Here's a Russia infobox from the China TL.
The Russian Federation, the democratic capitalist successor to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic after the fall of the Soviet Union, was not exactly a state whose foundation was the result of great enthusiasm from its people. Founded in no small part under the doctrine of the last President of the Soviet Union and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and President of Russia Boris Yeltsin, and to an extent following in the footsteps of former Eastern Bloc countries like Poland and its southeastern neighbor Mongolia, the Federation’s formation was heralded as the dawn of a new era for Russia by the west.
Since the 1960s, the Soviet Union had been seen internationally as dying a slow death; its backing of communists in Korea and Vietnam and Egypt in the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War, all of which were defeated by American allies China and Israel, humiliated it repeatedly, to the point that President Brezhnev and the Politburo decided against invading Afghanistan due to fears of yet another defeat, and it suffered economic stagnation during the 1970s and early 1980s.
Once Gorbachev came to power in 1985, his perestroika and glasnost reforms pre-empted the gradual liberalizing reforms of many governments in the Eastern world. Ironically, however, in Russia itself they have faced more backlash than perhaps anywhere else, along with two major constitutional crises in the early 1990s. Prior to the USSR being dissolved, in 1991 hardline communists attempted a coup to overthrow Gorbachev and Yeltsin, which ultimately failed, but proved a premonition of things to come.
From 1992 Gorbachev’s ally Yeltsin would serve as President of the Russian Federation, but in this time the powers of the President were vaguely defined, and when the referenda held in April 1993 saw votes of confidence in Yeltsin’s leadership and economic policy, as well as supporting new elections to the State Duma and for the Presidency.
For the next few months, relations between Yeltsin and the Russian parliament were at best tense, especially since the 1978 constitution (which was still in place) did not establish what powers the President had versus parliament. This came to a head when, in September, Yeltsin ordered the dissolution of Parliament for a December election in accordance with the April referendum. Since the Russian Constitutional Court found this to be unconstitutional (and since they opposed the move), Parliament responded by attempting to impeach Yeltsin, and though he relented and proposed a presidential election for June 1994, this was rejected by Parliament in favour of simultaneous elections in March.
Yeltsin not only rejected this, but cut off power to the Parliament buildings in retaliation, sparking up major protests against him. Vice President Alexander Rutskoy, who had vocally opposed Yeltsin’s policy measures since late 1992, declared himself acting President on the 22nd September. With clashes on the streets between pro-communist and pro-Yeltsin groups (the latter including the neo-Nazi Russian National Unity group), the military ultimately stepped in on the 4th October, not to defend Yeltsin as he had hoped, but to clear the protests and force the democratically mandated elections to go ahead.
Rutskoy was endorsed by the Communist Party due to his siding with the predominantly Communist Parliament, and he and Yeltsin were seen as the main contenders for the Presidency. In the State Duma elections, the Communists seemed to have a lead in the polls, with the majority of Russians sympathizing with the party’s objections to Yeltsin, but being wary of it for fears it would revive authoritarianism.
Despite this, Yeltsin’s reputation for liberalizing Russia in a positive way was in tatters thanks to the constitutional crisis, and his problems trying to win re-election were made even worse when it emerged in late November that he had unsuccessfully urged the military to crush the rebellion. On top of this, the nomination of Rutskoy was a canny move that allowed a supporter of democracy and a critic of Yeltsin’s neoliberalism to be coalesced around by anti-Yeltsin voters.
Rutskoy won the Presidency easily on the first round, and the Communists remained the largest faction in the State Duma with little trouble. In the next few years, there would be big changes in Russia, but not simply a reversion to a communist dictatorship like many had feared. The changes would be altogether stranger than that…