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Unlike other books on civil society in Russia which argue that Russia's civil society is relatively weak, and that democratisation in Russia went into reverse following Vladimir Putin's coming to power, this book contends that civil society in Russia is developing in a distinctive way. It shows that government and elite-led drives to encourage civil society have indeed been limited, and that the impact of external promotion of civil society has also not been very successful. It demonstrates, however, that independent domestic grassroots movements are beginning to flourish, despite difficulties and adverse circumstances, and that this development fits well into the changing nature of contemporary Russian society.