Impeachment in Russia

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In the Russian Constitution, adopted in 1993, the procedure is largely similar to the U.S.: impeachment of the President of the Russian Federation on the Federation Council office produces two thirds of votes on the proposal of the State Duma.


The President of the Russian Federation has constitutional immunity.[1] The President’s powers start from the day the President is sworn into office and expire at the time the newly‐elected President of the Russian President is sworn into office. Nonetheless, "in the event of the President’s resignation or sustained inability due to health… or in the event of impeachment", the President’s powers will be terminated. In such a case, a presidential election must be called within three months. Only the Federation Council may impeach the President of the Russian Federation. An impeachment may be based only on charges of high treason or a grave crime.[2] The charge must be ruled "on the presence of indicia of crime in the President’s actions" and confirmed by the Supreme Court.[3] In addition, the Constitutional Court must rule upon the correctness of the procedure followed. The State Duma may initiate an action of impeachment by a suggestion of one‐third of its deputies, which must be in the presence of the opinion of a special commission formed by the State Duma. The action will be moved forward to the Federation Council by a two thirds vote of the total number of the deputies of the State Duma. The Federation Council must reach a decision within three months after the charge is passed by the State Duma. If a decision is not reached within the three months by the Federation Council, the action is considered rejected. A charge of impeachment is approved by a two‐thirds vote of the total number of the members of the Federation Council within three months after the State Duma pass the charge.


In Russia, the impeachment procedure (impeachment) was initiated three times. In all cases, the object became the first president Boris Yeltsin. For the first time the question of impeachment arose in March 1993, at the initiative of the Supreme Soviet and the Congress of People's Deputies of Russia. Although the force at the time (amended) Constitution of the RSFSR in 1978 allowed the Congress of People's Deputies to decide "any question under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation", the result of negotiations between the Supreme Soviet and the President, the question of authority was put to a referendum, in the course which time it was a question of confidence and Congress. As a result, the people's will, both branches have retained their authority.

The second time, the question of impeachment arose in September 1993, after a presidential decree on the termination of the Congress and the Supreme Soviet. The decision was made to impeach the deputies, meeting in the so-called X Congress, the legitimacy of which however was not recognized by the executive. The conflict was resolved by force of arms during the events of October 3-4.

For the third time the question of impeachment was considered in 1998-1999. President Yeltsin was accused by the State Duma on four points: the collapse of the Soviet Union, the war in Chechnya, the weakening of Russia's defense and security, the execution of the Supreme Soviet in 1993. Optionally, addressed the issue of "genocide of the Russian people". In the State Duma set up a special parliamentary commission to address the issue of impeachment, led by a member of the Communist Party faction leader Vadim Filimonov, Victor Ilyukhin and Yelena Mizulina from Yabloko (deputy chairman). As a result of voting none of the charges was not supported by a qualified majority of deputies (for bringing a charge on the war in Chechnya did not have 17 votes) and the procedure was discontinued.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Constitution of the Russian Federation, article 91.
  2. ^ Federal Law on "guarantees to the President of the Russian Federation and to his family members, having suspended the execution of his powers"
  3. ^ The Constitution of the Russian Federation 1993 article 93(3).