Russian Political, Economic, and Security Issues and U.S. Interests
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Russia made some uneven progress in democratization during the 1990s, but according to most observers, this limited progress was reversed after Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999-2000. During this period, the State Duma lower legislative chamber came to be dominated by government-approved parties and opposition democratic parties were excluded. Putin also abolished gubernatorial elections and established government ownership or control over major media and industries, including the energy sector. The methods used by the Putin government to suppress insurgency in the North Caucasus demonstrated a low regard for the rule of law and scant regard for human rights, according to critics. Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putins chosen successor and long-time protege, was elected president in March 2008 and immediately chose Putin as prime minister. President Medvedev has continued policies established during the Putin presidency. In August 2008, the Medvedev-Putin tandem directed wide-scale military operations against Georgia and unilaterally recognized the independence of Georgias separatist South Ossetia and Abkhazia, actions that were censured by most of the international community but which resulted in few, minor, and only temporary international sanctions against Russia.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science