The Russian Federation

Country Profile

Population 144.5 million (2017)
Area 6.602 million mi^2… it’s huge!!!!
Head of State Vladamir Putin
Head of Government Dmitry Medvedev
Capitol Moscow
Year of Independence December 25, 1991… formerly USSR now they are the Russian Federation
Year of Current Constitution 1993… constitution of the Russian Federation under Boris Yeltsin
Languages Russian is the only federally recognized language
GDP per Capita 11,257.944 USD as of December 2018
Human Development Index Rating #49… middle of the road, not great, not terrible
Political Parties Currently in the Duma:
  • United Russia (340)
  • Communist party (42)
  • Liberal Democrats (40)
  • A Just Russia (23)
  • Rodina (1)
  • Civic Platform (1)
Geographic Distribution of Power Unitary

Salient History

Russia is a nationalist state. Its beginnings are founded on conquest and Westernization when Peter the Great first introduced the notion of forbidding nobles to wear their customary beards in the 18th century as well as when Alexander I defeated Napoleon’s invasion of Russia in 1812. Later in the 19th century, Russia became one of the last countries to emancipate serfs and state peasants. Although this may be seen as “modernizing,” Russia was significantly “behind the game.” They were still a non-constitutional monarchy and heading towards a “backward” direction with state-sanctioned industrialization. These industrial workers were able to garner enough force against the existing government to call for the 1905 Revolution that created a constitutional monarchy. However, this regime soon toppled with the Russian Revolution of 1917 that brought the communists to power with the Bolsheviks. The new communist regime increased the role of the state in the government and led agrarian reforms under Vladimir Lenin. Following this, the Stalinists regime came to power with the First Five Year Plan of rapid industrialization. After Russia’s involvement in WW2, the ideological war (Cold War) between the West (America) and the Soviet Union began until both sides finally came to an agreement. De-Stalinization began with Kruschev and Bresnev. In the 1980s and continuing into the 90s, socialist reforms flocked the Soviet Union with free-market techniques and privatization that concluded the dissolving of the Soviet Union to the Russian Federation in 1991. Today, Russia is a hybrid or competitive authoritarian regime. Under Putin, the regime experiences a centralized power with assertive rules and norms so that no one individual or group can ever question the strength of the government.  

Political Structure

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  • How it should work
    • Electorate directly elects president, Duma (legislature), and regional legislatures
    • Regional legislatures then select 2 members from each of the 85 federal administrative units to represent them in the upper house, the federation council
    • This federation council must also confirm constitutional court members nominated by the president
    • The president also selects the prime minister out of the Duma, (lower house)
    • The president also selects the leaders of the 8 federation districts who report to him on the state of all the Federal administrative units.
  • How it actually works
    • President (Supreme leader Putin) controls everything as no one in the duma, federation council, or any other government official is willing to stand up to him
Current News

Past AP Questions:

2018 Q7

2016 Q2

2015 Q7

2014 Q1

2013 Q4 + Q7

2012 Q2 + Q8

2011 Q8