In the first decade of the 21st century, post-Soviet Russia consolidated its political, economic and social characteristics under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. The figure of Putin, president of the Russian Federation from 2000 to 2008, then prime minister and again president since 2012, has dominated the political scene and has left a fundamental imprint on the evolution of the country, still tied to a tradition of extreme personalization of power. Elected in March 2000 with 53% of the votes, Putin initially enjoyed an unprecedented consensus built on the restoration of state authority, on economic growth, on the restoration of the country’s international prestige. What basically caught Russian opinion was his image as a strong man, able to curb the spread of corruption and mafias in public life, to use an iron fist against the terrorism born of the Chechen question, to restore to Russia an active role in foreign policy, especially in the geopolitical space of the former USSR. In reality, Putin acted as a strenuous centralizer of the state: he implemented an administrative reform aimed at severely limiting autonomies; he placed the Federation council under presidential control, disrupting the local power lobbies that made it up; it centralized tax revenues, severely reducing the prerogatives of federal units. At the same time, a battle began against the economic potentates guilty of illicit enrichment, but also inconvenient for their political influence. While, Putin laid the foundations for a recovery of the Russian economy after the collapse of the ruble in 1998. The president’s action was aimed primarily at building the institutions of a market society, such as a regulated banking system and a set of measures. laws aimed at protecting companies, joint-stock companies, economic and commercial transactions. GDP growth has been outlined since 2000, after the negative trend of the previous period, destined to stabilize at considerable rates in the following years (between 6 and 8%). The new virtuous cycle was consolidated thanks to the growth in the world market in the price of oil. Focused on energy export, however, the Russian economy also experienced a strengthening of the internal market which made it possible to balance and reduce imports of consumer products. The economic recovery and the relative reliability of the market institutions have allowed an inflow of foreign capital, especially from Europe, and the volume of foreign trade has grown exponentially. However, few have benefited from the new wealth. In fact, the polarization between a wealthy elite according to the highest world standards and a quarter of the population, largely made up of elderly people, below the poverty line and largely devoid of minimal forms of social protection has remained, while the classes are struggling to consolidate. social intermediates. After the 2003 elections, the president’s party, united Russia, allied with the new pro-government party Patria, it has in fact dominated the Duma in the face of the disappointing results of the communists but above all of the liberal and social democratic forces that have not obtained sufficient votes to be present in Parliament. Without effective opposition, Putin has accentuated the semi-authoritarian characteristics of the political system by progressively monopolizing the media. All this outlined in the country a regime of ‘controlled democracy’ even before the parliamentary elections of 2003, preparing the outcome. The war in Italy also contributed to this solution effective opposition Putin has accentuated the semi-authoritarian characteristics of the political system by progressively monopolizing the media. All this outlined in the country a regime of ‘controlled democracy’ even before the parliamentary elections of 2003, preparing the outcome. The war in Italy also contributed to this solution effective opposition Putin has accentuated the semi-authoritarian characteristics of the political system by progressively monopolizing the media. All this outlined in the country a regime of ‘controlled democracy’ even before the parliamentary elections of 2003, preparing the outcome. The war in Italy also contributed to this solution Chechnya. Provoked by a complex intertwining of economic and political interests, the second war in Chechnya (1999) was a choice dictated above all by the desire to show a ‘strong hand’ against terrorism, but also against any centrifugal insubordination, sending an unequivocal signal against any disintegrating tendency of the Federation. The search for an exclusively military solution was the direct consequence of this approach. For some years, the price paid was a growth in the spiral of terrorism aimed at merging the independence matrix with the Islamic internationalist one. The most tragic episode was the massacre of more than three hundred children in a school in Beslan, in Ossetia, caused by a terrorist attack and the consequent blitz carried out by the Russian security forces, in September 2004. After the attacks of 11 September 2001 Russia has fully entered the United States-sponsored international coalition against terrorism, obtaining a series of diplomatic advantages. The collaboration between Moscow and Washington experienced a first crisis on the occasion of the war in Iraq, considered a mistake by Putin. Subsequently, the Russia has assisted the Iranian nuclear program, opposing the plans of sanctions and military reprisals against Tehran discussed between London and Washington. Putin also accused the United States of irresponsibly destabilizing the strategic balance with the missile shield project and initiated military cooperation with India and China, questioning the nuclear disarmament agreements reached with Washington in 2002. The tensions between the Russia Orange Revolution) and Georgia (see Rose Revolution), considered by Moscow to be the result of unacceptable interference in its sphere of influence. In March 2004, Putin was re-elected president with a genuine national plebiscite, reaching over 70% of the votes. On the strength of this result, the government has tightened the authoritarian aspects and the limits to the spaces for debate and criticism in public opinion. In this climate, the murder in October 2006 of the journalist A. Politkovskaya, one of the bravest voices to denounce the tragedies of the Chechen war, a disturbing signal appeared to many observers. During the second mandate, Putin’s tendency to use energy wealth as a weapon of Russian foreign policy, especially aimed at conditioning the states of the former Soviet Union, also emerged. Statist control over energy has therefore constituted both a central element of power and a tool for relaunching the country’s power politics. In December 2007, Putin’s party achieved a new victory of large proportions in the vote for the renewal of the Duma. However, the manner in which the elections were held raised many serious perplexities among international observers, who raised doubts about the limitations imposed on political competition and the correctness of the methods employed by the government, first of all the monopolistic use of the media and the intimidation of the best known opponents. The presidential elections of March 2008 were won by D. Medvedev, former deputy prime minister and candidate of Putin himself who in turn became prime minister while continuing to maintain a leading political role. On the international scene, in the summer of 2008, the crisis with Georgia over the question of the independence of former deputy prime minister and candidate of Putin himself who became prime minister while continuing to maintain a leading political role. On the international scene, in the summer of 2008, the crisis with Georgia over the question of the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and the consequent armed intervention of the Russia, accentuated tensions with Western countries, and in particular with the United States. After the advent to the presidency of the US of Democrat B. Obama, bilateral relations normalized until reaching a new agreement in 2010 for the reduction of nuclear weapons, replacing the START treaty. At the same time, the Kremlin strengthened its ties with the Asian powers, China and India, and in 2008 the three states started the BRIC system of politico-economic cooperation with Brazil. Despite the diplomatic successes, in recent years Putin’s popularity within the country has begun to decline in the face of the failure to implement social reforms and the persistence of widespread corruption of state apparatuses. The elections of December 2011, while confirming the victory of United Russia, they saw a clear downsizing: in fact, it reached 49.5% of the votes, 15% less than in the previous elections. The Communist Party established itself as the second largest political force, winning 19.1% and doubling the consensus compared to the 2007 elections, followed by the centrist party just Russia (13.2%) and the far-right party of the Liberal Democrats (11, 6%). In the days following the disclosure of the outcome of the consultations, numerous street protests against the government took place in various cities – against which there were well-founded allegations of fraud – culminating in the demonstration in Moscow that counted one hundred thousand participants, the largest demonstration of force of the opposition since Putin’s rise. Despite the presidential elections, held in March 2012 in a persistent climate of violent social unrest, they saw the reappointment of Putin for a third term of six years. Putin got over 60% of the preferences against the 17.1% of the communist candidate GA Zyuganov, but OECD observers once again denounced irregularities and violations of electoral rules. These elections also provoked strong street protests, severely repressed by the police (see Pussy riot). In an attempt to block the opposition, in June 2012 the Duma approved a law that imposes heavy fines on those who participate in unauthorized demonstrations, considered by many to be a violation of the right of expression. Despitethis,even in the following months the opposition continued to mobilize.