Series of lessons based on an interview with Irina Khakamada

Russian politician Irina Khakamada was the most credible opposition candidate to run against Vladimir Putin in the 2004 Russian Presidential Elections.  A feminist with interesting and provocative observations on the development both of democracy and capitalism in Russia, Khakamada discusses the political processes that unfolded in post-Soviet Russia and describes what she thinks Russia's path should be.

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Lesson Title Authors Short Description
Lesson 1: Elections 2004 Victoria Thorstensson, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Dianna Murphy

In this lesson, students will become acquainted with Irina Khakamada, one of the leading Russian politicians of the time. The students will learn about Khakamada’s background, professional career, and decision to engage in politics. The students will read texts about current politics in Russia, visit websites of some important Russian political parties, and learn about the presidential election in Russia in 2004.

Lesson 2: The First Stage of Reforms Nina Familiant, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Darya Vassina, Dianna Murphy

In this lesson, Khakamada discusses Russia’s transition from an authoritarian regime to a democracy. She explains what historical events, in her opinion, led to that transition, and what difficulties the people of Russia had to face in view of such dramatic changes.      

Lesson 3: The Struggle for Power Nina Familiant, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Darya Vassina, Dianna Murphy

In this lesson, Khakamada discusses the events that took place in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin’s victory in Russia's second democratic election, his resignation, and the accession of Vladimir Putin to the presidency. The students learn about the relationships between Yeltsin and Russia's leading businessmen (oligarchs) and their impact on national politics and policy.             

Lesson 4: The Putin Era Nina Familiant, with Shannon Spasova, Benjamin Rifkin, Darya Vassina, Dianna Murphy

Khakamada evaluates the country’s situation under President Putin, his strengths and weaknesses as a politician, and the obstacles which may prevent Russia from making a smooth transition toward democracy. Irina Khakamada also gives her views on Russia’s future, its dependency on the global oil market, and the possibility of another revolution.

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