The paper discusses several problems of federalism in Russia that have recently become a matter of great concern. They relate to the functioning of the power alternation mechanisms at the level of leaders of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The purpose of the study is to demonstrate that they are rooted in the aspects of the system of federative relations developed in modern Russia. The research identifies that a large number of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation lead to the loss of control and destabilization of the system as a whole. Besides that, this fact impedes the functioning of standard democratic mechanisms, including the mechanisms of mandatory rotation at the level of leaders of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. The paper traces the genesis of the system of federative relations in modern Russia, determines timelines and its main stages. A structural and functional analysis allows us to identify the principle of institutional system reform that has determined the specific nature of problems and contradictions of federative relations at different historical stages of Russia in the last 25 years. The attempts of the Russian government to overcome these difficulties through institutional reforms are analyzed. The author revealed a number of contradictions in the institutional structure of the Russian Federation and proposed the possible ways of addressing them.
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