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Political Science - society and state in contemporary russia - Essay Example

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Running Head: To what extent To what extent are fairness and equality practised in the ‘democratic’ Russian electoral system? University Name Subject Name Instructor Name To what extent are fairness and equality practised in the ‘democratic’ Russian electoral system?…
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Political Science - society and state in contemporary russia
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Download file to see previous pages However, Moscow was the nerve centre of Russia while it was also the largest city of USSR. However, according to some politicians like Vladimir Zhirinovsky, socio-political and economic conflicts between the Soviet and Russian identities had always existed. Historians like Hosking (2006) have thus described the Russians as both the “rulers and victims” of the erstwhile Soviet administrative system. During the Stalinist era, events like the great purge, murder of Leon Trotsky, adoption of the National Anthem of Soviet Union, etc. often indicated this identity crisis. Stalin, who was from Georgian ancestry, conducted indiscriminate political executions, deportations and large-scale socio-cultural engineering to use the Russian peoples for the benefit of his regime. (Faria 2012) Evolution of an undemocratic and corrupt electoral system In the Soviet era, Russians did not have any democratic electoral system at all. Even after the fall of communism Russia continues to be haunted by the memories and conventions of the autocratic rule. This is like inheriting the legacies of Cold War and Stalinism. Events like the apprehension of Anna Chapman in USA on the grounds of espionage for Russia as reported by Huffington Post (Isachenkov 2011) show that Russia’s communist past cannot be neglected. ...
inside Russia, powerful socialites like Mikhail Prokhorov have openly challenged Putin and accused him for destroying the democratic institutions (BBC News 2011). Agencies like Reuters have reported the major Russian political reformists think that “Putin must change” (Freeland and Gutterman 2012). But unlike the leaders like Prokhorov and Yavlinsky, most of the established Russian political elites are trying to align themselves with the government policies. Possibly, this is due to their urge to avoid government persecution. But similarity in political tendencies may also be a reason behind this. Majority of the opposition groups are less interested in denouncing the evolving corrupt electoral system. Instead, they are seeking their share of the poplar votes. The most powerful opposition leaders of Communist Party of Russian Federation (led by Gennady Zyuganov) and Liberal Democratic Party (led by Vladimir Zhirinovsky) are relatively well mannered and lenient towards the iron-handed nature of Putin’s government. (Faria 2012) Role of the Russian media during elections Russia has a history of suppressing the freedom of expression by its authoritarian rulers. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has shown intricately that how Stalin used the instruments like deportation and detention to suppress not only the freedom of press but also the voice of popular aspirations in general. Particularly in his monumental works The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn (1974) has shown that restrictions on free speech and news media had existed almost all through the Soviet era of Russia. According to several experts, the effects of the Soviet era and scars left by Stalin’s oppressive rule are creating problems even today. Contemporary researchers like Enikolopov, Petrova and Zhuravskaya (2010) ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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