Russia’s party system developed in a decidedly lopsided way during the 2000s. As with all things lopsided, it runs a serious risk of instability, which could occur over the next decade. Understanding how this is the case requires clearing up four common myths about political parties in Russia. Myth No. 1. United Russia is an empty shell, constituting nothing more than a collection of ambitious elites with no genuine ties to the population. Public opinion surveys show this to be false… Read more: Vedomosti (in Russian) July 18, 2011 The Moscow Times (in English) July 24, 2011 Henry Hale is a PONARS Eurasia member and director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES) at The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University.