Vladimir Putin and Corruption in Russia

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Judo champions and powerful political leaders usually don’t come up in the same conversation: unless this conversation involves Vladimir Putin. This man has led an interesting life. He was born into a lower-middle class family, and as a teenager he began doing martial arts. He later became the St. Petersburg champion as well as a KGB agent. He is now a politician. From August 1999 until now, he has led Russia as either the prime minister or president (Aron 7). Following his ascension to power, Putin has instituted policies that have led to authoritarian rule and the corruption that threatens Russia’s economic future.

Boris Yeltsin’s presidency assisted Putin’s rise to power and led to many of his policies. Boris Yeltsin took office in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. He passed capitalist and democratic reforms that led many companies to be privatized. The government then handed out vouchers that could be used to buy shares in these companies. Most people did not understand the value of these, and sold them to business men that have since become extremely rich. These men are now known as the Oligarchs ( Mandel 22). The government, which could not collect taxes, was forced into collateralized borrowing agreements with the Oligarchs. These allowed the Oligarchs to gain ownership of large energy companies (24). Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin joined the presidential administration. He held multiple positions, most notably head of the FSB, the heir to the KGB. In August 1999 he was appointed prime minister, and in 2000 he won the presidential election (Aron 7).

Following this election victory, Putin passed laws that have increased the power of the president and the power of the federal government. He has expanded the a...

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