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Global Studies II

Unit II Russia

Name Gianna Rocca


Date 4/21/2015
Block: 2
Russian Democracy Has Disappeared?
- Clifford J. Levy, New York Times

Directions: After reading the article mentioned above, answer the questions below. Please
answer in complete sentence format.
1. What is human rights? According to the author, identify human rights issues the current
political regime in Russia have violated.
Human Rights are rights that apply to all human beings: all humans are entitled to human rights
without discrimination. According to the author, the current political regime in Russia has violated
justice and civility.

2. Identify political corruption issues Mr. Levy identifies in Russia today.


Despite how the Russian economy has been vastly improving, Mr. Levy identifies that country is
becoming less free. With concrete power in Kremlins hands, Russia is becoming an increasingly
authoritarian government. Nevertheless, the effect of Russias justice system has changed little
since the Soviets day and still consists of much corruption. In all, Russia has a long way to go from
democracy and a civil society.
3. How does Mr. Gorbachev, the previous Russian premier, feel about the current leaders? Why
does he feel this way?
Mr. Gorbachev is not content with the current leaders of Russia. In fact, he is a critic of the
Kremlin and he feels as though the Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, is undermining Russias newly
formulating democracy by crippling opposition forces. Instead, Gorbachev feels that democracy
and respect for the rule of law is very important for Russia to pursue.
4. The caption for the picture on page one is titled, Batman and Robin. Explain this caption.
The caption depicts the partner in crime relationship between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and
President Dmitri Medvedev. In 2008, Putin found a way around the law that prevented him from
for President once more. Due to this, Putin handpicked Medvedev as his successor, and after he
won in a landslide, Medvedev appointed Putin as his Prime Minister.
5. According to the author [and Mr. Gorbachev, democracy begins with:
Elections, accountability, and turnover.

6. In addition to the aspects of democracy identified above, which other key ingredient is
necessary for a democracy? According to the author, how does Russia meet this ingredient?
Back up your answer with facts.
Another key component is the respect for the rule of law, since Russia is frequently manipulated
to serve the governments needs. In order to meet this ingredient, the author believes that the
most important step is a major transformation in peoples brains so society is able to realize how
Russia has a long way to go to usher in a new system of values. Likewise, Mikhail Khodorkovskys
case is just the most-high profile example of how corrupt Russias justice system has become.

7. Identify two cases the author identifies where the Russian government has failed the
democratic test.
The Russian government has failed the democratic test in 2004, when Putin decided to eliminate
elections for key regional governors city mayors and instead replace the positions with Kremlin
appointees. This shows that Russia is not moving forward, but is slipping backward. The Russian
government has also failed the democratic test in 2008: the attack against Beketov. These
attacks, along with the abolition of other important elections and protests, are all evidence that
Russia is increasingly becoming an authoritarian government.