Dmitri Medvedev became the new president of Russia a couple of days ago and his first act as president was to make Vladimir Putin his Prime Minister. In the west Medvedev is seen as a moderate reformist, a nice fellow who wants to improve relations with western nations. Skeptics argue that it's still Putin who calls the shots.
But will anything actually change in Russia? What expectations do you have?
22nd March 2006
Nothing is going to change. Putin knows how to gain control and keep it. He's playing that country like his own little dictatorship and the people are happy to be along for the ride. Besides, all them guys around him in the Kremlin are his good old boy ex-KGB agents.
29th January 2007
I don't know to be honest. I've got a weird feeling, that he's merely a puppet for Putin's side.
Wanna go Double Dutch?
9th December 2003
I'm not sure, Medvedev is the president afterall and has a lot of power, even though Putin gave a lot of power to that of prime minister/premier. So it could be possible that Medvedev will do some things Putin would not have done. Overall I don't expect a lot of changes though from Putin's rule. But wheter it will be Medvedev who runs the country in a simular wat like Putin did or MEdvedev being sort of, or a direct puppet of Putin can't be said. It depends on whether Medvedev wants to be played by Putin (with ofcourse some reward in it for him) or whether they just combine forces. If I have to pick, I will say they will combine their powers and rule the nation in a simular fashion as under Putin.
1st September 2002
I'm with Reno, nothing has changed or will change in the near future.
Putin knows hwo to keep command of Russia and will, we are still all doomed.
Dell970;4336781Putin knows hwo to keep command of Russia and will, we are still all doomed.
Quite dark outlook don't you think?
I think it's hard to say what will follow. Medvedev has more official power than Putin and he's liked by the people but on the other hand Putin is even more popular and he's not just Prime Minister but also leader of the United Russia which has some 2/3 of the seats in Duma so it can impeach Medvedev if he goes solo. I hope Medvedev would seriously fight against rampant corruption and give loose for citizen groups and opposition parties though I'm not that sure about it.
It will interesting to see how the things turn out when a new president of the United States gets sworn in at January 2009.
I have a feeling something bad might happen to Dimitri, Russia hasn't had a good history with its rulers, several have ended up dead
7th December 2003
I think western media are usually a bit biased when they report about Russian politics - they like to paint the picture darker than it is. I don't like some aspects of Russian politics either, but I think it is silly to constantly criticize their lack of democracy while problems are often ignored in western countries.
I don't think it is possible to say what exactly goes on in the Kreml, we'll just have to see. As for Russia, I think it will continue to grow stronger and as we have seen it is the economic power of a country that matters to politicians, not how obvious their attempts to get rid of unpleasant democratic values are.
MrFancypantsI think western media are usually a bit biased when they report about Russian politics - they like to paint the picture darker than it is. I don't like some aspects of Russian politics either, but I think it is silly to constantly criticize their lack of democracy while problems are often ignored in western countries.
Biased or not I think there's every right and reason to criticize the Russian "democracy" for various factual reasons:
1. Nomination of governors from local governments for president 2. Raising the vote threshold, effectively eliminating minor parties from Duma 3. Restricting the ballot access of those parties not in Putin's bandwagon 4. Heavily restricting the right to hold demonstrations 5. Lack of voter integrity and respect for vote secrecy 6. Nearly 100% turnouts in Russian outer provinces 7. President de-facto elects his successor, not the people 8. National media giving vast airing time for Kreml candidate, not for others 9. Most anti-Kreml media is either absorbed to pro-Kreml media or suspended 10. Etc. etc. etc. Problems in German or Finnish democracies are peanuts compared to Russian equivalent. Italy and the UK are their own chapters though.
As for Russia, I think it will continue to grow stronger and as we have seen it is the economic power of a country that matters to politicians, not how obvious their attempts to get rid of unpleasant democratic values are.
True. As long as the economy is in good shape, bringing bread & butter on the people's table, so long the people aren't looking for serious political reforms. Not to mention that Russia simply doesn't have a democratic tradition and people feel safe when there's one strong leader (though it could be said that now there are two).