Dmitry Medvedev: Russia’s next President

Dmitry Medvedev President RussiaAfter literally years of speculation, it is now clear that Dmitry Medvedev will be Russia’s next President.

Medvedev was nominated by United Russia and endorsed by Vladimir Putin – an endorsement so powerful that now all he has to do to win the Presidential election next March is stay alive.

Medvedev has no real power base in the Kremlin beyond Putin – a native of St Peteresburg, he has no strong ties to any Russian siloviki group, and no KGB background to fall back on. Putin’s chief of staff, and the architect of his 2000 election victory, Medvedev is a phenomenally competent adminstrator – combined with his largely liberal and less hawkish views towards the West, he seems the ideal candidate to become a puppet President to Putin’s Prime Minister, allowing Putin to get on with the job of ruling Russia, while Medvedev charms the West.

I’m beginning to wonder (and I don’t think I’m alone), though, whether Medvedev could actually be the real deal – that is, a President who actually leads Russia, as Putin slips gently into an early semi-retirement.

Medvedev’s loyalty to Putin means that he is unlikely to turn on his former boss. And, rather like Putin back in 2000, Medvedev is the man nobody can conceive of as being President – no power base, stuck in the middle of warring clans. The perfect man to hold everything together…

And, as Chrisus Maximus notes over at Sean’s, pretty much everyone thought Yeltsin’s retirement was a sham at first:

“But by all accounts, Putin may be leaving the Presidency, but there has never be any indication that he will leave Russian politics.”

Isn’t this what they said about Yeltsin?

Really, given the immense powers of the presidency, can the president be anyone’s puppet? They said VVP was BAB’s kukla.

But, really, the only thing I know for sure is that Kremlin watchers aren’t going out of business any time soon. Which, as a Kremlin watcher, cheers me immensely.

You may also like...

10 Responses

  1. DarthJesus says:

    “. . . all he has to do to win the Presidential election next March is stay alive.”

    He might not even have to do that much.

  2. Timothy Post says:

    Andy:

    Let’s hope that the nomination of Medvedev will begin the decline of the Russophobic voices. For so long now they have been screaming, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling, Putin is bad, bad, oh so very bad.”

    Perhaps now, the rhetoric (like DarthJesus’ above) of the Russophobes will be drowned out by the more reasonable and fair voices of “reporters without agendas.”

    What do they say here in Russia? “Hope is always the last thing to die.” Well, hope is still yet alive.

  3. Medvedev’s appointment shouldn’t have anything to do with pleasing the neocons and Soros funded neolibs.

    “Reporters without agendas” appear quite hard to come by in English language mass media; the most influential of media.

  4. Aleks says:

    Expect…the unexpected! The real question should be (I guess) what powers will Medvedev actually have as President, considering the recent reports that Putin will ‘redistribute’ power. Medvedev’s appointment could in fact be significantly insignificant. Not that I’m predicting anything.

  5. Excerpted from the above post:

    “’But by all accounts, Putin may be leaving the Presidency, but there has never be any indication that he will leave Russian politics.’

    Isn’t this what they said about Yeltsin?

    Really, given the immense powers of the presidency, can the president be anyone’s puppet? They said VVP was BAB’s kukla.”

    ****

    Unlike Putin’s situation, Yeltsin left office unpopular and in poor health.

  6. Dmitri says:

    Russia deserves a leader who can take the country into a new era with the rest of the world and solve the problems we all face ahead.

  7. Medvedev says:

    Can anyone be Putin’s puppet once they become president themself?
    Putin may still hold a lot of power in Russia as Prime Minister if he is appointed so after the March elections.
    Otherwise he would probably leave politics altogether.
    We wait to see.

  8. Andy says:

    Can anyone be Putin’s puppet once they become president themself?

    I suppose the issue is whether the institutions of Russia (ie, the name and rules surrounding the Presidency) are stronger than the political personalities themselves?

    I’m somewhat sceptical that Russia’s political institutions, which are only 16 years old, are old enough and strong enough to survive if one strong man wants to continue ruling.

  1. December 11, 2007

    […] Siberian Light: […] I’m beginning to wonder (and I don’t think I’m alone), though, whether Medvedev could actually be the real deal – that is, a President who actually leads Russia, as Putin slips gently into an early semi-retirement. […]