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Destination in Doubt: Russia since 1989 (Global History of by Stephen Lovell

By Stephen Lovell

This e-book is a brief historical past of Russia because the cave in of Communism in jap Europe. In a question of months, Russia used to be it seems that demoted from "evil empire" to despondent terrible relation of the wealthy West. but the rustic additionally appeared terribly -- and alarmingly -- open to all demeanour of political results: from the go back of Communism to the production and consolidation of liberal democracy. some of the scripts written for Russia in 1991 have needed to be significantly revised in next years. This booklet is a historian's try to stand again from the turbulent post-Soviet period and inquire into the character of the "Second Russian Revolution."

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Additional resources for Destination in Doubt: Russia since 1989 (Global History of the Present)

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Perhaps the greatest single obstacle to the consolidation of democracy in Russia was that the victorious “democrats” never had the opportunity to face the hard discipline of political power. By 1992 the new Russian state was headed by a president who had always seemed sympathetic to the democratic movement but who never actually joined it or unambiguously endorsed it at key moments. His main political asset was not an ideology, a set of policies, or an independent political organization but his own status as a revolutionary hero, his personal charisma, and the abundant sources of power he had inherited from the old system.

Yeltsin’s main co-optation initiative was the creation of an upper house (the Federation Council) as part of the 1993 constitution. This body was made up of 178 delegates, two from each of the eighty-nine subjects of the federation. Yeltsin’s intention was that, by giving these men status at the national level, the president would be able to turn them into his loyal enforcers in the regions. The real outcome was almost precisely the opposite. The Federation Council quickly developed an esprit de corps and provided an effective forum for regional elites to engage in special pleading and to defend each other’s prerogatives.

Critical examination of the Soviet past extended ever further back in time until it reached the last sacred cow in the herd: Lenin himself. Gorbachev was not at first dissuaded from his course by the signs of incipient ideological disintegration. He pressed on with his radical new step: the introduction of an elected Soviet assembly, the Congress of People’s Deputies. This body was to have 2,250 members; 1,500 of them would be elected directly in constituencies where the number of candidates could in principle exceed one, while the remaining 750 would be drawn from lists submitted by various social organizations (in the first instance, the Communist Party itself, which was thereby guaranteed 100 places in the Congress for its Politburo and other leading lights).

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