Under the 1993 constitution, broad executive powers are held by
the President who is directly elected for a four year term and governs
with the assistance of an appointed cabinet (whose Premier must
be endorsed by the legislature).
The bicameral legislature consists of the State Duma, with 450 members
directly elected for four years, and the Federation Council, with
178 members, the head of the regional legislature and executive
in each of the country's territories.
These territories, which make up the Federation, comprise 21 republics,
49 administrative oblasts (region), 6 provinces, 1 autonomous oblast,
10 autonomous okrugs (district), and two urban areas (Moscow and
St. Petersburg) with special administrative status.