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The Visionary, The Custodian, and The Russian Siloviki. Edition No. 1
VDM Publishing House, October 2009, Pages: 280
The visionary Gorbachev suffered unintended consequences with glasnost, perestroika and the new thinking resulting in the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991. Yeltsin served as a transitional custodian in the experimental democratic period struggling with the potential devolution of the Russian State as well as an anemic Russian foreign policy. Vladimir Putin arrived to return the floundering Russian state to its previous status as a world power, if not superpower, with his extensive Siloviki administration and a dynamic new petro-dollar economy. Though an illiberal democracy, falling short of American expectations, Putin's “democracy of law” represents a realist-nationalist approach to a unique Russian history of strongman rule while introducing progressive elements of pluralistic government. September 11, 2001, as well as the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, continued to skew Russian-American relations. However, integration of Russia into western and international institutions portends to stimulate continuing strategic cooperation between Russia and the United States, as well as other major international actors to include the European Union.
Terry Simmons, Ph.D., studied International Relations at the University of Miami and teaches at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Involved in Russian-American relations since 1987. Currently researching the conflict between Russia and Georgia. He is a member of the Atlantic Council of the U.S. and a consultant to the U.S. Government.