Throughout its short history, federal relations in Russia have been dominated by extra-legal political and economic relations rather than constitutionalism and the rule of law. The Russian Federation's unique blend of constitutional, socioeconomic, and political asymmetry, far from promoting democracy, has bolstered authoritarian regimes in the regions. Federalism and regional democracy have also been thwarted by the weakness of Russia's civic culture and the lack of a federal and democratic tradition. Regional elites in particular have more often supported authoritarianism than democracy. Under Putin the principles of federalism and democracy have come under attack and electoral authoritarianism is the norm rather the exception, particularly in the ethnic republics.
- Electoral authoritarianism