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Russia today is best characterized as an example of electoral authoritarianism. It is a system that has a facade of multi-party elections that is used to try to cover up the fact that the power is closely held in the hands of a few.
We can see this in at least two ways. First, the government has had a role in creating many of the political parties that are allegedly in opposition to it. It has done so in an attempt to make the country look more like a democracy than it is. Second, the government makes serious efforts to repress any sort of dissent. There are well-known incidents, for example, of journalists being killed for being too critical of the regime.
These are not the actions of a weak democracy in which the government is simply not able to respond to the needs of the country. Instead, it is a system in which the government is fairly strong, holds the power closely, and maintains a facade of democracy. This is typical of electoral authoritarianism.
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