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The Russian political system is led by a powerful federal-level executive, the president, whose extensive formal powers and informal influences cumulate to a “hegemonic” position for the country’s chief executive. The continuing centrality of the president and the presidential administration to the country’s political and socio-economic life is a core feature of contemporary Russian reality. Russia’s first two presidents, Boris Yeltsin (1991-99) and Vladimir Putin (20002008), proved to be forceful leaders who very much moulded the politics and socio-economic realities of their times. Russia’s third president, Dmitry Medvedev (who assumed office in May 2008), did not bring comparable gravitas to the presidency, but he operated as part of a governing tandem that included his immediate predecessor in the position of prime minister. Developments of Medvedev’s first term, including the unexpected August 2008 war with Georgia, boosted Medvedev’s standing and enabled him to project a leadership persona distinguished from that of Putin. With both Putin and Medvedev having been leading members of a Kremlin team that had governed Russia since the early 2000s, their regime only further heightened the dominating position of the federal executive in Russian politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Russian Politics and Society
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781136641022
ISBN (Print)9780415576277
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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