Prime Minister of Russia

The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation (Russian: Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации, translit. Predsedatel' Pravitel'stva Rossiyskoy Federatsii), colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister (Russian: Премьер-министр, translit. Prem'yer-ministr) is the head of the Russian government and the second most powerful figure of the Russian Federation. The official residence of the prime minister is Gorki-9 in Odintsovsky District, Moscow Oblast, but his working residence is in Moscow (Russian White House). Under Article 24 of the Federal Constitutional Law 'On the Government of the Russian Federation', the prime minister "heads the Government of the Russian Federation".[1] The Russian Prime Minister is considered the second highest position in the government, after the President.

Due to the central role of the President of Russia in the political system, the activities of the executive branch (including the Prime Minister) are significantly influenced by the head of state (for example, it is the President who appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and other members of the Government; the President may chair the meetings of the cabinet and give obligatory orders to the Prime Minister and other members of the Government, the President may also revoke any act of the Government). The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is never used by the Russian Constitution, Federal Laws and other laws.

Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
Председатель Правительства Российской Федерации logo
Dmitry Medvedev Portrait
Dmitry Medvedev

since 8 May 2012
StyleMr. Chairman
By name and patronymic
(currently Dmitry Anatolyevich)
Member ofGovernment
Security Council
Reports toPresident
State Duma
ResidenceWhite House
AppointerPresident of Russia, with the consent of the State Duma
Term lengthNo fixed term
Resigns before the newly elected President, but may be reappointed again
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Russia
Inaugural holderCount Sergei Witte
Formation6 November 1905
DeputyFirst Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Ministers
WebsiteOfficial website

Historical background

Imperial period

Early Russian Prime Ministers

Until 1905, the head of government was the Emperor. In the absence of the Emperor, the Ministers one by one, starting with the oldest in the rank, each for 4 sessions.

In 1810, the chairmanship was granted to the state Chancellor count Nikolay Rumyantsev, the former then Chairman of the State Council. Since 1812, as Chairman of the Committee has evolved into an independent position, which until 1865 necessarily coincide with the presidency of the Council of State.

Traditionally, the chairmanship of the Committee was last in the public service honorary position appointed by the dignitaries that have become too old to execution of the duties of the Minister. A number of Committee chairmen (especially duke Alexander Chernyshyov, count Alexey F. Orlov, count Dmitry Bludov) was characterized by contemporaries as "barely alive", "miserable". Count Modest Korf jokingly wrote about count Chernyshov: "Look, just live!" Duke Pavel Gagarin died in office at the age of 83 years.


Sergei Witte
Count Sergei Witte, the first Prime Minister of Russia

The modern post of Prime Minister appeared in 1905. By the decree of Emperor Nicholas II on the 19 October 1905 was established the government — the Council of Ministers bringing together the Ministers in one Cabinet (previously each Minister reported directly to the Emperor about the Affairs of his Department). The Chairman of the Council of Ministers officially became a full-fledged head of government. The first Prime Minister was appointed count Sergei Witte.[2]

Since 1905, the Prime Minister received extensive powers, had the opportunity to pursue their own policies and reforms. So one of the strongest Prime Ministers is considered Pyotr Stolypin, who during his Premiership has held several major (though controversial) reforms.

Despite the presence of the State Duma, the Government was not responsible to Parliament. Although Sergei Witte and Pyotr Stolypin at the beginning of his Premiership, tried to form a coalition government of the largest political organizations, they did not succeed. State Duma nevertheless tried to gain influence on the government, particularly the conflict of the state Duma and the government were evident during the Premiership of Ivan Goremykin.[3]

The position of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Empire, lasted 12 years, during this time, 7 people took this post (one twice). The position was abolished after the Russian revolution, the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne and the formation of the Provisional government.

Provisional Government

Georgy Lvov, 1919 LOC cropped
Georgy Lvov, the 8th Prime Minister of Russia (1st Minister-Chairman of the Russian Provisional Government)

During the Russian Provisional Government in 1917, the official title of the prime minister was "Minister-Chairman of the Russian Provisional Government". This position was held by only two people, Georgy Lvov and Alexander Kerensky.

The position lasted about six months, and after the October Revolution, was replaced by Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Russian SFSR.

Soviet period

In the era of the Soviet Union, the head of government was the Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars (until 1946) and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers (after 1946). People who held those positions are sometimes referred to as the prime ministers. They may have also been referred to as Premier of Ministers, or simply premier.

Post-Soviet period

Viktor Chernomyrdin-1
Viktor Chernomyrdin, the 29th Prime Minister of Russia (1st Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation)

Currently, the formal title is the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation.

In modern Russia the Prime Minister is appointed by the President with the consent of the State Duma. The Prime Minister is responsible to the President and regularly reports to him, however to the State Duma he reports only once a year.

After the election of Boris Yeltsin, President of Russia, the head of the government was Yeltsin personally. He headed the Russian SFSR Council of Ministers (16 May 1992, the Council of Ministers of the Russian Federation) for about six months. In fact, Yeltsin was the first Head of Government of Russia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, however he was not the Prime Minister. After Yeltsin, Yegor Gaidar became Acting Prime Minister, but the Russian Supreme Soviet refused to approve him as Prime Minister. On 14 December 1992, the Prime Minister appointed was Viktor Chernomyrdin.

The Russian political system is similar to the modern French system. For the appointment of the Prime Minister the President needs a majority in the state Duma. If the party President does not have the majority and fails to form a coalition, the President may need to appoint a loyalist to the position of Prime Minister. For example this occurred in 1998 when the state Duma (which had most of the opposition to the President of the party) twice refused to appoint Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Boris Yeltsin appointed Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who supported the left opposition.

In the mid-90s in Russia there was a term "Technical Prime Minister". This term refers to the Prime Minister, who is not an independent political figure, is only the nominal head of government, and in fact the activities of the government are headed by the President.[4]

Duties and competences

Count Kokovtsov's speech in Duma.jpeg
Prime Minister Vladimir Kokovtsov reading a government report in the State Duma. December 5, 1912

In general, the Prime Minister serves more of an administrative role, nominating members of the Cabinet and taking the lead in fully implementing domestic and foreign policy as formulated by the President. In accordance with the federal constitutional law "On the Government of the Russian Federation" the Prime Minister exercises the following duties:

  • determines the operating priorities of the Government and organizes its work in accordance with the Constitution, federal constitutional laws, federal laws and Presidential decrees, aside from running the day-to-day affairs of the government, in general.
  • submits to the President proposals on the structure and functions of the central institutions of the executive branch (e.g. ministries and federal agencies);[5]
  • nominates the Vice Prime Ministers, Federal Ministers and other officers and presents them to the President;
  • submits to the President proposals on punishment and rewards of the Government members;
  • represents the Government as an institution in foreign relations and inside the country;
  • heads the sessions of the Government and its Presidium where he has the decisive vote;
  • signs the acts of the Government;
  • report annually to the State Duma about the Government activities;
  • distributes duties among members of the Government;
  • systematically informs the President about the Government activities;

The Prime Minister is ex officio a member of:


Dmitry Medvedev in the State Duma 2018-05-08
Medvedev at his confirmation hearing on 8 May 2018

Initially, the Prime Minister was appointed by the Emperor of Russia, without the consent of the candidate to the State Duma.

In Soviet times, Prime Minister of the Russian SFSR was appointed by the Supreme Council after each election.[6][7]

Currently Prime Minister is appointed by the President of Russia, subject to the consent of the State Duma (before 1993 the Supreme Soviet). Unlike most other "Prime Ministers", who are also elected members of the legislative body or parliament, the Chairman of the Government of Russia can be any Russian citizen, as long as they do not also hold citizenship of another country.

Under law, the President shall nominate a new Chairman of the Government within two weeks of the resignation of a previous government or inauguration ceremony of President. The State Duma is to discuss the matter within two weeks of the nomination and make a decision. The procedure of granting consent by the parliament is usually preceded by several days of comprehensive consultations and interviews of the candidate by the parliamentary factions. Should the State Duma decide to give the President its approval, the President may immediately sign the respective appointment decree. Should the State Duma refuse to give its approval, the President will have to nominate another (or the same) candidate within one week of the rejection of the previous candidate.[8]

Should the State Duma reject candidates nominated by the President for three times consecutively, the President shall dissolve it and call a new election, while the Prime Minister shall be appointed by the President without participation of the Duma. The State Duma may not be dissolved on these grounds during the first year after parliamentary elections, the last six months of the incumbent President's term, as well as in time of emergency, or war and in the event that the State Duma has initiated the impeachment of the incumbent President.

Other members of the Russian Government are appointed and dismissed by the President upon recommendation of the Prime Minister.

Results of voting on the appointment of the Prime Minister

Candidate Date Total deputies "For" "Against" Abstaining No vote Result
The vote in the Supreme Soviet
Yegor Gaidar December 9, 1992 1040 467 44.9% 486 26 61 Not approved
Viktor Chernomyrdin December 14, 1992 1040 721 69.3% 172 48 1 Approved
The vote in the State Duma
Viktor Chernomyrdin August 10, 1996 443 314 70.9% 85 3 48 Approved[9]
Sergey Kirienko April 10, 1998 443 143 32.3% 186 5 116 Not approved[10]
April 17, 1998 443 115 25.9% 271 11 153 Not approved[11]
April 24, 1998 443 251 56.7% 25 39 135 Approved[12]
Viktor Chernomyrdin August 31, 1998 443 94 21.2% 253 0 98 Not approved
September 7, 1998 443 138 31.2% 273 1 32 Not approved
Yevgeny Primakov September 11, 1998 443 317 71.6% 63 15 49 Approved
Sergei Stepashin May 19, 1999 443 301 67.9% 55 14 70 Approved
Vladimir Putin August 16, 1999 443 233 52.6% 84 17 105 Approved
Mikhail Kasyanov May 17, 2000 441 325 72.7% 55 15 52 Approved
Mikhail Fradkov March 5, 2004 445 352 79.1% 58 24 13 Approved
May 12, 2004 445 356 80% 72 8 11 Approved
Viktor Zubkov September 14, 2007 445 381 85.6% 47 8 9 Approved
Vladimir Putin May 8, 2008 450 392 87.1% 56 0 0 Approved
Dmitry Medvedev May 8, 2012 450 299 66.4% 144 0 0 Approved
May 8, 2018 446 374 83.9% 56 0 14 Approved[13]

Removal from office

The Prime Minister may be dismissed by the President at any time at the President's discretion. The Prime Minister may also tender his resignation to the President on his own initiative. The President may reject such resignation and oblige him to continue working. The Prime Minister and the whole government are constitutionally obliged to resign after the inauguration of a newly elected President. The resignation of the Prime Minister automatically means the resignation of the whole government as a body.

Under certain circumstances, the President may also theoretically be forced to dismiss the Chairman and the whole government under the pressure of the State Duma. For that to happen, the State Duma has to pass a censure motion against the Government twice within three months. Normally, in this case the President has the right to choose whether to sack the government or to dissolve the Duma (and if the Duma passes the censure motion just once, the President may also choose "not to agree" with the decision of the Duma, which technically means that neither the cabinet nor the Duma are dismissed).

However, within one year after parliamentary elections the dissolution of the Duma is impossible on these grounds. That is why in this case the President does not have any other option but to dismiss the Government (even if he totally supports it). However, the President is theoretically free to appoint the very same person as an acting head of the cabinet for an indefinite period of time should finding a compromise with the parliament turn out to be impossible.

Term of office

Initially the term of office of the Prime Minister was not formally established. The head of the government served in his post for as long as the Emperor thought necessary.

In Soviet times, the term of the Prime Minister was also unlimited. The Chairman Council of Ministers of the Russian SFSR served in the position until he was dismissed by the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

A term limit was introduced after the creation of the post of the President of Russia. Government became subordinate to the President, so the Prime Minister must resign along with the President, but may be appointed again. From 1991 to 1996, the maximum term of office of the Prime Minister was 5 years. After the new Constitution of Russia was created, the term of office of the President, and therefore the term of office of the Prime Minister, was shortened to 4 years. In 2012, after amendments to the Constitution the term of the President and Prime Minister was increased to 6 years.

Acting Prime Minister

Russian law does not specify who should become acting Prime Minister in case of his incapacity. Despite the presence of several Vice Prime Ministers, the President appoints the acting Prime Minister, and not always the acting Head of Government is his Deputy. Very often, the acting Prime Minister later proposed the State Duma as the new Prime Minister.

Succession of the presidency

Vladimir Putin 4 January 2000
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin became Acting President after the resignation of Boris Yeltsin

In case of the President's death, resignation or impeachment, the Prime Minister becomes a temporary president until new presidential elections which must take place within three months. The Prime Minister as Acting President may not dissolve the State Duma, announce a referendum or propose amendments to the Constitution.

The Chairman of the Federation Council is the third important position after the President and the Prime Minister. In the case of incapacity of the President and Prime Minister, the chairman of the upper house of parliament becomes acting head of state.[14][15]

Living former Prime Ministers

As of March 2019, there are seven living former Prime Ministers. The most recent death of a former Prime Minister was that of Yevgeny Primakov (1998–1999) on 26 June 2015, aged 85.

No Picture

Ivan Silayev
served 1990–1991
Born 21 October 1930 (age 88)

Sergey Kirienko (01113353) (9776894576) (cropped)

Sergey Kiriyenko
served 1998
Born 26 July 1962 (age 56)

Sergei Vadimovich Stepashin 2017 (cropped)

Sergei Stepashin
served 1999
Born 2 March 1952 (age 67)

Vladimir Putin January 2017

Vladimir Putin
served 1999–2000 and 2008–2012
Born 7 October 1952 (age 66)

Mikhail Kasyanov par Claude Truong-Ngoc mars 2015

Mikhail Kasyanov
served 2000–2004
Born 8 December 1957 (age 61)

Mikhail Fradkov (2016-08-08)

Mikhail Fradkov
served 2004–2007
Born 1 September 1950 (age 68)

Viktor Zoebkov cropped

Viktor Zubkov
served 2007–2008
Born 15 September 1941 (age 77)


  1. ^ Федеральный конституционный закон «О ПРАВИТЕЛЬСТВЕ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ» Archived 2009-08-17 at the Wayback Machine 17 декабря 1997.
  2. ^ 7 царских председателей Совета министров
  3. ^ Первое министерство И.Л. Горемыкина и Государственная дума первого созыва
  5. ^ "The Constitution of the Russian Federation: Section One, Chapter 6. – The Government of the Russian Federation". Bucknell University. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  6. ^ Конституция (Основной Закон) Российской Советской Федеративной Социалистической Республики (утверждена постановлением Чрезвычайного XVII Всероссийского Съезда Советов от 21 января 1937 г.) Глава III. Высшие органы государственной власти Российской Советской Федеративной Социалистической Республики
  7. ^ Конституция (Основной закон) Российской Советской Федеративной Социалистической Республики от 12 апреля 1978 г. Глава 14. Совет Министров РСФСР
  8. ^ CONSTITUTION of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION Chapter 6. The Government of the Russian Federation
  9. ^ Transcript of the meeting
  10. ^ Transcript of the meeting
  11. ^ Transcript of the meeting
  12. ^ Transcript of the meeting
  13. ^ Госдума согласилась на назначение Медведева главой правительства РФ
  14. ^ "Пост Председателя Совета Федерации РФ – это третий пост в стране. В случае недееспособности президента и премьера именно председатель верхней палаты парламента должен возглавить государство."
  15. ^ "Почему у нас третье лицо в государстве Председатель Совета Федерации? Потому что это федерация, он не распускается, он действует постоянно." - Сергей Шахрай

External links

All-Russia People's Front

The All-Russia People's Front (Russian: Общероссийский народный фронт Obshcherossiyskiy narodnyy front), known by its Russian initialism ONF, is a political coalition in Russia started in 2011 by then-Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin to provide United Russia with "new ideas, new suggestions and new faces". It is intended to be a formal alliance between the ruling party and numerous Russian nongovernmental organizations. On 12 June 2013, Putin was elected its leader.

Cabinet of Boris Yeltsin and Yegor Gaidar

Cabinet of Boris Yeltsin and Yegor Gaidar – Russian Cabinet of Ministers under the leadership of President Boris Yeltsin and First Deputy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar. Worked from 6 November 1991 to 23 December 1992.Boris Yeltsin led the Council of Ministers to carry out radical economic reforms aimed at liberalizing the economy. He headed the Cabinet since 6 November 1991 to 15 June 1992. From 15 June to 15 December 1992, the Cabinet directed the acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar.

In December 1992, Boris Yeltsin proposed to the Congress of People's Deputies of Russia Yegor Gaidar's candidacy for the post of Prime Minister of Russia, however, people's deputies he was denied.

It was replaced by the cabinet of Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Deputy Prime Minister of Russia

A Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation (Russian: Заместитель председателя Правительства Российской Федерации) is a member of the Government of Russia. The post is commonly referred to as "deputy prime minister" or "vice prime minister" both in and outside of Russia.

According to the Chapter 6, Article 110 of the Constitution of Russia, "The Government of the Russian Federation consists of the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation and federal ministries". Article 112 states that the Chairman of the Government (Prime Minister) recommends candidates for the post of Deputy Chairmen to the President of Russia.The role of deputy chairmen of government of the Russian Federation is to coordinate the activities of federal government bodies and carry out other tasks in response to particular issues or events. It is a temporary position that is usually held by multiple people at once, with the most senior of them being the First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia (there can also be more than one first deputy).

Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (; Russian: Дми́трий Анато́льевич Медве́дев, IPA: [ˈdʲmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪdˈvʲedʲɪf]; born 14 September 1965) is a Russian politician who has served as the Prime Minister of Russia since 2012. From 2008 to 2012, Medvedev served as the third President of Russia.

Regarded as more liberal than his predecessor and later successor as president, Vladimir Putin (who was also prime minister during Medvedev's presidency), Medvedev's top agenda as president was a wide-ranging modernisation programme, aiming at modernising Russia's economy and society, and lessening the country's reliance on oil and gas. During Medvedev's tenure, Russia emerged victorious in the Russo-Georgian War, and recovered from the Great Recession. Medvedev initiated a substantial law enforcement reform and launched an anti-corruption campaign, despite having been accused of corruption himself.

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First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia

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Georgy Lvov

Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov (Russian: Гео́ргий Евге́ньевич Львов; 2 November 1861 – 7/8 March 1925) was a Russian statesman and the first post-imperial prime minister of Russia, from 15 March to 21 July 1917.

Konstantin Chuychenko

Konstantin Anatolyevich Chuychenko (Russian: Константин Анатольевич Чуйченко; born 12 July 1965) is a Russian politician, businessman, and lawyer serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Chief of Staff of the Government since 2018.

Maxim Akimov

Maxim Alexeevich Akimov (Russian: Максим Алексеевич Акимов; born 1 March 1970) is a Russian politician. As of 2018 he was serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.

Mikhail Fradkov

Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov (Russian: Михаи́л Ефи́мович Фрадко́в, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil jɪˈfʲiməvʲɪtɕ frɐtˈkof]; born 1 September 1950) is a Russian politician who was the Prime Minister of Russia from March 2004 to September 2007. Fradkov was the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service from 6 October 2007 to 5 October 2016. Since January 2017, Fradkov is the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies.

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President of the government

President of the government, chairman of the government, or head of the government is a term used in official statements to describe several Prime Ministers.

Croatia, Prime Minister of Croatia

Greece, Prime Minister of Greece, Πρόεδρος της Κυβέρνησης

Lebanon, Prime Minister of Lebanon

Morocco, President of the Government of Morocco

Philippines, Prime Minister of the Philippines (defunct)

Serbia, Prime Minister of Serbia

Slovenia, Prime Minister of Slovenia

Spain, Prime Minister of Spain, Presidente del Gobierno de España

Vatican City, President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City StateChairman of the Government can refer to:

Russia, Prime Minister of Russia

Adjara, Chairman of the Government of Adjara

Slovakia, Prime Minister of Slovakia

Czech Republic, Prime Minister of the Czech RepublicHead of the Government can refer to:

Algeria, Prime Minister of Algeria

Tunisia, Head of Government of Tunisia

Israel, Prime Minister of Israel

Syria, Prime Minister of Syria

Sergey Kiriyenko

Sergey Vladilenovich Kiriyenko (Russian: Серге́й Владиле́нович Кирие́нко; born 26 July 1962) is a Russian politician. He serves as the First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia since 5 October 2016. Previously he served as the 30th Prime Minister of Russia from 23 March to 23 August 1998 under President Boris Yeltsin. Between 2005 and 2016 he was the head of Rosatom, the state nuclear energy corporation.

Kiriyenko was the youngest Prime Minister of Russia, taking the post at the age of 35 years.

Viktor Chernomyrdin

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Viktor Khristenko

Viktor Borisovich Khristenko (Russian: Ви́ктор Бори́сович Христе́нко; born 28 August 1957) is a Russian politician who was Chairman of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission from 1 February 2012 to 1 February 2016. He was First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia from 31 May 1999 to 10 January 2000 and Minister of Industry from 9 March 2004 to 31 January 2012.

Viktor Zubkov

Viktor Alekseyevich Zubkov (Russian: Ви́ктор Алексе́евич Зубко́в, IPA: [ˈvʲiktər ɐlʲɪˈksʲejɪvʲɪtɕ zʊpˈkof]; born 15 September 1941) is a Russian politician and businessman who served as the 36th Prime Minister of Russia from September 2007 to May 2008. He was Vladimir Putin's First Deputy Prime Minister during the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev.

A civil servant who held various positions in the Leningrad Oblast under the Soviet regime, he later served as advisor to Cabinet Ministers. Zubkov was a financial crime investigator until he was nominated on 12 September 2007 by President Vladimir Putin to replace Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, who had resigned earlier that day. The nomination was approved in the Duma on 14 September 2007. On 7 May 2008 Zubkov's cabinet was automatically dismissed. This procedure, following an inauguration of the President of Russia is required by the Russian Constitution. After Putin became Prime Minister, Zubkov was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister of Russia.

Zubkov is also the current chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom, Russia's largest corporation and one of the largest oil and natural gas companies in the world.

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Yury Ivanovich Borisov (Russian: Юрий Иванович Борисов; born 31 December 1956) is a Russian politician serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in Dmitry Medvedev's Second Cabinet since 2018.

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Yury Petrovich Trutnev (Russian: Ю́рий Петро́вич Тру́тнев; born March 1, 1956) is a Russian politician who is Deputy Prime Minister of Russia and Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District since 2013.

From 2004 to 2012, he served as Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment of Russia.

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