history

in December 2011, the 20th anniversary of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. 20 years later, are the Russians who originally embraced “capitalist democracy” satisfied with today’s democratic situation?

electoral democracy has been deeply rooted in Russia since the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The picture shows December 4. The picture shows a Russian soldier walking out of a polling station in a military base on December 4. Reuters

[editor’s note] in December 2011, the 20th anniversary of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. On December 21, 20 years ago, 11 participating republics signed the Almaty declaration to declare the disintegration of the Soviet Union. At 7:30 p.m. four days later, the sickle hammer flag that had been flying in the air for 74 years in the Kremlin was replaced by the red, blue and white flag. As time goes by, 20 years later, are the Russians who originally embraced “capitalist democracy” satisfied with today’s democratic situation?

parades and gatherings have become commonplace.

in Moscow, there are always many different political organizations holding parades and gatherings in a year. In our oral English, we always put these activities into one category. But in Russian, it is very clear. One is a parade, in which a group of people walk from one place to another according to the route applied in advance. The assembly is the place where the corresponding organization applies for a fixed place and gathers there. In most cases, there will be a rally at the end of the parade. The rally does not necessarily have a parade.

various organizations hold parades or gatherings. Some are held by a single political organization, while others are held jointly by several organizations. Some have more participants, while others have fewer participants. For example, some parades often involve thousands of people. It’s spectacular. Others are few people. Anyway, after applying for a suitable route, it can be held with the approval of Moscow’s internal affairs department. The organizational tendencies of holding parades or gatherings are also different. There are left-wing and right-wing. And even a nationalist parade.

among them, I think the parade of the Russian Communist Party is the best, especially the Victory Day parade on May 9. On the one hand, spring is warm and flowers bloom, and people are willing to go out for a walk. More importantly, those veterans, whether they have participated in the patriotic war or not, will take out their military uniforms that have been treasured for many years from the bottom of the box and fasten them with hard-earned medals. With old comrades in arms, stand in the queue and receive the attention of onlookers, or flowers sent by little girls. For outsiders, taking pictures with these decorated veterans will also have a sense of achievement.

for the Chinese, watching the parade of the Russian Communist Party may have some cordiality. The feeling of red flags seems to bring our memories back to the last century. It goes without saying that from the 1950s to the 1970s. Even in the early 1980s, dozens of people occasionally walked around the street with red flags and drums. Most of them celebrate what rewards they have received from their superiors.

and people in red organizations always look more kind. They also shout slogans as they walk. Such as “revolution”, “our motherland is the Soviet Union” and so on. Since the Russian Communist Party is an opposition party, there will also be some comics in the queue, ridiculing the ruling party or NATO – the former hostile organization of the Soviet Union.

but there have been two Communist Party demonstrations. At a designated place of assembly. Some people with Communist symbols marched in squares, but strangely enough, the number was far less than in previous years. Take a closer look, it turns out that this party is the future Communist Party of Russia. This is an organization split from the Russian Communist Party. He organized the Central Committee himself. The Ministry of justice of the Russian Federation still recognizes that the Central Committee headed by Zyuganov is the “authentic” of the Russian Communist Party. But at the time of the parade, the future communist party also applied for a similar route. The internal affairs department in Moscow arranged for this group to go first. It took quite a while for the huge contingent of the Russian Communist Party to advance along this line.

,

,

and

are compared with the passion shown in the parade of the Russian Communist Party. The parade organized by the ruling party United Russia is much less delicious, sometimes more like a collective walk of a large group of people.

,

,

and

are relatively normal. Extreme nationalist demonstrations are less peaceful for Chinese or other people of color. Every year, some extreme nationalists unite to March. Their slogan is “Russia is Russia of ethnic Russians”. Against immigrants from other nationalities. Although the ruling authorities in Moscow often preach national harmony, they approve such meetings every year.

press freedom: it belongs to people who can express their views in the media.

“Facebook and v-contact and other Internet social platforms have promoted the growth of civil society.” On December 10, in the legendary “largest demonstration after the collapse of the Soviet Union”, a speaker from the opposition concluded. Because the mobilization of the demonstrators was largely completed through social networks. 20 years ago, this was unthinkable in Russia.

“cancel news check!” At the end of the Soviet wave, the voice of Gorbachev’s dominance was made public. In June 1990, the authorities adopted the Soviet law on publishing and other mass media. The law abolished censorship of the press, established freedom of speech and gave various subjects the right to establish mass media. Mass communication has developed greatly. At that time, all kinds of newspapers came out one after another to spread all kinds of news reports to the public.

as a result, even Gorbachev, the advocate of publicity, was restrained. According to the historian Medvedev, on August 15, 1991, the unpublished draft of the new alliance was accidentally published in a Moscow newspaper. Gorbachev himself was furious and ordered to trace the leakHowever, the policy implemented by the state at this time, the newspaper does not need to disclose the source of information, and the tracing naturally has no result.

,

,

,

after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Russian media tried to obtain their own unique positioning, win the favor of corresponding readers and seize the market. Journalists from various media showed their skills and played the role of public opinion supervision by tracking information and in-depth exploration in the process of social transformation. Some news programs also enjoy ridiculing politicians. For example, a TV program “puppet” satirized Yeltsin from 1994 to 2002.

,

,

,

since the 1990s, Russian oligarchs have gradually formed and controlled many large media groups according to factions. Whether in the 1996 or 2000 presidential elections, these media waved the flag and shouted for Yeltsin and his successor Putin. However, there are some exceptions. For example, media tycoon gusinsky planned to establish an independent television station and issued many voices independent of the government.

since this century, as some oligarchs have been attacked, their media have gradually been included by Pro government enterprises. For example, Russia’s national gas company controls most of the shares of independent television. Relatively speaking, the government has more control over TV media and less intervention in traditional paper media. At the same time, under the banner of counter-terrorism, restrict the content of media reports. For example, the hostage taking incident at the Cultural Palace of the bearing factory in 2002 and the hostage taking incident at Beslan school in 2004. The outbreak of the two hostage incidents prompted the authorities to reflect on the role of the media in reporting such emergencies. In the view of the authorities, the omnipresent reports of the media leaked the anti-terrorism deployment of the authorities, and the corresponding news reports were limited by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 and other decrees. Restrictions such as

,

,

and

are undemocratic in the eyes of the opposition in the West and Russia. For example, in the past, the independent television station that issued an independent voice, according to the comparison of foreign media, its firepower decreased a lot. The more independent Russian new newspaper is under the umbrella of Gorbachev.

it is not difficult to run a newspaper in Russia. It is not difficult to obtain approval. According to statistics in 2010, there are 93000 media in Russia. Ninety percent of them are non-state-owned. All major political forces publish their own newspapers. In television stations, debate programs are often held. Make politicians with different views talk. Among these people, the most representative is rinovsky, the first day of the Liberal Democratic Party. His performance on TV is always impassioned. Not long ago, at a television debate, as vice president of the State Duma, he was almost boxed and kicked with his opponent. With the progress of

,

,

,

technology and the development of the Internet, speech space has expanded into a new field. As stated at the beginning, the opposition believes that this has promoted the rise of civil society. On the Internet in Russia, there is no barrier of information, and online travel to all places is unimpeded. “Russia does not want Putin!” Such words criticizing the rulers are easy to find on the Internet.

all political forces can find their positions on the Internet. Whether Pro government or anti current government. Or those of extreme power. For example, pictures mocking the United Russia party can be seen on the website of the Communist Party of Russia. For example, one picture shows that the ticket warehouse of unified Russia is in the mental hospital, while the ticket warehouse of the Russian Communist Party is Moscow University.

of course, journalists in Russia sometimes encounter danger. This is because the reporter or angered some stakeholders and suffered retaliation. It is also because of the unrest in some regions of Russia, such as Chechnya, which cannot provide sufficient security for journalists. According to the statistics of the International Federation of journalists, more than 300 journalists were killed in Russia from 1994 to 2009. (Zhu Jialong also contributes to this article)

power checks and balances: when the weak parliament encounters the strong president,

power checks and balances are an important part of the protection of Western democratic system. At the end of the Soviet Union, the Russians accepted the idea of separation of powers. But the reality is cruel. Russia, which has not long been independent, has proved with facts that power checks and balances are sometimes just empty words.

in 1993, the Soviet Union had just disintegrated and the political situation in Russia was initially determined. The political forces represented by the Supreme Soviet of Russia hoped that Russia would establish a parliamentary state, and the forces represented by Yeltsin hoped to establish a presidential regime. With the development of the armed confrontation between the president and the parliament, the two sides formed an extreme confrontation. In October 1993, Yeltsin shelled the White House entrenched by the parliamentary faction and arrested the opposition. In the absence of the opposition, Yeltsin led the formulation of Russia’s new constitution. The constitution was adopted by referendum on December 12 of that year, establishing the presidential system.

it can be imagined that the 1993 constitution was adopted after Yeltsin settled the dispute by force, which itself lacks power checks and balances. The Constitution stipulates that “the state power of the Russian Federation is exercised by the president of the Russian Federation, the Federal Assembly (Federal Council and State Duma), the government of the Russian Federation and the courts of the Russian Federation.” At first glance, it embodies the principle of separation of powers, but in fact, these powers are not equal, and the power of the president has obvious advantages. The president of

,

,

and

not only shoulders the responsibility of “determining the basic principles of domestic and foreign policies in accordance with the Constitution and federal laws of the Russian Federation”, but also “the supreme commander of the armed forces of the Russian Federation” and “forming and leading the security conference of the Russian Federation”. At the same time, he can bypass Parliament and issue legal documents by presidential decree. Power is great.

this is why since the adoption of the Constitution in 1993, the forces including the Russian Communist Party have called for the revision of the constitution one after another to embody the principle of power checks and balances in the constitution. In those years, the Russian Communist Party, which dominated the Duma, was difficult to form substantive constraints on the president.

for example, the president can nominate the prime minister, but the nomination of the prime minister needs to be approved by the Duma. If the Duma disagrees with the president’s nomination of the Prime Minister for three consecutive times, the constitution will