President Putin told a visiting American professor that five men stood out as being capable of becoming Russia’s next president after he leaves office next year. One was the relatively obscure Viktor Zubkov who Putin unexpectedly appointed as Russia’s new prime minister. He also named two opposition leaders including communist Gennady Zyuganov. The professor pushed Putin as to why he hadn’t named his two first prime ministers Serge Ivanov and Dimtry Medvedev causing Putin to add their name to his list.
The intrigue continues over who Putin will designate to be Russia’s next president, and it is clear, Putin’s choice will be elected to that position. Some analysts believe he is now shying away from Ivanov and Medvedev because they are young and may have desires of their own regarding Russian policies. Zubkov is older and close to Putin making him a wonderful “stand-in” for a few years until Putin can run again for the presidency. the maneuvers reflect the mind of a former KGB officer.