Politics of Russia

The politics of Russia take place in the framework of the federal semi-presidential republic of Russia. According to the Constitution of Russia, the President of Russia is head of state, and of a multi-party system with executive power exercised by the government, headed by the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the President with the parliament's approval. Legislative power is vested in the two houses of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, while the President and the government issue numerous legally binding by-laws.

Politics of the Russian Federation

Государственный строй России (Russian)
Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation
ConstitutionConstitution of Russia
Legislative branch
NameFederal Assembly
Meeting placeMoscow Kremlin
Upper house
NameFederation Council
Presiding officerValentina Matviyenko, Chairwoman of the Federation Council
AppointerIndirect elections
Lower house
NameState Duma
Presiding officerVyacheslav Volodin, Chairman of the State Duma
Executive branch
Head of State
CurrentlyVladimir Putin
AppointerDirect popular vote
Head of Government
TitlePrime Minister
CurrentlyMikhail Mishustin
NameGovernment of Russia
Current cabinetMikhail Mishustin's Cabinet
LeaderPrime Minister
HeadquartersWhite House
Judicial branch
NameJudiciary of Russia
Constitutional Court
Chief judgeValery Zorkin
Supreme Court
Chief judgeVyacheslav Mikhailovich Lebedev
The Moscow Kremlin has been the central location of Russian political affairs since Soviet times.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991, Russia has seen serious challenges in its efforts to forge a political system to follow nearly seventy-five years of Soviet governance. For instance, leading figures in the legislative and executive branches have put forth opposing views of Russia's political direction and the governmental instruments that should be used to follow it. That conflict reached a climax in September and October 1993, when President Boris Yeltsin used military force to dissolve the parliament and called for new legislative elections (see Russian constitutional crisis of 1993). This event marked the end of Russia's first constitutional period, which was defined by the much-amended constitution adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1978. A new constitution, creating a strong presidency, was approved by referendum in December 1993.

With a new constitution and a new parliament representing diverse parties and factions, Russia's political structure subsequently showed signs of stabilization. As the transition period extended into the mid-1990s, the power of the national government continued to wane as Russia's regions gained political and economic concessions from Moscow.