Ten Most Important Russian Political Events
(RIA Novosti) – RIA Novosti presents what is perceived by its
correspondents as ten most important Russian political events
over the 2004 period.
Vladimir Putin was elected as Russia’s president for the second
time already in the first round. 64.39 percent of all Russian
voters cast their ballots, with more than 71.31 percent of their
total number supporting the incumbent President.
Mikhail Kasyanov’s government was sacked. Mikhail Fradkov was
placed in charge of the new Russian Government. A three-tier Cabinet
structure was introduced within the framework of the administrative
reform, comprising ministries, federal services and federal agencies.
The regional election system was overhauled. New election legislation
states expressly that, from now on, all territorial governors
shall be elected by territorial legislatures in line with presidential
A proportional system of State Duma elections was introduced.
The next State Duma shall be elected in accordance with partisan
ballots alone. The new law has it that each political party must
have at least 50,000 members, with regional chapters boasting
at least 500 people each.
A string of major terrorist acts took place in Russia. Hostages
were seized in Beslan, with bombs exploding at Moscow’s Rizhskaya
and Avtozavodskaya subway stations. Passenger airliners were blown
up by terrorists, after taking off from Moscow’s Domodedovo airport
and shaping course for Sochi and Volgograd. Chechen bandits headed
by Shamil Basayev raided Ingushetia.
President Akhmad Kadyrov of Chechnya was killed, with Alu Alkhanov
winning subsequent republican presidential elections.
Russia scored a major diplomatic victory, securing the release
of two Russian citizens, who had been accused by Qatar’s authorities
of perpetrating a terrorist act against one of the main Chechen-bandit
emissaries Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. Both men then returned home.
At long last, the people of Russia received a chance to celebrate
New Year holidays together with their children. Russian adults
and children alike will relax until January 10, 2005.
Russian authorities started enlarging this country’s territories.
The Perm region and the Komi-Perm autonomous area merged into
one single whole. The Krasnodar territorial legislature, those
of the Dolgano-Nenets and Evenk autonomous areas, as well as regional
administrators, asked the President of Russia to facilitate their
merger. The head of state approved this proposal.
Metropolitan Laurus, primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
of Russia, paid his first-ever official visit to Russia. Two segments
of the Russian Orthodox Church began to pray together, with both
sides adopting specific decisions that will help restore church
unity as soon as possible.