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?