In a surprising move, President Vladmir Putin publicly announced his choice of First Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev as the next president of Russia. Due to Putin’s overwhelming popularity there is little doubt his choice will be elected in elections to be held in a few months. Medvedev was announced as the choice of United Russia, and Putin added, “I completely and fully support this proposal.” According to Lila Shevtsova of the Carnegie Moscow Center, “Medvedev is not an extremist. He is not known for any kind of harsh views on politics, and apparently Medvedev better suits Putin’s view of how to achieve continuity.”
The real issue is what will Putin do now that he has essentially selected the next president of Russia. Will Putin try to become prime minister and use that position to maintain his power? Will he gracefully step off the stage of power and allow a new person to assume that position? The selection of Medvedev marks the end of anyone running Russia who lacks ties to the old Soviet system. Putin was a KGB man and placed hundreds of fellow KGB people in important government positions. If Medvedev assumes power will he edn the KGB’s power within the Russian government? There are many questions without answers.