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AP Comparative Government Final Exam Set #2

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Russian Legitimacy
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In the earliest years of the 21st century, the legitimacy of the Russian government was at very low ebb, partly because the regime change was so recent, and partly because the change appeared to be a drastic departure from the past. However, there is growing evidence that the system has stabilized since Vladimir Putin was first elected president in 2000, and since then, Putin and his successor, Medvedev, retreated from democratic practices to reestablish some of the old authoritarianism from Russia's traditional political culture.
From the beginning, Russian tsars held absolute power that they defended with brutality and force. One reason for their tyranny was geography: the Russian plain was overrun and conquered by a series of invaders, including Huns, Vikings, and Mongols. The chaos caused by these takeovers convinced Russian leaders of the importance of firm, unchallenged leadership in keeping their subjects in control. Centralized power also characterized the Communist regime of the 20th century. Many observers believe that Vladimir Putin has steered the country back to this style of leadership.