President Putin, at his last annual press conference, blasted critics and promised to remain on the job as a strong and vibrant prime minister — just in case the new presidency of Dimitry Medvedev wants to draw upon his obvious talents. His anger boiled over when he told European critics of Russian elections to go “teach their wives to cook cabbage soup.” He made clear his respect of law and claimed not for a moment having any desire to continue as president. Putin looks forward to a collaborative relationship with Medvedev(of course, there is a formality like an election which will delay assumption of power) who will set the broad contours of policy while he, as prime minister, will carry them out.
Putin was asked why Medvedev was not participating in debates. “The election campaign is going normally. That fact that it is proceeding calmly, without these debates, without stirring up the country, is not because we lack democratic procedures. It is because the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens support the course we have chosen.” One assumes Putin believes things like people debating issues before a nation simply are a waste of time since the electorate should never be bothered by voting for people who have expressed a clear program of action.
Putin launched into a virgorous defense of his oppostion to independence for Kosovo. He also blasted Bush policies as establishing missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic as hostile actions against Russia and his nation would respond to such aggressive tactics. Putin was particularly angry at the Western media which continually attacks his nation.
There is no doubt President Putin’s most important legacy was restoring order to a fractured nation and ending the massive takeover of the ecomomy by economic bosses who robbed the nation for their own welfare. The tragedy of his legacy is failing to accomplish his goals while respecting the democratic process.