Putin - Russian Provinces
NPR's Michele Kelemen reports on how Russian president Vladimir Putin's plan to reassert control over the country's far-flung regions is playing in the provinces. Putin has promised to establish what he calls a "vertical power structure," bringing local legislation into compliance with federal law. He's vowed to crack down on corruption. But in the Volga River city of Saratov, business people fear Putin's "streamlining" will only create another layer of bureaucracy -- and corrupt petty functionaries to be paid off.
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