A fresh and compelling interpretation of Russian politics by a leading authority, this textbook focuses on political developments in the world's largest country under Putin and Medvedev. Using a wealth of primary sources, it covers economic, social and foreign policy, and the 'system' of politics that has developed in recent years. Opposing arguments are presented and students are encouraged to reach their own judgements on key events and issues such as privatisation and corruption. This textbook tackles timely topics such as gender and inequality issues; organised religion; the economic krizis; and Russia's place in the international community. It uses numerous examples to place this powerful and richly-endowed country in context, with a focus on the place of ordinary people which shows how policy is translated to Russians' everyday lives.