A fifth edition of this book is now available. Now in a thoroughly revised, expanded, and updated edition, this classic text provides the most authoritative and current analysis available of contemporary Russia and the challenges facing Vladimir Putin and his successor, Dmitri Medvedev. Leading scholars offer a full-scale reassessment of Putin's leadership, exploring Russia's ongoing daunting domestic and international concerns. Evaluating the regime's continued efforts to rebuild a country once on the verge of collapse, they consider a comprehensive array of economic, political, and social issues, along with Putin himself, whose popularity has remained high despite his authoritarian approach. The contributors conclude that Putin's influence will continue to be felt for years to come, not only because he remains powerful in his new post as prime minister, but because he laid the groundwork for dealing with the many problems still confronting Russia. Only by understanding these challenges—and Putin's previous efforts to deal with them—will it be possible to understand the rhetoric and actions of his successor. Clearly written and organized, this text is an indispensable guide for anyone wanting to understand Russia today.Contributions by: Gregory Gleason, Timothy Heleniak, Kathryn Hendley, Dale R. Herspring, Maria Lipman, Michael McFaul, Nikolai Petrov, Thomas F. Remington, Peter Rutland, Richard Sakwa, Louise Shelley, Darrell Slider, Andrei P. Tsygankov, and Stephen K. Wegren.