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Boris Yelítsinís Legacy

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  • the emergence of Russia as an independent state
  • the establishment of the institutional framework of a capitalist democracy, enshrined in the December 1993 constitution
  • the opportunity to provide the new order with a new spirit of openness, accountability and probity was missed
  • Byzantine court politics and the insulation of the regime from popular accountability
  • the emergence of a class of Ďoligarchsí in the 1990s allowed economic power to be concentrated in the hands of a tiny group
  • the state was subverted to serve their narrow interests
  • scepticism about the spontaneous self-correcting facilities of the capitalist market

Challenges to Putinís Presidency

  • to dismantle the neo-medieval network of business and regional relationships that had developed under Yelítsin
  • the Chechen insurgency, accompanied by incursions beyond the republic ó into Dagestan, and even into Moscow with the Dubrovka theatre siege of October 2002, as well as the terrible siege of the school in Beslan in September 2004 in which 364 died
  • in foreign policy: NATO expansion; the spectre of colour revolutions
  • from their exile in London and Tel Aviv oligarchs plotted their revenge

Putinís Plan

  • to restore the prerogatives and integrity of the state
  • to shift towards a moderate state-shaped modernisation process, accompanied by a constrained liberal democratisation project
  • to transform Russia into a vibrant capitalist economy in which standards of living within a generation would equal those of developed Western societies
  • Putin had witnessed the shortcomings of the Soviet system at first hand, and had no desire to restore it
  • emphasis on traditional Russian values: patriotism, derzhavností (Russia as a great power), statism, and  social solidarity
  • the reassertion of the prerogatives of the state
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The Putinite Order

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Russian Federation

The "Catching up" Cycles
"Non-organic" Reforms
Great Leap to Capitalism
Russia's Privatization
Deformed Capitalism
Coping with Transition
The Yeltsin Era
Yeltsin's Legacy
Putin's Plan
Russian Federalism
The Chechen Problem
"Deprivatizing" the State
First and Second Dumas
Third and Fourth Dumas
Civil Society
"Controlled" Democracy

Post-Soviet Geopolitics

Paradoxes of Russian Mentality
Economy under Putin
The Putinite Order
Putin's Choice
People Speak (Opinion Polls)
Tables and Statistics

Russia from A to Z

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