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     Can you name the
Russian/Soviet leaders of the
       20th century?
NPR: Bald and Hairy
Lenin, Stalin, Krushchev
Kruschev, Brezhnev, Andropov
Chernenko, Gorbachev, Yeltsin,
Dmitri Medvedev
        Introduction to Russia
   The Superpowers

   Economic, Political, Social and
    Cultural patterns

   Collapse in 1991

   Russian Federation
             New Constitution
   Yeltsin – 1st President of Russian

   “Shock Therapy”

   Competitive elections

   Putin – elected 2000; election 2007

   Russia = unpredictable
    The Sources of Public Authority
         and political power
   20th century public authority and
    political power emanated from one
    place: the Politburo of the
    Communist Party.

   Today’s new government structure
    has questionable legitimacy
   Marxism-Leninism provided the legitimacy base
    for the party, with its ideology of democratic
    centralism, or rule by a few for the benefit of the

   Stalinism changed the regime to totalitarianism,
    a more complete, invasive form of strong-man
    rule than the tsars ever were able to implement.

   The reformers: Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail

   Constitution of 1993

   2000 presidential transition from Yeltsin to Putin
         Historical legacies
   Several legacies from Russian history
    shape the modern political system:

    • Absolute, centralized rule

    • Extensive cultural heterogeneity

    • Slavophile v. westernizer

    • Revolutions of the 20th century
                Political Culture
   Russia's political culture has been shaped by its
    geographic setting, cultural orientation, and
    conflicting attitudes toward the state.

    • Geographical Setting
    • Eastern Orthodoxy
    • Equality of result, not equality of
    • Hostility toward the Government
    • The importance of nationality
Map of Russia
            Political Change
   History categorized by three distinct
    • A long period of autocratic rule by tsars
    • 20th century rule by the Communist
    • Abrupt regime change to democracy
      and a free market in 1991
         Tsarist Rule

 Western Influence
 19th century tsars
    Revolution of 1917 – Lenin and
   Lenin and the Bolsheviks

   Stalinism

   Collectivism and Industrialization

   Stalin’s foreign policy

   The purges
     Reforms under Khruschev and
   De-Stalinization

   “peaceful co-existence”

   Brezhnev

   Gorbachev
   This term translates from the Russian as
    "openness," and it allowed more open
    discussion of political, social and economic
    issues as well as open criticism of the
    government. Although this reform was
    applauded by western nations, it caused
    many problems for Gorbachev. After so
    many years of repression, people vented
    hostility toward the government that
    encouraged open revolt, particularly among
    some of the republics that wanted
    independence from Soviet control.
   Gorbachev believed that he could keep the
    old Soviet structure, including Communist
    Party control, but at the same time insert a
    little democracy into the system.

   Two such moves included the creation of
    • 1) a new Congress of People's Deputies with
      directly elected representatives and
    • 2) a new position of "President" that was selected
      by the Congress.

   The reforms did bring a bit of democracy.
    However, many of the new deputies were
    critical of Gorbachev, increasing the level of
    discord within the government.
   This economic reform was Gorbachev's
    most radical, and also his least
    successful. Again, he tried to keep the
    old Soviet structure, and modernize
    from within.
    • Transferred many economic powers held by
      the central government to private hands
      and the market economy.
    • Specific reforms included authorization of
      some privately owned companies, penalties
      for underperforming state factories, leasing
      of farm land outside the collective farms,
      price reforms, and encouragement of joint
      ventures with foreign companies.
    Failed Coup and the Revolution of
   Popular protests
   Yeltsin
   Independence of Republics
    Russian Federation 1991-present
   Constitution of 1993
   Duma
   Constitutional Council
   Putin
         Society and Politics
   Nationality
   Federation v. autonomous regions
   Chechnya
   Religion
   Social Class
   Rural v. Urban
           Citizen and State
   Beliefs and attitudes
   Mistrust of the government
   Statism
   Economic beliefs
   westernization
         Political Participation
   Voting close to 100% during Soviet
   Until Gorbachev elections were not
   Duma Elections lower turnout
         Political Framework
   Federal government structure
   Eighty-nine regions
   “republics”
   Centralized federation
   Parties often revolve around leaders
   Communist Party of the Russian
    Federation (CPRF)
   Unity
   Yabloko
   Union of Right Forces
   Fatherland – All Russia
   Liberal Democrats
   The Russian political system supports
    three types of national votes:

    • Referendum

    • Duma Elections

    • Presidential elections
                 Interest Groups
   Interest groups were not formally allowed in the Soviet

   Market capitalism suddenly replaced centralized economic
    control in 1991.

   Those that bought the state-owned industries were
    generally insiders (members of the nomenclatura) who
    have since become quite wealthy.

   This collection of oligarchs may be defined loosely as an
    interest group because they have been a major influence
    on the policy-making process during the formative years of
    the Russian Federation.
             The Oligarchy
   Boris Berezovsky
   Putin has shown some resistance to
    oligarchic control.
   Gusinsky
   Both Berezovsky and Gusinsky are
    now in exile, but they still have close
    political and economic connections in
            The Russian Mafia
   Interest group controls much more than
    underworld crime.

   Like the oligarchs, they gained control during the
    chaotic time after the Revolution of 1991, and
    they control local businesses, natural resources,
    and banks.

   In Russia's past, lawlessness has been dealt with
    by repressive, authoritarian rule, and these
    groups represent a major threat to the survival of
    the new democracy.
       Government Institutions
   President and Prime Minister
   Bicameral Legislature
    • Duma
    • Federation Council
   The Judiciary
   The Military
    Public Policy and Current Issues
   The Economy

   Foreign Affairs

   Civil Society
                          Terms to know
   Bosheviks                                       Nomenklatura
   Chechnya                                        Oligarchy
   Collectivization                                Politburo
   Democratic
    centralism                                      “shock therapy”
   Duma
   Federation Council                              Totalitarianism
   Five Year Plans                                 Tsars
   General secretary                               Yabloko
   Kulaks                                          Yeltisin
   Marxism
   Mensheviks

    *Information in the above presentation adapted from “Comparative Government and Politics” by
    Ethel Wood.

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