissolves legislature, calls for new
    elections
  • Although opposition leaders were arrested,
    Yeltsins opponents won the majority in the new
    legislature
  • Radical Vladimir Zhirinovskys Liberal Party did
    surprisingly well
  • Despite losing control of the legislature Yeltsin
    was able to get approval for the new
    constitution Constitution of 1993

50
Constitution of 1993
  • Created a three-branch government
  • President Prime Minister
  • Lower legislative house (DUMA)
  • Constitutional Court
  • Referendum - allowed for president to call for
    national referenda by popular vote on important
    issues
  • Yeltsins first referendum was on his job
    performance
  • Second was for approval of the constitution itself

51
Interest Groups
  • Oligarchy
  • Tied closely with the Yeltsin family
  • By mid-1990s monopolized Russian industry and
    built huge fortunes
  • Boris Berezovsky admitted that he and six other
    entrepreneurs controlled over half the GNP
  • Dominant in oil, media, and television industries
  • Helped Yeltsin win 1996 election
  • Created and financed the Unity Party in 2000 and
    got Vladimir Putin elected
  • Russian Mafia
  • Larger and perhaps even more influential than the
    oligarchy
  • Initially involved in underworld crime
  • During Revolution of 1991 gained control of
    businesses, natural resources, and banks
  • Involved in money laundering, drugs,
    prostitution, and business payoffs (protection
    money)
  • Includes former members of the KGB

52
Interest Groups II
  • Huge fortunes made by oligarchs and the mafia
    offend the equality of opportunity principle of
    the Russian people
  • In the past, lawlessness in Russia has been dealt
    with by repressive, authoritarian rule, and these
    groups represent a threat to the new democracy
  • Putin arrested television magnate Vladimir
    Gusinsky for corruption and his company was given
    to a state-owned monopoly
  • In 2003, Mikhail Khodorvsky, the richest man in
    Russia and CEO of the Yukos Oil Company was
    arrested as a signal that the Russian government
    was consolidating power
  • Yukos was slapped with massive penalties and
    additional taxes, forcing it into bankruptcy
  • Russian Media a linkage institution with close
    ties to both the state and the oligarchy, has
    been manipulated by dominant political and
    interest groups to pursue their own causes

53
X. Institutions of GovernmentA. President
Prime Minister
  • Duties of the President
  • Appoints the prime minister and cabinet Duma
    must approve prime ministers appointment, but if
    they reject the presidents nominee three times,
    the president may dissolve the Duma
  • Issue decrees that have force of law cabinet
    has great deal of power, Duma can not censure
    cabinet according to Constitution of 1993
  • Dissolve the Duma done by Yeltsin during
    legislative coup attempt of 1993
  • Prime Minister relationship between PM and
    President not exactly clear, but with no
    vice-president if anything happens to president
    the PM assumes the office of president

54
B. Bicameral Legislature
  • Duma
  • Lower House
  • 450 deputies
  • Half chosen by proportional representation
  • Half by single-member district plurality
  • Passes Bills
  • Approves Budgets
  • Confirms presidents political appointments
  • Federation Council
  • Upper House
  • Two members elected from each of the 89 regions
    of the federation
  • Power to delay legislation
  • On paper Federation Council can change boundaries
    of republics, ratify use of armed forces, and
    appoint and remove judges. These powers have yet
    to be use however

55
C. Judiciary
  • Supreme Court
  • Created by 1993 Constitution
  • Serves as final court of appeals in criminal
    civil cases
  • Constitutional Court
  • Created by 1993 Constitution
  • 19 members
  • Appointed by president and confirmed by
    Federation Council

56
D. Military
  • Was a source of strength during the Soviet era,
    1945-1991
  • Once stood at over 4 million men
  • Generally did not get involved in politics, this
    continues under the Russian Federation
  • One prominent general, Alexander Lebed, gained
    political following before the 1996 election and
    had to be coopted by Yeltsin in order for Yeltsin
    to win reelection
  • Suffered significant humiliation from the late
    1980s to early 21st century
  • Withdrawal from Afghanistan
  • Defeated by Chechen guerrillas in 1994-1996
    conflict
  • Often ill-equipped, Russian soldiers had to feed
    themselves and went unpaid for months in late
    1990s and early 21st century

57
XI. Public Policy/Current Issues
  • The Economy
  • At the heart of the Soviet demise in 1991
  • Perestroika reforms market economy programs
    inserted into traditional centralized state
    ownership design
  • Shock Therapy reforms created chaotic
    conditions that resulted in a small group of
    entrepreneurs running the economy
  • In 1997 economy collapsed when government
    defaulted on billions of dollars of debts
  • Russian stock market lost half its value,
    threatened global markets as well
  • Ruble lost value rapidly, by 2002 it took more
    than 30,000 rubles to equal one dollar
  • The overall economy did see slight improvements
    in 19992000
  • In 2004 the economy grew 7, and standards of
    living improved, the first real signs that the
    Russian economy was starting to thrive again

58
Foreign Policy
  • Relations with Former Republics
  • Confederation of Independent States (CIS)
  • Russia is the clear leader of organization
  • Is not nearly as successful, economically and
    politically, as the EU
  • Bonded together by trade agreements
  • Tensions of nationality issues
  • Putins meddling in Ukrainian election of 2004
    was cause for concern
  • Relations with the World
  • Adjustment period for Russia following Cold War
    and loss of superpower status
  • Offered aid and foreign investment by U.S.
  • Accepted into the G-7 (now known as G-8)
  • UN Security Council permanent member
  • Russia set to join the WTO in July 2007
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