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Alexander Lebed

A prominent former general who gathered a following before the 1996 election and had to be courted by Yeltsin so that Boris could remain President.

asymmetric federalism

Some regions are more powerful than others, so power is devolved unequally across the country.


Lenin's communist group that seized power in 1917.

Boris Berezovsky

Russian who became a rich Oligarch by buying up Russian industries after the fall of Communism and the beginning of "shock therapy." He was exiled by the Russian government.

Boris Yeltsin

First President of the Russian Federation and former Soviet Politburo member


Owners of the factories and other means of production


Members of the Russian aristocracy


A term coined by economist Goldman Sachs in 2001 for the fast-growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China. They held a summit in June, 2009.

Catherine the Great

Helped build Russia into a great empire. They took control of Poland.

Central Committee

A group of 300 party leaders that met twice a year.

central planning

The ownership of private property and the market mechanism are replaced with the allocation of resources by the state bureaucracy.

civil society in Russia

Russians did not generally have a lot of privacy free of state control, unlike the West. There are a limited number of private organizations.

collective farms

Large farms owned and run by the state


The collecting of private industry under government ownership and control

The Communist Manifesto

Book written by Karl Marx stating his interpretation of history and vision for the future. He saw capitalism as an economic system that exploited workers and increased the gap between rich and poor. Believed eventually in a proletariat revolution

Confederation of Independent States

An organization that weakly unites the fifteen former republics of the Soviet Union.

conflict in Chechnya

The largely Muslim population of this region in the Caucasus has been fighting for its independence

Constitutional Court

The judicial branch of the Russian Federation created by the Constitution of 1993. It is made up of nineteen members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Federation Council. It is in charge of making sure laws are constitutional.

Constitution of 1993

Created the publicly-elected office of President, held in check by the Duma. It created a three-branch government. It is a semipresidential system and has a Constitutional Court


allocation of power throughout various political, social, and economic institutions


The Communist Party of the Russian Federation, it is the second-strongest party. The party emphasizes centralized planning and nationalism, and implies an intention to regain territories lost when the Soviet Union broke apart.

Crimean War

Russia was defeated in this war in the mid-1800s. It convinced many that the tsars were moving Russia backward and needed reform.

cultural heterogeneity in Russia

Russian diversity increased as Russia expanded its borders. Very diverse

Decembrist Revolt

Revolt by workers in 1825 resulting from frustration in the working class. It was crushed by Tsar Nicholas I


Orders from the President or leader.

democratic centralism

rule by a few for the good of the many


Started by Krushchev's secret speech, this was a process that led to reforms such as loosening government censorship of the press, decentralization of economic decision-making, and restructuring of the collective farms.

Dmitri Medvedev

Current president of the Russian Federation


Popularly-elected lower house of the legislature

equality of result in Russia

People receive the same, regardless of work or effort. Russians dislike inequality in wealth or income

federal government structure

Government with regional and centralized components.

Federation Council

The upper legislative house. It was originally filled by governors and regional heads, but now the governors pick the council members. This was done in conjunction with the President being able to appoint the governors. It is made up of two members from each of the 89 administrative districts.

Five Year Plans

Stalin's ambitious goals for production in heavy industry

general secretary

A powerful CPSU head

Gennady Zyuganov

Leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation


An emphasis on freedom of speech and press started by Gorbachev

Gorbachev's three-pronged reform plan

Gorbachev planned to save the country through his programs of glasnost, democratization, and perestroika


The Central State Planning Committee, the nerve-center for the economy

head of government

Prime Minister

head of state

President, this is a strong position in the Russian Government.


Peasants who resisted Stalinism

Liberal Democrats

Third-largest party in Russia, and the most controversial... They are anti-semitic, and want to nuke Japan.


criminal conspiracy, organized crime


China's version of communism; it shares Marx's vision of equality and cooperation, but believes strongly in preserving China's peasant-based economy.

market-based socialism

Allowing a significant infusion of capitalism into the socialist system.


The ideas of communism created by Karl Marx. It predicted the demise of the capitalist West.


The communist political ideology that gave legitimacy to the rule of the Communist Party. It combined Marxism with Lenin's democratic centralism


Led by Martov, they were communists who broke off from Lenin at the turn of the 20th century. They were generally for a larger group of revolutionaries than were the Bolsheviks.

Mikhail Gorbachev

Final Party Secretary for the Communist Party before the Russian Federation.


The largest cleavage point in the Russian Federation, This is due to the fact that Russian territory covers so much and such diverse geography

near abroad

Those foreign countries that are close to Russia, particularly former Warsaw Pact and USSR members.

New Economic Policy

Started by Lenin in 1920, it allowed for private ownership under centralized leadership.

Nikita Krushchev

Party secretary following Stalin's demise. He started the process of de-Stalinization.


the process of filling influential jobs in the state, society, or the economy with people approved and chosen by the Communist Party.


Rule by a few. In Russia these few control the majority of the economy.


Gorbachev's economic reform that transferred many economic powers from the central government to private hands and the market economy.

Peter the Great

Russian Tsar from 17th and 18th Centuries who was the first "Westernizer." Tried to modernize Russia on the western model


The group of around a dozen men who ran the country, They were the heart and soul of the Communist Party.



proportional representation in Russia

Russia's lower house, the Duma, is elected only on party lists, and parties can only get seats if they receive 7% or more of the national votes.

Red Army

Communist forces led by Lenin in the 1918 Civil War

Russian Orthodox Church

The state church in Russia that was controlled by the tsars.

secret speech

Speech given by Krushchev in which he unveils a letter written by Lenin critical of Stalin's policies, particularly the purges


"lover of Slavs," tradition leads to pride in Slavic customs etc.

social mobility

the ability for individuals to change their social status over the course of their lifetimes


The two-pronged program of collectivization and industrialization. Executed with force and brutality by central planning

state corporatism

Government control of organizations, the government is "channeling" the voice of the people. Interest groups are controlled by the government.

statism in Russia

Russians would rather have a strong state to protect them over civil liberties


Complete and invasive form of rule (control all aspects of life)


Historic autocratic rulers of Russia

United Russia Party

Founded as a merger of parties to support Putin after his election in 2000. (created in April, 2001). It is the major party in the Russian Federation.

vanguard of the revolution

a group of revolutionary leaders who could provoke a revolution in non-capitalist Russia

Vladimir Lenin

Original leader of the Bolsheviks and first ruler of Communist Russia

Vladimir Putin

Second president of the Russian Federation, although he stepped down after his second term, he remains an influence through his position as PM

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Leader of the Liberal Democrats


Russians who want to follow the Western Model. Ex: Peter the Great

White Army

Army led by former Russian military leaders in the 1918 Civil War. They were supported by the Allied Powers.

Window on the West

St. Petersburg under Tsar Peter the Great, city on the Baltic Sea


The reformist party that best stands for pro-democracy. Led by Grigori Yavlinski, it does best with the intellectuals.


Regional assemblies started by Tsar Alexander II

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