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SPP 255

Author: Professor Yuri Levada, VCIOM, Moscow
Description: Ten years after its introduction Russians view perestroyka with ambivalence; the largest group thinks it necessary but implemented in a way that did more harm than good. Russians also have a mixed view of democracy; some see it in conventional Western terms while others have a negative image and there is also a division about whether democracy is in accord with Russian traditions. Human rights include social and economic security guaranteed by government and individual freedom from government. The Chechen war and popular response demonstrate that while Russia is not yet a democracy in the Western sense, there is now far greater opportunity for the public expression of opposition to government, what may be described as a "democracy of disorder". A lengthy appendix reports 15 key economic and political indicators from monthly VCIOM surveys since 1991.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland