This is not to say that Putin created a system controlled entirely by himself, Gleb Pavlovsky states that Putin “merely crafted his own version of Sistema, a complex practice . . . that has long defined Russian politics and society and will outlast Putin himself.” (7) By utilizing a complex system however, Putin managed to make friends while still gaining the upper hand. Giving the rise in oil prices, and the vast natural resources at Russia’s disposal, it became clear to Vladimir Putin that the best way to create a strong and wealthy Russia was to act upon its resources. Giving authority to Gazprom in the utility sector, Putin began policies of rewarding those who acted in favour with the Russian government. As Russia climbed to become one of the top exporters of natural gas, and oil, the economy soared. Russian GDP had by 2003 reached such a growth rate and extent that the IMF declared, “as the macroeconomic situation, especially the balance of payments, continued to improve during 2000–03, it became apparent that there was no need for the IMF to lend to Russia.” (Odling-Smee 22) Russia had grown into a trillion dollar economy once more, and had entered a period of economic expansion unheard of in a European state. As Putin’s policies proved successful, his power base flourished. Making key allies in all sectors, benefitting those allies, and showing that he controlled the game, Putin created a mix of the Western Neo-Liberalism that Yeltsin had once sought, and the old style socialism that some reactionaries were after. As trade surpluses grew, and Rus...
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... territories post-collapse was seen as a major blunder, and the subsequent economic collapses and conflicts led to the image of a President with no plan or thought out control of his nation. Putin’s rise marks a distinct change in Russia, a change towards authoritarian measures, utilization of vast resources, and a foreign policy unafraid to challenge its neighbors “even at the cost of relations with the Western world.” (Lynch) This move saw the creation of a modern Russian state at odds with its neighbors, the west, and pivoting eastward in regards to economic and trade policies. Russia’s future will undoubtedly continue to be shaped by Putin, and by Yeltsin, as the years go by. How Russia continues to advance, and where it will go next, will be determined by the successes and failures of President Putin, just as his career and policies were determined by Yeltsin’s.
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