This article examines the relationship between heads of regional administrations (governors) and the federal government in Russia since 1992. It looks at the methods with which governors have enhanced their powers vis-a-vis Moscow and at the policies of the federal authorities aimed at preserving some form of control over regional officials. The article argues that the gubernatorial elections of September 1996–March 1997, which gave almost all governors a popular mandate, will not considerably change the balance of power in center-periphery relations, despite fears to this effect among members of the Presidential Administration.

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