Compare and contrast the office of the President in the United States and Russia.

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Jacob Christiansen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In both Russian and American politics, the office of the President is the highest office in the land. (This is not the case in all systems. In the U.K., the Prime Minister holds the highest office in the land.) In the U.S. the President is both the head of state and the head of government. (Again, not always the case. In the U.K., the Prime Minister is the head of government while the monarch is the head of state.) The President in Russia is the head of state, though he or she is not technically the head of the executive branch.  The American President has veto power, so does the Russian President. 

There are some differences between the roles. In American politics, the second highest office is that of the Vice President. In Russia it is the Prime Minister. The American President faces strong checks and balances, he or she is held very accountable for both foreign and domestic policy. A legislature controlled by the opposition can seriously limit a President's ability to act.

That is not the case in Russia, where political accountability is low. Thus, the Russian presidency is at a higher risk for authoritarianism. Members of the opposition party in Russia often face repressive measures when they push back against President Putin. 

Historically, the American Presidency is older than the Russian Presidency, which was only introduced in 1991. The Russian term limit for the presidency is 6 years. In America it is 4 years.