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POST-SOVIET RUSSIA USAD Social Science Section IV.

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1 POST-SOVIET RUSSIA USAD Social Science Section IV

2 Roads and Obstacles to Transition An Overview The Soviet Unions disintegration brought an end to – the Cold War and – the Russian empire, Ironically, GORBACHEVS reforms brought about its collapse

3 Roads and Obstacles to Transition Russia now had to democratize, transforming its Soviet polity into a modern democracy – task = delicate and unpredictable – The transition requires : enfranchising and liberalizing the citizenry – The order and pace at which these tasks are undertaken may affect their success

4 Historically, nations have taken three paths to implementing democratic government

5 The former Soviet states were the first countries ever to transition to democracy from a communist government Most of the eastern bloc had little to no history of democratic rule e.g., Czechoslovakias VELVET REVOLUTION

6 TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY Imperial Russia was an autocracy for its whole existence The Soviet Union was also an autocracy apart from 1917 to 1922 and 1989 to 1991 – During these periods, the state was an anocracy

7 ANOCRACY – Anocracies combine aspects of democratic and totalitarian regimes Generally, the rule of law is respected and multi-party elections are held However, civil and political rights are limited and leaders exercise broad powers

8 The new Russian Federation needed to reform its political, social, and economic systems The difficulty of undertaking several types of transitions reduced the chances of success Sociologist Claus Offe identified three distinct levels of transition

9 Claus Offes 3 Levels of Transition

10 Yeltsin tried to tackle every challenge at once in the 1990s – Individual components of the transition received too little attention to succeed Putin and Medvedev abandoned this approach – They emphasized economic growth above social and political transition

11 Political Transition The Yeltsin administration Boris Yeltsin grew up in a working class family – Yeltsins father was accused of treason during the Great Purge He was sent to a forced labor camp in Siberia He could not secure stable employment thereafter

12 BORIS YELTSIN Yeltsin studied management and construction engineering at university – He participated in several important projects in the 1950s and 1960s

13 BORIS YELTSIN Yeltsin became a member of the Communist Party in 1968 to promote his career – He was quickly promoted in local government and eventually became Moscows mayor – From his position of authority, he publicly criticized the party during the glasnost era Both conservatives and reformers like Gorbachev opposed his views However, his charm and accessibility endeared him to the public – Yeltsin was a POPULIST!

14 President of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic BORIS YELTSIN: – Elected June 12, 1991 – earned 57% of the popular vote Russia was the largest Soviet republic Yeltsin led the opposition to the coup against Gorbachev, bringing him global fame

15 BORIS YELTSIN He worked with Gorbachev and Ukrainian and Belorussian leaders to manage the Soviet Unions dissolution

16 CIS He began negotiations on the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) – The CIS facilitated trade and cooperation among former Soviet states


18 1 st PRESIDENT of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION In 1992, Yeltsin became the first President of the Russian Federation – He sought political continuity while undertaking – social and – economic reforms Re-elected in 1996, – At home, policies unpopular – Abroad, popular – But OLIGARCHS fund successful media campaign

19 A new political framework Political reform under Yeltsin focused on – the constitution and – democratic representation Initially, Russia retained the 1978 Brezhnev Constitution – already provided for political and civil rights necessary in a democracy – The government revised undemocratic clauses such as Article 6 – This incremental approach to constitutional reform proved ill-advised It severely restricted executive power

20 RUSSIAN ECONOMISTS Anatoly Chubias Privatization Czar Yegor Gaidar Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko Prime Minister

21 YEGOR GAIDAR Prime Minister Progressive economist

22 PRIME MINISTERS In 1992, a conservative legislature forced Yeltsin to replace – Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar – with Viktor Chernomyrdin

23 VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN Chernomyrdin was a former member of the nomenklatura He was the Soviet- era manager of -- Gazprom, the states natural gas monopoly

24 CONSERVATIVE OPPOSITION IN THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT Continued conservative opposition drove Yeltsin to dissolve the parliament in September 1993 – The parliament considered this step unconstitutional and impeached Yeltsin – Yeltsin called for new presidential and parliamentary elections A standoff ensued between Yeltsin and the parliament

25 The WHITE HOUSE Yeltsin ordered troops to storm the parliament on October 4, 1993

26 1993 Constitution Yeltsin and his supporters then drew up a new constitution On December 12, the constitution was passed in a national referendum

27 The 1993 constitution modeled the state after Western European governments Russians received a range of rights, including freedom of --speech, --press, and --assembly

28 Russias political culture influenced the constitutions provisions The executive branch of government possessed broad powers Some provisions were included specifically to prevent Soviet political practices – These included the right to privacy and ideological diversity, and the right to refuse to take part in medical experiments


30 The presidency The presidency dominated the new political system – The Russian president is elected by popular vote – He has no term limits but can only serve two terms in a row – He is responsible for diplomacy and foreign policy and is the militarys commander-in-chief

31 The Powers of the President Some critics have described the presidency as having dictatorial powers – controls the appointment of the prime minister – Legislation oversees parliamentary proceedings can propose legislation

32 The Powers of the President Power over Duma: can – dissolve, – reinstate, or – call for elections for the Duma The president may circumvent the Duma by – issuing executive orders, – declaring martial law, or – calling popular referenda

33 Checks on Presidential Power Presidents have few checks on their authority – The upper house of the legislature votes through judicial and cabinet appointments – The lower house can impeach the president for treason

34 The Federation Assembly (bicameral legislature) The 1993 constitution provided for a bicameral legislature, the Federal Assembly UPPER HOUSE: – Federation Council LOWER HOUSE: – State Duma

35 The Federation Council (upper house) The upper chamber, or Federation Council, represents Russias 89 federal regions – Two deputies represent each region These deputies were the provincial governors and legislative leaders before 2000 After 2000, these officials appointed separate representatives

36 The Federation Council (upper house) – The council deals mainly with regional issues like border and trade disputes – It votes on declarations of martial law and states of emergency and legislation proposed by the Duma

37 STATE DUMA (lower house) The lower chamber, or State Duma, represents the general population – The house consists of 450 legislators Before 2008, representatives served four-year terms Term lengths have been extended to five years

38 STATE DUMA (lower house) It drafts all legislation except those relating to – treaties, – tariffs, and WAR!!! Laws are read three times and voted on before being submitted to the upper house The DUMA can override a Federation Council veto with a two-thirds vote

39 DUMA ELECTIONS Duma deputies were originally elected in two ways – Half of the seats were allocated through proportional representation (PR) Parties gained seats according to their percentage of the popular vote – The other half were single-member districts (SMDs) The candidate with the greatest number of votes in a district won the seat

40 Putins 2007 Changes In 2007, the Duma became – fully elected through PR, – eliminating independent deputies Political parties need at least 7% of the popular vote to gain seats in the Duma – The change reduced the number of smaller political parties

41 A multi-party system Political parties play a vital role in democratic government – They give citizens a voice in the decision-making process – Ideally, multiparty systems function more effectively than (1) single-party systems, (2) direct democracies, or (3) autocracies

42 A multi-party system Russia had to build a multi-party system without the aid of historical political experience – Parties had to identify and appeal to the social groups that would form voting blocs – The Dumas party makeup evolved over the course of the 1990s and 2000s

43 In 2003, – only four of the 12 parties in the Duma won seats through the PR method – Seven parties received less than five seats The 2007 elections drastically slashed the number of parties in the Duma – Only four of the 11 competing parties received seats

44 FOUR MAJOR PARTIES Fair Russia The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) * United Russia

45 FAIR RUSSIA Fair Russia was founded in 2006 from the merger of – Rodina, – the Russian Life Party, and – the Russian Pensioners Party These smaller parties were facing waning public support

46 FAIR RUSSIA Fair Russia is one of the more left-leaning parties in Russia today – Only the Communist Party is more economically liberal – Fair Russia is the most socially progressive party It promotes political and civil freedoms

47 FAIR RUSSIA Fair Russia was the smallest Duma party after the 2007 elections – It won 8.4% of the popular vote, – giving it 38 seats

48 The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) Its neither LIBERAL nor DEMOCRATIC Right-wing, nut-case crazy, racist, nationalist Established – In 1991 – By Vladimir Zhironovsky (on TV and in the Duma)Vladimir ZhironovskyDuma The LDPR is the Russian Federations second oldest political party

49 Vladimir Zhirinovsky NOT liberal! NOT democratic!

50 The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) It is an ultra-nationalist party that blames Russias problems on Jews and non-ethnic Russians – Its rhetoric has supported anti-Semitism, fascism, and racism in the past – The party has since mellowed its positions

51 The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) The party initially enjoyed much popular support, especially in the 1993 Duma elections – It draws its support from across the Russian public – However, public appeal has declined considerably in recent years The 2007 elections gave the party just 8.14% of the vote and 40 seats

52 The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) Gennady Zyuganov founded the CPRF after the Soviet Unions collapse

53 The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) advocates Marxism-Leninism – but is slightly more progressive than the Soviet- era Communist Party The CPRF takes a nationalist stance against western influence Some of its rhetoric is anti-Semitic

54 The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) The CPRF promotes a return to Stalin-era politics and a restoration of Stalins reputation – Some members support the revival of the Soviet Union The CPRFs support base consists primarily of rural and elderly voters – It appeals to voters who were hurt by Yeltsins shock therapy policies

55 The Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) The party performed strongly in Duma elections before 2000 It received the largest number of seats in – 1995 and 1999

56 CPRF Hurt by Rise of United Russia The rise of United Russia damaged the CPRFs support It nevertheless captured the second largest share of the vote in the 2007 elections

57 United Russia The Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties merged in 2001 to form United Russia – Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin backed the Unity Party – The Fatherland-All Russia party lacked a clear political platform

58 United Russia United Russia sees itself as a centrist party, though its policies are more right-wing – Its economic policy is strongly anti-communist – The party places importance on maintaining civil order rather than ensuring civil rights

59 United Russia United Russia has won recent Duma elections In 2003, it could carry out its policies even as a minority party with President Putins support

60 United Russia Electoral rule changes in 2007 gave it an overwhelming victory It was the first party ever to win a majority of the popular vote

61 United Russia

62 Public opinion Russian political outlooks changed drastically during the initial transition to democracy – Most Russians were disappointed with the process – Popular interest in politics dropped from 53% to 39%

63 Public opinion Several forms of political activism declined in frequency

64 Public opinion Russians became more conservative in the 1990s, with the LDPR gaining support

65 Public opinion By 2000, citizens exhibited dislike for sweeping reforms and communism

66 Social Transition Conflict in Chechnya


68 In 1991, Chechen rebels toppled the regional assembly and declared Chechnyas independence from Russia – Retired Soviet air force general Dzokhar Dudayev (1944-1996) led the insurgents – President Yeltsin used force against the rebels, further inflaming Chechen separatists

69 Conflict in Chechnya In 1992, Chechnya dissolved its union with Ingushetia and became an independent federal region Dudayev declared independence from Russia a second time in 1993

70 1 st Chechen War On December 11, 1994, Russia invaded Chechnya, beginning the First Chechen War

71 1 st Chechen War Numerically outmatched, the Chechens resorted to guerilla warfare Chechnyas capital city Grozny was devastated

72 1 st Chechen War

73 International standards for human rights and the rules of war were violated in the conflict

74 1st Chechen War Russian forces suffered 4,000 casualties More than 100,000 Chechens, mostly civilians, were killed International standards for human rights and the rules of war were violated in the conflict The war ended in 1996 with a peace treaty

75 2 nd Chechen Conflict The conflict was reignited several years later when anti-Russian Islamists launched a series of terror attacks across Russia Their targets included – officials, – journalists, – federal buildings, – schools, and – private apartments

76 2 nd Chechen Conflict The Chechen conflict signaled Russias difficulty in determining the appropriate boundaries of the Federation

77 The status of women During the Soviet era, women were granted equal rights with men In practice, they faced the triple burden of obligations to – the home, – the workplace, – and the state

78 The status of women Traditional gender roles and gender stereotypes revived after the Soviet Unions collapse – Discrimination against women increased with HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT during shock therapy – Many women chose to leave the workplace and public sphere – Lack of political support for gender equality

79 Civic participation Russians under the imperial and Soviet had little opportunity to take part in civic activities – Their involvement in society and politics remains low – Labor union involvement has decreased from 62% at the collapse of the Soviet Union

80 Civic participation

81 Russian perspectives on the transition Russias experience in the 1990s affected the way citizens viewed their own lives – By the end of Yeltsins second term, just 6% of Russians were very happy – Their overall life satisfaction levels fell from 32% to 27% – They became less willing to trust others

82 approval ratings for non-democratic institutions remained high State-provided programs and services fared reasonably well Russians had the least confidence in democratic institutions, such as unions and the press Russian perspectives on the transition

83 Younger, Better Educated Russian Recent trends in age and education level suggest hope for democracy – Younger, more educated Russians are more likely to believe the economy runs all right in a democracy – They also agree to a greater extent that democracy may have problems but its better than any other form of government

84 ECONOMIC TRANSITION Anatoly Chubias Privatization Czar President Yeltsin asked several notable Russian economists to develop a transition plan. They developed an economic policy based on Jeffrey Sachs and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)s recommended shock therapy. Yegor Gaidar Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko Prime Minister

85 Jeffrey Sachs: SHOCK THERAPY Yeltsin adopted shock therapy policies – They were recommended by Western experts such as American economist Jeffrey Sachs and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Poland and other former Soviet states had already adopted these policies

86 Shock Therapy in THEORY


88 Shock Therapy in PRACTICE

89 SHOCK THERAPY Yeltsins shock therapy reforms were – Not as comprehensive and – Not as swift as was recommended – implemented shock therapy in stages over a prolonged period – The administrations political concerns often dictated their economic policy

90 PRIVATIZATION: VOUCHERS The government issued vouchers to all Russians to purchase shares in privatized businesses – Many Russians lacked the knowledge to make informed investment decisions – As their financial situation was worsening, most Russians sold their vouchers to richer investors to get immediate cash – Government officials fraudulently acquired more vouchers than they were entitled to The privatization program lost credibility with the public

91 ENDING PRICE CONTROLS Next, the state lifted price controls on consumer goods and services – meant to weed out businesses that couldnt survive in the free market Overall production declined due to a string of business failures – Decreased production levels led to scarcity-induced inflation Prices fluctuated for a period before being stabilized by market forces

92 ECONOMIC CRISIS The currencys value plunged, resulting in hyperinflation (extremely high inflation) – Unemployment increased sharply and incomes dropped

93 ECONOMIC CRISIS Tax revenues dropped, so the state decreased its spending on social welfare programs – This move most affected women, children, the sick, and the elderly

94 Shock therapy helped to worsen the 1998 economic crisis Former Soviet officials used their influence to gain control of many privatized businesses and protect their wealth Widening class inequality prevented the growth of a strong middle class, a characteristic often considered necessary for a stable democracy

95 Shock therapy helped to worsen the 1998 economic crisis The Russian mafia fulfilled the states former role of ensuring public welfare – It supplied scarce goods and services in exchange for peoples loyalty – Their existence undermined the governments credibility

96 Yeltsins retreat from SHOCK THERAPY Yeltsin later retreated from shock therapy and re-enlarged the governments economic role – He used subsidies and spending to stimulate investment – The government also facilitated economic modernization These measures may actually have helped in part to cause the 1998 financial crisis

97 The 1998 financial crisis By 1998, Russia was heavily reliant on foreign funding Investors concerned about the Asian financial crisis pulled out from Russia – Russia declared a default on its foreign interest payments – The IMF and World Bank downgraded the countrys credit rating – Both institutions refused to grant Russia further loans

98 Yeltsin Plays Musical Chairs with Prime Ministers PM Viktor Chernomyrdin In March 1998, Yeltsin fired his acting Prime Minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin PM Sergei Kiriyenko He replaced Chernomyrdin with his Energy Minister Sergei Kiriyenko – This move had little practical effect – The ruble and financial markets collapsed in August

99 Yeltsin Plays Musical Chairs with Prime Ministers In September, Yeltsin replaced Kiriyenko with Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov Primakov restored government control over the Russian economy


101 Several Factors Contributed to Russias Relatively Poor Performance

102 Evaluating Russias economic transition Neighboring economies undergoing similar transitions performed better than Russia – Russias gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 14.65% between 1992 and 1999 – The unemployment rate rose from 5.2% to 13.0% in the same time period

103 Evaluating Russias economic transition – The inflation rate spiked to 86% following the 1998 financial crisis, then declined:

104 Public Opinion Russias economic transition adversely affected public opinion towards democracy

105 What Russians Think of Democracy By 2000, 55% of Russians thought that democracies produced badly-run economies – 59% believed the state should reduce economic inequality – 77% believed that the state should be responsible for its citizens basic welfare

106 Challenges to a successful transition In 1991, Russia lacked any experience with democracy and a free market system – It proved ill-prepared for a full-scale transition from a communist regime The Soviet elites continued hold on power hindered the transition – They attempted to sabotage the Yeltsin administrations policies

107 Challenges to a successful transition The President and his advisors poorly planned the timing and details of their reforms – Their use of excessive force in the Chechen conflict caused more strife

108 Yeltsins Impeachment In 1999, the Duma charged Yeltsin on five counts of treason because of his handling of – the Chechen conflict and – the economy Yeltsin survived the impeachment vote with a narrow margin

109 Yeltsin Appoints Putin Prime Minister

110 …and then Acting President Yeltsin resigns on Dec. 31, 1999 And then President: Elections are held in Mar. 2000 May 7, 2000 Putin takes the Presidential oath

111 Russia in the 2000s Vladimir Putin grew up in a military family – His father served in the Soviet navy He studied international law at Leningrad State University – He joined the Communist Party and the KGB after graduating in 1975 – He left the KGB after the August coup against Gorbachev

112 Putins rise to power St. Petersburg mayor Anatoly Sobchak (1937- 2000) introduced Putin to politics Sobchak was an advocate for democracy and former professor

113 Putins rise to power

114 He defeated CPRF candidate Gennady Zyuganov in the March presidential elections with 53% of the vote

115 Putins rise to power – This was the first time a candidate had received a majority of the vote, avoiding a runoff – He gained public support due to the backing of the Unity party, his position on the Chechen war, and his assertive leadership

116 I Want a Man Like Putin

117 Putin Consolidates Presidential Power Putin decreased the power of Russias regional governments – He subjected provincial governors to presidential appointment – Putin also brought judicial appointments and dismissals under his control He removed CPRF members from leadership positions in the Duma He appointed members of the governments military and security branches to various positions within his administration

118 Putin Targets Oligarchs Putin targeted the wealthy oligarchs who were influential in the government – He began criminal and tax investigations into several oligarchs in his first term These included – Vladimir Gusinsky, – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, – Boris Berezovsky, and – Alexander Litvinenko Litvinenko was poisoned to death in 2006

119 Vladimir Gusinsky: OLIGARCH

120 Mikhail Khodorkovsky: OLIGARCH … a SHOW TRIAL for the oil magnate who used his media empire to oppose Putin and financed Putins political

121 Boris Berezovsky: OLIGARCH

122 Alexander Litvinenko: Ex KGB/FSB Litvinenko was poisoned to death in 2006

123 Putin Cracks Down Putins reforms: – he cracked down on corruption, – promoted government transparency, and – encouraged foreign investment

124 Putin Cracks Down He restricted press freedom and pressured it to avoid criticizing his administration – Putin nationalized Russias last independently-owned television network – Legislation limited the medias right to comment on politics

125 Putin Wins Landslide in 2004 Putin secured reelection in 2004 with 71.3% of the vote, the largest vote margin yet His overwhelming victory stemmed from the improved economy and his handling of the second Chechen War

126 Economic stabilization Voters in the 2004 presidential election engaged in – pocketbook voting – also known as retrospective economic voting when people vote based on whether the economy has improved during the incumbents term of office Between 2000 and 2004, Russias GDP returned to positive growth – Its yearly growth rates were in the range of 4.7% to 10.0% Putin also reformed – taxes, – labor, – banking, and – property regulations

127 Economic Recovery Rising foreign investment contributed to the steady growth levels – The unemployment rate decreased from 10.6% to 7.7% – Inflation on consumer goods dropped from 20.8% to 10.9% – The state nationalized key businesses like the natural gas provider Gazprom It could keep prices of natural resources artificially low

128 The Second Chechen War In 1999, Chechnya invaded the neighboring region of Dagestan – The insurgents were mainly non-Chechen Islamists President Yeltsin ordered the Russian military to occupy Chechnya Rebels adopted guerilla and terrorist tactics, including – car bombs, – sniper strikes, and – suicide bombers

129 TERRORISM Terrorist activity continued in Putins first term – In 2002, Chechen radicals held upwards of 700 people hostage in a Moscow theatre – In September 2004, Chechen terrorists killed over 300 hostages, many of them children, in a Beslan school –

130 Beslan School Xx

131 Beslan School



134 2002 Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis



137 Apartment Bombings

138 Suicide Bomber

139 Putin and Terrorism Putin aggressively pursued the Chechen terrorists, especially following the September 11 attacks against the United States – He passed a tough but loosely defined set of anti-terrorism policies The policies could potentially be used against his political opponents – He also proposed a new Chechen constitution – His policies prevented the Chechen insurgency from costing him public support


141 Putins second term After his reelection in 2004, Putin advocated pro-business reforms

142 Putins second term He continued to increase the presidencys power – In 2005, Putin eliminated single member districts (SMDs) from the Duma – He imposed a 7% minimum threshold for parties to gain seats This move decreased the number of parties in the Duma He limited the ability of parties to form coalitions – Duma members would also lose their seats if they switched parties Finally, Putin eliminated the option to vote against all candidates on the ballot

143 MEDIA CLAMP-DOWN On October 6, 2006, journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in her apartment Politkovskaya – Politkovskaya had vocally criticized Putins handling of the Chechen war – Her assassination effectively silenced any press criticism of Putin

144 Foreign policy At the start of his presidency, Putin supported the creation of American military bases in Central Asia – These bases were to be used in the war against Afghanistan – He also sped up Russias application for membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO)

145 COOLING OFF He became less receptive to cooperation with the west as Russias economy stabilized He opposed the – Iraq War and – the expansion of the European Union and NATO Putin saw these events as western encroachment on Russias sphere of influence Towards the end of his presidency, Putins hostility waned as other countries accorded it more recognition for its successful economic transition

146 Putins hold on power In 2007, Putin announced that he would not seek reelection in the 2008 cycle – The constitution barred him from running for a third term in a row – He introduced legislation to extend the presidential term from four to six years in 2008 This change was the first amendment to Russias 1993 constitution

147 Putins hold on power On October 1, two months before the parliamentary election, Putin declared that he would be United Russias lead candidate – This move guaranteed him the post of Prime Minister United Russia won a supermajority in the 2007 parliamentary elections – Putin remained in a firm position to control the executive branch – Dmitry Medvedev assumed the presidency in 2008 with 70% of the popular vote



150 Or…

151 Dmitry Medvedev Background Medvedev grew up in a family of scholars in Leningrad He had an early interest in science but instead studied law at Leningrad State University – Following his graduation, Medvedev worked for Anatoly Sobchak Putin and Medvedev maintained close ties throughout the 1990s and 2000s

152 Medvedev quickly ascended the ranks of the Putin administration

153 Medvedev Follows Putins Plan Medvedev continued Putins focus on economic growth and political order He encouraged economic modernization through promoting – biomedical engineering, – pharmaceuticals, and – technology research

154 ANTI- CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN Medvedev established the Anti-Corruption Council to root out unethical relationships between businesses and the government – widely publicized and broadly popular – However, the council lacked enforcement powers and accountability

155 ANTI- CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN In late 2009, an officer exposed extensive police corruption – Medvedev increased central control over the police – In 2010, police salaries were increased by 30%

156 Medvedev also continued Putins repressive policies He retained strict control over the press and other domestic institutions Political opponents were persecuted – Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov was forced to resign – Oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky was jailed on widely disputed charges

157 Putin Returns to the Presidency In September 2011, Putin declared his intention to run for president in 2012 ZYUGANOV ZHIRINOVSKY PUTIN PROKHOROV MIRONOV

158 Putin Returns to the Presidency

159 Political rights and civil liberties The Soviet Union earned poor scores of sixes and sevens – Conditions improved during the 1970s and 1980s During Yeltsins administration, Russia was considered partially free However, Russias scores both declined to a five at the end of his presidency Its political rights score decreased further to six in 2004 due to Putins electoral reforms Russias average score of 5.5 since 2004 is considered not free

160 Political rights and civil liberties Measuring freedom – Since 1972, Freedom House has released yearly Freedom in the World reports They score nations on a scale from one (most free) to seven (least free) Nations receive scores in the two categories of political rights and civil liberties

161 Freedom HouseFreedom House: 2012


163 Measuring democracy The Polity IV Project scores regimes from -10 to +10:Polity IV Project

164 Russias Scores 1990s : low, though positive, scores – due to Yeltsins actions as president and – the transitional nature of the Russian government Russia received a +6 from 2000 to 2006 – Putins reforms, however undemocratic, abided by the constitution – His anti-corruption policies and early electoral reforms actually promoted democracy In 2007, Russias score dropped to a +4 – Putin made sweeping electoral reforms that favored United Russia – Russia barred international observers from the 2007 and 2008 elections

165 Evaluating Russias transition Russia is not a fully liberal democracy – Other former communist states have successfully carried out this transition – Russias own transition has probably either stalled or stopped altogether

166 Evaluating Russias transition Nevertheless, societal progress continues – Russia has steady GDP growth and low unemployment The global recession of 2009 was the sole recent setback

167 Evaluating Russias transition – Yeltsins 1993 constitution remains a central pillar of Russian politics It has been amended only once since its adoption – Medvedev signed amendment in December 2008 – PRESIDENTIAL TERMS EXTENDED FROM 4 TO 6 YEARS – Russian citizens increasingly support democracy and post-materialist values

168 Evaluating Russias transition Overall, Russias transition must be seen as a unique product of Russian society

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