Russia | Wilson Center


The Near-Instant Death of Russia’s Constitution

This article is an abridged and edited translation of this Russian-language original

As President Vladimir Putin wound up his annual address to the Federal Assembly, many Russian analysts and political commentators breathed a sigh of relief: relief that a long-standing problem showed signs of finally being resolved as Putin’s intentions came more fully into view.

Мгновенная смерть Конституции России

This text is available in English here.


Putin’s Cosmetic Constitutionalism


President Vladimir Putin’s January 15, 2020, annual state of the nation address put forward a burst of proposed constitutional changes. The reforms included rebalancing of the 1993 constitution’s division of powers, expanding the power vertical, and limiting the position of international law within the Russian judicial system. Putin’s speech was immediately followed by the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and the emphatic announcement that the dialogue on Russia’s future constitutional structure had begun.

Putin’s Top-Down Revolution


In a momentous day for Russia’s politics, the Russian government resigned January 15 following President Vladimir Putin’s announcement of an array of changes to the country’s constitution. If implemented, the proposed redistribution of powers between the branches of government would compare in scale to that of 1993, when the current constitution was adopted.

Saving Their Profession: Russian Journalists and Their New Media


With government pressure growing, Russia’s journalists have been looking for ways to transcend the country’s stifling political climate. Small, independent, agile projects run by tight-knit teams of committed people seem to be the going answer. How are they managing it?