Russia's problems with the transition of power

The Russian Political System in Transition
NERVOUS ELITE / The Russian elite is preparing for a change of power in 2024. The elite struggles with declining legitimacy among ordinary people, but so far, people's dissatisfaction is reflected in apathy.


The main reason for Vladimir Putin's popularity is that he is not Boris Yeltsin. Under Yeltsin's rule in the 1990 years of Russia, the average life expectancy of men fell by seven years, gross national product fell by 40 percent, the state's monopoly of power disintegrated in favor of the mafia and oligarchs, and citizens lost their national pride and ideological affiliation. "Disregarding major famines, plague and war, so many have never lost so much in such a short time," writes Naomi Klein in The shock doctrine.


While visiting a Russian village in 2008, I was told a story about the local workers during the 1990 years. The cornerstone business was a toilet paper factory. For long periods, the workers were not paid wages, but instead received payments in the form of toilet rolls, which they had to line up along the road and try to sell to passers-by in their spare time. What a humiliation to the workers who had recently been inhabitants of the world's second most powerful superpower!

Putin's solution to these problems was to streamline the hierarchy of power under the presidency, what he called "the power. . .

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