Russian Government and Politics

2nd edition

by Eric Shiraev

Part I: Russia: Continuity and change


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Practice questions

Chapter 1 - Studying Russian government and politics

  • What are the key Russian paradoxes described in the text? p. xiii
  • Name at least three NATO countries with which Russia shares its borders. p.4
  • When did Russia acquire nuclear weapons? p.5
  • What is Russia's current population? p.6
  • What was the Katyn massacre? p.10
  • How many Russians own mobile phones? p.12
  • What is a hybrid state? pp.16-17
  • What is a "sovereign democracy"? pp.17-18
  • Does Russia continue to have food shortages today? p.21

Chapter 2 - The Roots: The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union

  • When did Russia accept Christianity? p.26
  • Who was Peter the Great? p.29
  • Who were the Decembrists? p.34
  • When did Russia abolish serfdom? p.34
  • When did Russia's "three revolutions" take place? p.35
  • When was the Soviet Union established? p.43
  • What was collectivization? p.46
  • When did Stalin die? p. 50
  • What was the Cold War? When did it start and end? p.53
  • Name one official title of Nikita Khrushchev. p.55
  • What is the Eurasian model of Russia's development? p. 58

Chapter 3 - The Soviet Transformation (1985-1991)

  • When was Gorbachev elected Secretary General of the Communist Party? p.64
  • What does the term "socialist entrepreneurship" stood for? p.66
  • What was the essence of the anti-alcohol campaign on 1985? p.66
  • Define perestroika and glasnost. p.67
  • What was Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution about? p.69
  • What was "new thinking" in foreign policy? p.73
  • Who was the leader of the democratic opposition? p.77
  • What was the August coup? p.79
  • What is the triumphalist view explaining the end of the Cold War? p.82
  • Describe the four periods of the Yeltsin-Gorbachev interactions. pp.84-85