Wikipedia:Today's featured article/April 20, 2005

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Boris Yeltsin (right) appears with his hand-picked successor, Vladimir Putin (left)

While Russia has existed as a state for over a thousand years, the history of post-Soviet Russia is brief, dating back only to the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991. Since gaining its independence, Russia claimed to be the legal successor to the Soviet Union on the international stage. However, Russia lost its superpower status amid serious economic and political challenges in the 1990s. Scrapping the socialist central planning and state ownership of property of the Soviet era, Russia attempted to build an economy with elements of market capitalism, with often painful results. The development of post-Soviet political institutions has also produced mixed results. By the early-1990s Russia had a system of multiparty electoral politics, but in recent years the presidency has been increasing its already tight control over parliament, regional officeholders, and civil society. (more...)

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