a strong sexist attitude and women found it hard to find decent employment, and most women were expected to also take care of household duties as well. Women were also very scarce in government. Relations among the different ethic grouped which lived within the Soviet Union were very tense and sometimes openly hostile. The fact that the Russian language was the language in which all political transactions had to occur in and it was encouraged to be learnt, with the purpose of trying to make a single Soviet culture made this tension even stronger.The education system in the Soviet Union also caused tension because it was set up around a motive to teach students to be obedient to the Communist Party and to be Atheist among other things. Also students were assigned jobs when they graduated and this caused considerable stress on them because they had to take the job assigned to them, and if it was an undesirable one it could ruin their chances for advancement in the future. This was such a tense issue that graduates were sometimes prone to commit suicide.
The health care system was under funded. Most hospitals were under staffed and the equipment was outdated, medical supplies were also scarce.This lead to the gradual decrease of the life expectancy of a citizen.
Poor standards of sanitation and public hygiene lead to an increased annual death rate and a drop in the birth rate. All of these factors in a way, lead to the disintegration of the Communist Regime, taking into account all of the social problems and the years of mismanagement of the countries resources, we can see why the economy slowed and citizen support for the government diminished. Boris Yeltsin was named President of Russia by the Russian Republic’s Supreme Soviet in 1990. He immediately resigned from the Communist party and declared Russia’s independence.
In 1991 he became the first President of the Russian Republic by popular vote.He helped found the Commonwealth of Independent States, which ended any attempts to preserve the USSR. He moved to end state control of the economy, privatized most industries and among other things outlawed the Communist Party. Beginning in 1992 the conflict between Yeltsin and his political opponents intensified. Yeltsin suffered a series of defeats at the hands of the Russian Constitutional Court, chaired by Valeriy Zorkin. The court overturned Yeltsin’s decree creating a Russian ministry of security and internal affairs and lifted portions of Yeltsin’s ban on the Soviet Communist party. In 1993 the court repealed his ban on the National Salvation Front, a communist-nationalist organization that had called for Yeltsin’s removal.
In 1993 Yeltsin announced on television that he had issued a decree declaring special presidential rule. But when the decree was published there was no mention of special presidential powers. Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoy sharply criticized Yeltsin for issuing the decree and for using a referendum to gain popular approval of reform policies. Yeltsin asked Rutskoy to resign as vice president, and when Rutskoy refused, Yeltsin removed Rutskoy’s powers of office, despite p! rotests by the Supreme Soviet. Yeltsin won the support of the majority of Russian voters who participated in the April 1993 referendum, but the referendum did little to end his power struggle with parliament. In September, Yeltsin attempted to break the power deadlock by dissolving parliament and calling for new parliamentary elections.”In turn, parliament voted to impeach Yeltsin and swore in Rutskoy as acting president.
Led by Rutskoy and chairman of the Supreme Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov, hundreds of legislators and anti-Yeltsin demonstrators occupied the parliament building in Moscow. On September 28 Yeltsin ordered troops to barricade the parliament building, and in the following week security forces, acting in support of Yeltsin, clashed with pro-parliamentary demonstrators, who were mainly hard-line Communists and nationalists. On October 4 Rutskoy and Khasbulatov surrendered. In February 1994 they were granted amnesty by the lower house of parliament, despite Yeltsin’s opposition.” In December 1994 Yeltsin sent Russian military forces into the region of Chechnya, which had declared its independence from Russia in 1991.
Since that time Russia had made only minor military efforts to reclaim Chechnya. This use of military force is an example of the fact that true democracy can not exist in Russia, these tactics are Soviet-era coercive measures. During the bombing of Grozny Russian-speaking suffered as much as the natives.This was demonstrated the worst of the Yeltsin Regime. Yeltsin was using the war to expand his political base and appear as a strong leader. Over 20,000 civilians died during this conflict, which in a sense achieved nothing.
The Russian economy has been put through sweeping reforms which have only proved to through it into disarray. This mainly due to the fact that because the Soviet government has no experience in Democratic/Capitalist styles of governing, and the 70 plus years of Communist rule has left a huge dent in the Russian economy. The old style of government has left behind a legacy of corruption, price distortions, inefficient public industries and financial instability.This, combined with the need for much more extensive political reform makes this task almost impossible.
The process of democratization of Russia occurred to quickly. This was done in the hopes that the fast privatization of industry would hinder any chance of re-nationalizing the economy, and basically forcing this new change. At the same time privatization has contributed greatly to the popular belief that this new system is unjust.
State assets were distributed disproportionately to insiders, to people willin! g to circumvent the law, and in some case to criminals. Official corruption and the lack of enforced laws and clearly defined property laws has lead to public dissension. One of Yeltsin’s greatest mistakes was moving economic reform ahead so quickly while not addressing the need for immense political reform at the same time.The Russian economy is in disarray, and the standard of living for the average citizen is as low if not lower than during the Communist rule.
This had bred many social problems which, in effect, mirror those of the Communist administration. Religious and ethnic animosity and the lack of proper education in this new political and economic system has lead to public discontent and a rise in the alcoholism problem. There has been recent improvements in the distribution of wealth. There have been improvements in the privatization process, especially in the building sector, this could bring the expansion of small-scale property ownership, which is also an important step towards private ownership.There is also a stronger entrepreneurial spirit among lower class society. Yet with the lack of any experience in private proprietorship and private business practices the population of the Russian Federation is still not taking to the new system.
For too many years it was imprinted on them that everything must be publicly owned. Much of this can to attributed to the Communist tradition of not communicating with the public, which is a core part of any democratic system, the public participation and communication in and with government. With the apparent lack of public participation in government, and in turn the lack of communication by the government with the people we can see that the Russian Federation is far from being democratic. The government acted too quickly in it’s economic reforms with not enough practical experience in Democratic/Capitalistic to pull it off.We saw that some of the major contributing factors in the fall of communism was the dissension of the citizens due to the fact that the government did not live up to it’s promise of a better life and the failure of the government to properly deal with social problems. The other factors were economic, many of which we can see are apparent in the new system. In it’s current situation we are seeing the same factors. Unless these problems are addressed quickly and resolved effectively we will see the decline of yet another Russian governmental system.
On looking at the past we can see that the Russian public must overcome many hurdles in order for them to truly embrace Democracy and enjoy the promises of a better life that it has made.The government must promote the education of it’s citizens and communicate more efficiently with them. There is a long road ahead for the Russian Federation in this enormous task, and at this time it almost seems impossible.
— Bibliography Funk & Wagnalls. “Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich; Russia; United Soviet Socialist Republic; Yeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich; Communism; Commonwealth of Independent States.” Microsoft Encarta Ed. Microsoft Corporation.1997 Ed.
Funk & Wagnalls. “Russia, United Soviet Socialist Republic; Yeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich; Communism; Commonwealth of Independent States.” The World Almanac and Book of Facts ed. Funk & Wagnalls Corporation. 1996 Ed.Columbia University Press. “Communism” The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations Ed. Columbia University Press.
1996 Ed. Columbia University Press. “Gorbachev, Mikhail Sergeyevich; Russia; United Soviet Socialist Republic; Yeltsin, Boris Nikolayevich; Communism; Commonwealth of Independent States.
” The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia Ed.Columbia University Press. 1996 Ed. Internet Web Page.
“Everything about Russia (History Section).” Http://WWW.RUSSIA.NET Internet Web Page. “CNN Interactive (Russian Archive).” Http://WWW.CNN.
COM M.F. Goldman, Russian and the Eurasian Republics – Building New Political Orders. PP 14-25 and 34-45. H. Brand, Why the Soviet Economy Failed A.
B. Ulam, Looking at the Past: The Unraveling of the Soviet Union.