Policy Memos

The Unintended Consequences of Anti-Federalist Centralization in Russia

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Since becoming the Acting President of the Russian Federation in late 1999, Vladimir Putin has spoken with utmost clarity about his concern for the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation and his intent to increase the concentration of political power with the executive agencies of central government in Moscow. Addressing Russian troops in Chechnya in early January 2000, after the relentless "Christmas bombardment" of Grozny, Putin said, "I want you to know that the country really needs what you have been doing here. I do not merely mean the protection of honor and dignity of the country. I mean more serious things. We are talking about putting an end to the disintegration of Russia. This is our task here." Later Putin outlined a broader, long-term vision for centerperiphery relations, "Russia was founded as a super-centralized state from the very start. This is inherent in its genetic code, traditions, and people's mentality." [...]

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About the author

Professor of Political Science
San Diego State University