Tag Archives: Medvedev power

Who Is In Charge Of Russia?

A recent survey revealed that President Dimitry Medvedev is viewed by inhabitants of Russia as a rather minor figure in the scheme of power in his nation. Only 17% of the people actually believe he has any power while 27% of those surveyed identified Prime Minister Vladmir Putin as the power behind the throne who calls the shots and makes things work in Russia. Medvedev arrived in the presidency with high hopes that he would move the nation in a more positive direction by improving human rights and fostering a more democratic climate. However, only 32% believe there has been any improvement in that aspect of Russian life. A majority expects that Putin will once again run for president which would set up an interesting potential clash between his protege and the master.

Overall, most Russians believe their nation is moving in the right direction in foreign policy while 30% believe the domestic economy is OK. Who knows what will happen if Medvedev decides he does not wish to be a protege but a boss.

Power Thaw In Moscow?

In the good old days when Vladmir Putin was president of the nation, the very idea of making a critical remarks about the leader of Russia was anathema to every standard of “democracy.” President Dimitry Medvedev shocked many by urging leaders and individuals throughout the nation to discuss, debate and even make critical comments concerning government actions in handling the economic crisis. “It would not be surprising if there was criticism about the course that has been taken,” he told the nation and he made clear he welcomed any comments either positive or negative. In another departure from Putin policies, Medvedev urged changes in the power relationship between the government in Moscow and those in regions. He urged local lawmakers to share their views with the central government.

In any two person relationship in which the older one allows a younger colleague to secure power, there usually arises a time in the interaction between the two in which the younger leader seeks to assert his individuality. Has this now arrived in the relationship between Putin and Medvedev? Is Dimitry ready to tell Vladmir that he is his own boss and has his own ideas on how to run Russia?

Putin Charged With Having $40 billion Fortune!

Stanislev Belkovsky, a billionaire, who opposes Putin, charges the president of Russia has secretly accumulated a fortune that might be as high as $40 billion. Putin allegedly owns shares of stock in Gazprom and companies like Surgutneftegaz whose holdings have dramatically increased in value over the past decade. According to Belkovsky, “Putin’s name does not appear on any shareholder register, of course.” He may have money hidden in offshore accounts. Belkovsky claims a war over power and money is raging within the Kremlin between those representing the old KGB clique whom Putin put in power government positions and the new ‘liberal” group headed by Dimitry Medvedev, whom Putin has designated as the next president of Russia. The KGB crowd is worried about how to maintain control of their money since Medvedev has little allegiance or connection to their group. The conflict is not over ideological issues so much as to how to keep money one has secreted away while serving in the Russian government.

There is little question Medvedev will be elected president of Russia this spring and that he will then appoint Putin as the prime minister. It is less clear what happens if corruption issues surface and Medvedev is left with the question of possible prosecuting his mentor. These stories about possible corruption could enable Medvedev to pull an end run around Putin by getting rid of his mentor and becoming the real ruler of Russia without having ties to the man who placed him in power.Of course, many Shakespeare plays recount similar stories of youth overcoming parents.

Flash! Surprise! Putin Agrees To Serve As Prime Minister!

In a move that surprised the entire Russian population, if not the world, President Vladmir Putin told the United Russia party he would serve as prime minister under Dimitry Medvedev who is expected to be elected president of the nation. Putin also promised not to alter the current system of power distribution in which the president has greater say in the operation of the government. This promise is undoubtedly one that is guaranteed to be broken once Putin becomes prime minister of the nation. In one sense, allowing the prime minister to have greater power than the president may work toward the development of democracy in Russia. If Russia evolves into a parliamentary democracy it means future presidents will have to run as a member of a political party and make clear who will be their choice for prime minister.

Ironically, Putin’s power grab means the Russian president will lose power and the prime minister who is selected by a political party has greater power. It also means if a political party loses confidence in the prime minister they can replace their choice.