Russia and the Global Financial Crisis: The End of "Putinism"?

Given the dramatic change in Russia's economic circumstances a year after Medvedev's ascendancy to president and Putin's move to the office of prime minister, now is a particularly appropriate time to evaluate the political causes and effects of Russia's latest economic troubles. This article surveys Putin's economic legacy in Russi and argues that despite eight years of rapid growth, by the first quarter of 2009, Russia became caught in the same cycle of problems that it suffered in the 1990's when growth was negative, unemployment and inflation were high, and oil export prices were low. The same weak manufacturing sector that characterized Russia in 1998 reemerged from behind the shadow of high world oil prices ten years later.