The 1996 Russian Presidential Elections: Motivations of a New Russian Electorate and Two Competing Candidates
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The idea for this paper began while I was studying in St. Petersburg, Russia during the last quarter of 1995. The Duma elections were held only a week before my departure and on the same day as my final essay for civilization course was due. Taking my first steps into the study of post-Soviet politics, I chose to write that essay on the youth vote in Russia and how young people were reacting to the politicians and politics of the day. The numerous political advertisements on television and billboards around the city had generated in me a new interest in Russian politics. Previously, I focused much of my academic study on Soviet and Russian politics in relation to the rest of the world and the international system. However, the "new Russia" that I experienced during that four month stay was quite different from the Soviet Union I had visited only five years earlier. The changes impressed upon me the amazing transition that the Russian pepple had and were still experiencing. Additionally, campaign advertisements plastered across the city represented a dramatic divergence from the socialist scenery of 1990. They inspired my new curiosity about the internal workings of Russian society and state -- about not only the structure o.e. elections and politics) but also the effects on and reactions of the Russian people to the many changes that had taken place in such a short period of time.
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