Will Putin “Sell” Viktor Zukbov As Next President?

President Putin’s appointment of the unknown Viktor Zubkov as prime minister continues to baffle and confuse many Russians, particularly more prominent leaders who expected their names might be on the presidential list. It appears Putin may be organizing a mass selling of the minor bureaucrat who is not known to over 90% of the Russian population. Putin will throw all the resources of modern television to stage a campaign which seeks to portray Zukbov as a energetic and forceful leader.Putin may well be creating a “leader” out of nothing. He wants someone who is paternalistic and will maintain the status quo. The last thing on Putin’s agenda is a forceful president who will make important political changes in order to broaden democracy in Russia. Only about 36% of Russians in a recent poll even cared about a democratic political system which makes the obscure Zukbov a perfect stand in for Putin who will take a four year break and run Russia from behind the scenes. Of course, there will be angry politicians in Russia campaigning for more democracy and the real question is — will Zukbov move to the left?