Russia has a unique but exceedingly weak party system. The system is weak in terms of the political and policy influence of the parties and the general absence of “thick” organisational networks for the parties at the local or grassroots level across the country. In the majority of the country’s 85 regions, there are few active local party organisations, with the exception of the short periods during which actual election campaigning occurs. Instead, Russia’s parties are very dependent on the state. Moreover, the national and regional parliaments have little effective power.