, chairman of the legislative committee of the federal Duma, to identify such laws. (Krasheninnikov plans to use his nongovernmental organization, the Public Foundation on Legislative Initiatives, to research and flag regional “model statutes” for the Duma’s attention.) The “model statute” project could lead to harmonization from the bottom up rather than from the top down.

Kirienko’s civilian background is unusual among presidential representatives, most of whom come from the military or security services, and his openness with the press is unique. In public at least, other district chiefs claim their efforts to enforce conformity are going well. In the Urals district, the president’s man says he has a timetable in place to ensure that regional legislatures repeal or enact conforming amendments to some 350 non-conforming laws. In the Siberian district, the president’s representative guarantees completion of legislative harmonization by the end of the year. These assertions ring false. It is more likely that the problems Kirienko found in the Volga district, if not his creative solutions, are common throughout the country.