Five years ago Time magazine named Putin as the man of the 2007 year taking into account his achievements in the management and continuous developments of the state. Mainly, these contributions were connected with the stability that the President had created in the country. Putin was the President of Russia from 2000. He served for his first two terms as allowed by law until 2008.
He was succeeded by Dmitry Medvedev until 2012 while he was the country's premier a second time. In 2012, he sought office a third time and was voted in again. Since Vladimir Putin became President in early 2000, various institutions in government changed (Desai, 23). Putin took office on the promise of resuming an economic reform stymied by the presence of the government disorganization and legislative resistance during Yeltsin's second term in office. Thus, the paper will deal with the analysis of the major spheres of the presidential policy.
Most scholars assert that human rights in Russia had been largely violated since the time when Putin became President of the country. With each coming year, the situation with ensuring human rights is becoming worse. All mass media are completely under the strict control of the President and his team. Thus, the citizens of the state are imposed by the necessary points of view concerning the most significant issues of the life of the country. This kind of Putin's policy was established many years ago.
Putin's first nomination as the prime minister was in 1999. He was confronted immediately by a rejuvenated rebel activity in Chechnya coupled by a series of bombing in Russia popular cities including Moscow. Under a popular tremendous support, he launched an urgent military campaign against terrorism, particularly in Chechnya. By characterizing it as a campaign against terrorism, he used the war as a camouflage to justify his efforts of centralizing executive power. These efforts substantially retarded the development of the rule of law in Russia. During this crash, Putin brutally employed extreme force.
According to Balmaceda (34), Chechnya was no exception and the violence and guerilla actions linked to the terrorists were not a justification of routine inhumane actions by the government. Summary shootings, torching of villages, raping of Chechen women and mistreatment of the prisoners of war were the main methods that the forces used to subdue resistance in Chechnya. In addition, Moscow had no plans to either withdraw its troops from the region or reach a negotiated settlement, and this served as one of Putin's greatest failures.
One should point out that starting at the very beginning of the year; the authorities have performed more than two hundred inspections of organizations having the purpose to ensure the protection of human rights. For instance, Amnesty International's Moscow office was examined by tax inspectors and prosecutors at the end of March this year. However, in order to teach this purpose, it is necessary to carry out various changes within the judicial and executive systems.
The economic policy of Russia is approaching the decline that is the result of politic directions of the president. Roxburgh asserts "the Russian renationalization has produced a negative effect on the economy of the state" (35). It is most apparent in the considerable stagnation of oil and gas production, banking, and in various industries. However, "two-thirds of the country's economy consisting of the most profitable industries, such as the metals, retail trade, and building industry, still remains in the private hands" (Makarychev, and Mommen 44).
During his two terms as the Russian president, Putin brought in a new type of capitalism in the Russian platform. He blended the government and the private businesses, jailed tycoons and demanded control of their economic heights. He exercised intense pressure on petroleum companies to foster production to the extent that the country now produces more oil than Saudi Arabia. However, through his provocative nature to the neighboring countries, his foreign policies were very loose, and Russia was not able to secure a wide market share for its products in the world market (Pirani 45). Despite the economic sanctions imposed on the country over Ukraine, much of Russia's economic weaknesses were homegrown. Since 1999, the average annual GDP growth was 4.6% but the growth continued to wane over time and almost faced a recession.
During its boom, income from metals and hydrocarbon exports financed the rapid expansion of the state. This policy benefitted politically aligned sections such as the defense industry, civil service, manufacturing sector, pensioners and the military whose income rose significantly (Roxburgh 35). The main factors that enabled Russia to enjoy a massive rise in living standards were strong ruble that reduced the costs of imports. It helped the country become Europe's fastest growing consumer market.
However, instead of using the proceeds from the boom years in restructuring the economy, the policymakers made no efforts to check the rise of commodity prices. As a result, it is now difficult to ensure a steady economic growth that the country was accustomed to at the beginning of Putin's period. Despite having plenty of natural deposits, the production industry did not benefit enough because they were extracted more specifically for export (Makarychev, and Mommen 44). This made Russia a massive consumer market under the reign of Putin. However, industrialization strategies were laid down to help the country's production in the future.
These are concerns and initiatives that Putin put in relation to other nations during his tenure. The relation between Russia and the US was at its lowest since 1960 (Rumer 13). Washington perceived Russia as a strong obstructionist in regards to Cuba, Syria, Venezuela and Iran because they used to seek Russia's protection against the US and the West. At first, Putin did not have relations with the US, Western Europe, and NATO but in 2001, Russia supported the US in its war against terrorism after 9/11 attack (Smith 12). He even shared Russian intelligence reports with the US over al-Qaeda. However, in 2003, the US expanded its NATO forces to Russian borders, and the relationship deteriorated.
As compared to his predecessor, Yeltsin, who saw it necessary to approach the West as a third party; Putin engaged a forceful approach in asserting Russia in its right place as a powerful country in the Eastern Europe (Lo 20). In 2008, Putin undercut any thought of expanding NATO into Georgia by launching a war against the pro-western president Mikheil Saakashvili. Putin's challenges were carefully calibrated to reduce the repercussions and maximizing gains. He unleashed hackers to Estonia, shut off the gas supply to Ukraine and sent troops to Georgia but ensured that the cost of asserting a regional hegemony was within limits, low coat and short-term (Rangsimaporn 39).
The president has initiated a new strict law that asserts that any organization, which receives investments from abroad "should describe them as being "foreign agents" in the case if they are considered to be involved in undefined "political activities" (Makarychev, Mommen 44). The official investment ratio of the country remains the lowest for the past ten years even in spite of the fact the Russian economy is promising for the foreign investors. One may assert that the amount of the foreign investment into the economy of the state is reducing owing to the intricate situation between Ukraine and Russia. Most international leaders support the same opinion that the anoxia of the Crimean peninsula may be treated only as an encroaching on the territory of an independent state.
Putin's Third Term in Office
Putin made history by becoming the first president in Russia to be in office for a third term despite the constitution limiting a candidate to two terms. However, the law does not rule out a third term if someone else serves as president in the interim. According to Pryce (34), Dmitri Medvedev served as a president in between but declined to vie for another term thus giving Putin an opportunity for a third term. Russian constitutional laws defined Putin's third term presidency as legitimate and constitutional despite the opposition arguing otherwise. The constitution clearly stated that no person should hold the position of Russian president for more than two terms in a row. Thus, Putin's third term was legitimate and within the confines of the law as stipulated in the constitution.
Although Putin became president of Russia for the third time almost a year ago, he has already been charged with having implemented the undemocratic laws to reduce criticism of the established regime. The authorities directed by his order have presented a wide range of restrictive laws. Pryce argues "they used to intimidate and in most cases imprison those political activists who did not agree with the regime or intended to fight against it" (34).
The main factor that assisted Putin to be elected president for the third time was his successful promotion. Putin was praised for having contributed profoundly to the apparent development of the country in the course of the two previous terms. However, a much closer examination of the main factors of the state's development reveals that the claimed data concerning stability in Russia do not correspond to the reality. For instance, the state's murder rate has become higher at the time of Putin compared to the years when Yeltsin was the president. Furthermore, "the murder rate in Russia is four times higher at the moment than in the United States" (Pryce 34).
The citizens have suffered largely from the unjust reforms and violation of human rights. The state has become wealthier, but it affected only the president himself and the other members of his team. Nevertheless, "common people did not notice the mentioned improvements performed by the president" (Pirani45). Thus, the proclaimed changes are real only in their presentation by the effective censorship, which was imposed by Putin in order to hide the failures of his presidency.
The President of Russia is referred to as one of the most controversial personalities in the contemporary world. In the course of his presidency, all major spheres of life of the country have been impacted considerably. Russia has been altered into one of the wealthiest states with effective economic and conservative foreign policy. Nevertheless, the directions of the domestic and foreign policies during the third term of Putin as the President created a wide range of impediments, which may lead to the inevitable consequences.
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