Russia made uneven progress in democratization during the 1990s, but this limited progress was reversed after Vladimir Putin rose to power in 1999-2000, according to many observers.
Following were the social, economic and political conditions of Russia before 1995:
· Social Conditions
During those times, majority religion was Russian Orthodox Christianity which had grown from the Greek Orthodox Church. But, other religions like Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Buddhists; also had their significant presence in the empire. The non-Russian nationalities did not get equal treatment as the Russian nationalities. Non-Russian nationalities did not get their rights of freedom to follow their religious culture and language. As a result, the community got divided into different groups. The peasants formed a group named; ‘Commune of Mir’ and workers were divided into groups on the basis of their skills and training.
· Economic Conditions
At that time, grain was the main item of export in Russia. Result of which, majority Russians were Agriculturists. The industries had not flourished well then. St Petersburg and Moscow were the only prominent industries then. Most of the production came from the craftsmen. Apart from the workshops, there were many factories too. As the rail route got expanded and developed, there was seen significant growth in foreign investments as well. With time, the steel, iron and coal production got increased. There were equal number of craftsmen and factory workers. However, the life of workers was made miserable as they were exploited by the capitalists.
· Political Conditions
Russia was a monarchy. (Tsar Nicholas II ruled Russia and its empire that extended to current-day Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, parts of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus. It stretched to the Pacific and comprised today’s Central Asian states, as well as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan). The Tsars believed in the divine rights of kings. They were not responsible to the Parliament. All political parties were illegal in Russia.
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