USSWho?: The Russia Constitutional Convention, 1993 RUSSIA

GROUP: Hybrid



  • Zachary Leiter (he/him)
  • Evelyn Voss (she/her)
  • Daniel Huguenin (he/him)
Email Committee Chair

The year is 1993. Just two years ago, after years of increasing democratization and economic turmoil, the Soviet Union voted to dissolve itself. Taking the USSR’s place in the UN and on the UNSC is the newly independent and recognized Russian Federation (formerly the RSFSR.) Russia has inherited the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal, but it has also inherited a massive budget deficit and a workforce and infrastructure entirely unprepared to operate within a market economy. Amid this turmoil Gorbachev has resigned, and new Russian President Boris Yeltsin, seeking to move the young country forward, has called for a new constitutional convention. You, the delegates at this convention, represent all sectors of Russia’s new society: federal, state, and local authorities; trade unions; political parties; youth organizers; religious leaders; prominent business people.

This is who the delegates represent: the breadth and depth of the world’s largest country. And though Russia, as part of the Soviet Union, for decades was one of two major players in international affairs, the delegates at this constitutional conference know that such global influence is no longer possible, at least not unless the country can find stable financial footing and ease domestic turmoil. The task, then, is this: democratize, liberalize, modernize, but, most of all, stabilize. Whether the delegates’ new Constitution, which must enshrine new political and economic systems, might enable such a resumption of great power status will be tested by a series of crises: the rise of criminal mafias, financial depression, and democratic backsliding. The greatest challenge of all? Delegates must remember that this constitutional convention was the result of a self-coup by Yeltsin… how can they ensure that this newest constitution is not only Russia’s latest but also Russia’s last constitution.