Dmitry Anatoliyevich Medvedev
As Putin narrowed his inner circle in 2022 to a handful of hard-liners, launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, and taken the clampdown in Russia to new levels, Medvedev has done a flip -- at least verbally -- to stay in his patron's good graces. In Russia's current bilious climate, with officials, lawmakers, and state TV guests seemingly vying to top one another in terms of belligerence, they may not seem outlandish. But they sharply contrast with Medvedev's established image as a mild-mannered, iPhone-toting technocrat. Medvedev was trying to position himself as a populist speaking for ordinary citizens in Central and Eastern Europe. The upsurge in Medvedev's belligerent public rhetoric was an attempt to demonstrate loyalty to Putin at a time of growing political infighting.
Medvedev once represented an influential faction in the constellation of competing groups that Putin uses to maintain power. But he has lost significant political weight over the years and some of his allies -- such as former Open Government Minister Mikhail Abyzov and the businessmen brothers Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov -- have ended up behind bars. Medvedev himself has fallen out of Putin's narrowing inner circle, now dominated by hawks with security-service backgrounds, in part due to the embarrassing allegations of corruption.
Putin had come out hard against any opposition to the war in Ukraine. In a chilling speech in mid-March, he asserted that there was a "fifth column of national traitors" inside the country and that Russians "will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors." Reports of senior Russian officials being put under house arrest have emerged in recent weeks following the initial failures in the war against Ukraine. Hard-line hawks within the elite may suspect Medvedev and his associates of not fully supporting the war, potentially making him an "attractive" target for attacks.
On 07 May 2008, Dmitry Medvedev was sworn in as Russia's new President. A technocrat and political appointee, Medvedev had never held elective office before 2008. Who is Medvedev? According to Russia Today, he is an "intelligent technocrat". Other observers said Medvedev was softer and more democratic than other potential candidates, and therefore Russia's relations with the West, above all the United States, could significantly improve with him as president. But experts warned Medvedev might clash with the so called siloviki, an influential grouping of secret service officials within the Kremlin.
Dmitry Anatoliyevich Medvedev (Medvedev is derived from the Russian for 'bear'), was born in Leningrad on 14 September 1965, the only child of Anatoly Afanasiyevich Medvedev, a professor at the Leningrad Technological Institute and, Yulia Veniyaminovna Shaposhnikova, a teacher at the Hertzen Leningrad Pedagogical Institute.
It is widely reported that as a teen he became interested in western music especially Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple.
Medvedev graduated from secondary school in 1982, from which he enrolled in the law faculty of Leningrad State University (LGU) within the Department of Civil Law. During his time at the University he was active in the local Komsomol. In the mid-1980s, he took part in a Soviet youth project constructing housing in Leningrad. In 1987 he graduated from the University.
Medvedev appeared not to have Putin's ambition or "hard" edge, possibly because he has less to prove. Whereas Putin grew up in a working class family living in a communal apartment, Medvedev's roots are in St. Petersburg's academic community. His father taught at the Leningrad Technological Institute and his mother worked as a philologist at the Herzen Pedagogical Institute. Putin learned judo to fight neighborhood toughs; Medvedev lifted weights and focused his energies on Western "heavy metal" music, then considered "subversive." (He maintains an impressive collection of Deep Purple albums and attended a concert by the band's aging rockers with fellow Deputy Premier Sergey Ivanov.) Medvedev also succeeded in winning the hand of Svetlana, the girl his contemporaries considered "the prettiest in the school." The two were married in 1989 and they have a son Ilya, who was born in 1995.
Unlike Putin, for whom higher learning appears a means to an end, Medvedev could easily have forged an academic career if he hadn't been pulled into the orbit of his professor of civil law, Anatoliy Sobchak, who headed the local city council. Medvedev earned an advanced degree in law in 1990 from Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) State University, where he served as a law professor from 1990-1999. Former students publicly praised him as a "super intellectual" and a "strict but fair" instructor. During Medvedev's tenure as professor, he authored several chapters of the faculty's definitive textbook "Civil Law," which has sold 1.5 million copies in over 6 printings since 1995 and is used across the country.
Medvedev never had a "Soviet" career nor did he participate in the "wild capitalism" of the late Gorbachev era, when the young reformers and oligarchs of the Yeltsin years cut their teeth on Komsomol business projects or trading ventures. Instead, his early adulthood experiences were those of the post-Soviet depression and the dislocations that accompanied it. Because of his excellent ties to powerful players -- first to St. Petersburg mayor Sobchak and then to Sochak's deputy, Putin -- Medvedev was lucky to avoid much of the suffering that affected the rest of his generation. However, his experiences likely have shaped his commitment to resolving social issues, and may explain his determination to see through Putin's National Projects. Medvedev traveled widely in Russia on legal business in the 1990's and understood first-hand how difficult it was during that period for people to make ends meet, especially in the regions.
Like Putin, Medvedev is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church, which strongly supported his bid for the presidency, and had referred to Medvedev as a "believer." He was baptized in 1988 and had close ties to the Moscow Patriarchate. In March 2007 a government commission headed by Medvedev approved the Principle of Church Property Restitution, which called for the return of land, assets and property taken from the church after the 1917 Russian Revolution.
In 1989, Medvedev took part in Anatoly Sobchak's St. Petersburg mayoral campaign. He soon started working for Anatoly Sobchak's mayoral team. Sobchak's first deputy Vladamir Putin, selected Medvedev to be the city's legal expert. Putin and Medvedev became friends and continued to work together there until 1996. During Medvedev's time in St. Petersburg, he worked on many other professional and business ventures.
He said in an Interview with magazine Itogi published on 16 April 2007, "Like any normal person, I felt unease inside when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. It was hard to understand, an unpleasant feeling. I still remember the moment: I went on a business trip to Germany. I left from the Soviet Union but returned to a different country. It came as a great shock for me. As a lawyer, I looked at the situation differently to others and realised that just renaming the state would not be the end of it. Fortunately, though it found itself on the knife's edge, Russia managed to avoid collapse and full-scale civil war."
He was a lawyer for the insurance company Rus in 1992. That same year he created the company, Fintsel which later founded Ilim Pulp Enterprises. Medvedev owned a 50 percent stake in Fintsel and a 20 percent stake in Ilim Pulp Enterprises. He was also a lecturer at LGU and a legal consultant for Promstroibank. Medvedev worked as Ilim's legal director from 1994 to 1999.
From 1993-1999, Medvedev entered the business world in St. Petersburg, co-founding the Sibtrust and Baltflot Consulting company. In 1994, he was appointed Director of the board for a subsidiary of Ilim Pulp, Russia's largest paper and corrugated manufacturer, and served as the legal adviser to the parent company. According to press reports, when he found out that his partners were taking unscrupulous actions with the company, Medvedev left Ilim. Soon after his departure, the state started an investigation of the company.
Having impressed then Leningrad city council head Sobchak as a student, in 1990 he became an adviser to the Mayor's Committee for Foreign Relations, where he made the acquaintance with Putin that would change his life. The two became close colleagues, with Medvedev serving as Putin's personal lawyer.
When Putin was appointed Premier in 1999, Medvedev followed him to Moscow. In November 1999, Putin, Russia's Prime Minister (PM), appointed Medvedev to be his Deputy Chief of the Government Apparatus. Several months after that Medvedev became Deputy Chief the Presidential Administration. On 5 January 2000, Medvedev headed Putin's campaign for the presidency. Despite his inexperience, Putin selected Medvedev to run his 2000 presidential campaign and, from all indications, was pleased with his work.
In June 2000, Medvedev became Gazprom's chairman of the board of directors, where he participated in creating Gazprom's policies for the "near abroad," (the Russian term for all the former Soviet republics that gained independance in 1991) resulting in higher gas tariffs for Ukraine, Belarus, and Georgia. Under his direction Gazprom started buying news agencies such as NTV, Ekho Moskvy radio, City-FM, and "Izvestia." They were tweaked to be more government friendly. Medvedev worked as a deputy for Aleksandr Voloshin the previous head of the presidential administration. In 2004, Medvedev became the head of the presidential administration. In 2005 Medvedev became Putin's First Deputy PM responsible programs involving long-term state investment in education, health care, housing, and agriculture.
When Putin fired Presidential Administration (PA) Head Aleksandr Voloshin in 2003, Medvedev was elevated to fill the vacancy. Medvedev had proved himself a disciplined, non-stop work machine, who liked to get to the bottom of technical issues. At the same time, he gained the reputation as a petty, jealous, and sometimes unscrupulous player in the rough-and-tumble world of Kremlin politics.
In 2005, Putin appointed Medvedev First Deputy Premier in a move that many saw as a first step in preparing Medvedev for the Presidency. Commentators note he has "trimmed down," changed his haberdasher, and has "learned how to tie a tie properly." Others point to a marked improvement in his oratory, citing a strong speech given at the Davos summit earlier this year. He has consistently delivered on those tasks requested of him, working within the system to achieve his goals. For example, Medvedev played a key role in ensuring that Part IV of the Civil Code was amended to allow the conclusion of a bilateral WTO agreement to go forward. At the same time, he expressed frustration at what he claimed were the ever-shifting goalposts related to Jackson-Vanik graduation, and criticized the US for politicizing WTO accession.
The lynch-pin of Medvedev's tenure as Deputy Premier was his responsibility for overseeing the National Projects in healthcare, housing, education and agriculture, which was allocated more than $13 billion in funding in 2006-2007 (though how much has been spent is an open question). While incremental steps have been made, among them higher salaries for public sector workers, improved delivery of medical services and increasing internet connectivity of schools, overall progress has been disappointing. Acknowledging as much, Medvedev told the Secretary on October 14 that he had not fully understood the magnitude of these problems, nor the difficulty of getting federal bureaucrats and regional leaders to tackle them effectively. The priority projects elevated Medvedev's public profile, and much of the air time he received in 2007 were ribbon-cutting ceremonies related to these projects.
Medvedev's record as chairman of the Gazprom board of directors (from 2000-2001 and from 2002-2007) is less clear. Nobody in the investment community met with him. Medvedev had little to do with the day-to-day management of Gazprom, which is run by the Management Committee, headed by Aleksey Miller. Instead, Medvedev primarily provided political support and oversight of the company. Medvedev didn't have much to do with the business end" of the company. Whatever role he had played, Medvedev's lengthy tenure at Gazprom's helm suggested that Putin was pleased with his work there.
Medvedev's skills in inter-clan rivalries had also improved. Medvedev was allied with the "invalids" of the siloviki -- those organs like Viktor Cherkesev's Federal Drug Control Agency and Viktor Zolotov's Presidential Protective Service -- in the increasing tense maneuvering among the Kremlin elite. Medvedev may have directed the publication of the "Shvartsman interview" (in which hitherto unknown Russian businessman Oleg Shvartsman alleged that he was involved a scheme with PA head Igor Sechin to re-privatize assets) in the Gazprom-controlled Kommersant newspaper as a shot across the bow of Medvedev's siloviki rivals. The article had done real damage; although Shvartsman only reconfirmed what everyone believed about corruption and politically motivated re-privatization, public attention to the sordid details was embarrassing.
Many in Moscow saw a victory for the liberal camp in Putin's blessing of Medvedev as presidential candidate, considering the appointment of a "real" successor as a rebuff to the Sechin camp's promotion of a "third term" for Putin as the only way to protect their influence.
One clear lacuna in Medvedev's political resume was his lack of involvement in or even commentary on foreign policy. Medvedev generally refused to get involved in those issues, which he viewed as an unwelcome distraction from the National Projects. Lacking firm evidence, analysts tended to assume that his "liberal" approach to domestic issues signals a tendency toward improved relations with the West. Many seized upon Medvedev's speech at the Davos economic forum last January and his comments to the international media afterward as a rejection of the more isolationist "sovereign democracy" promoted by PA ideologue Vladislav Surkov.
When asked, Medvedev then said that he sought for Russia a democracy without "unnecessary additional definitions" built on the principles of a market economy, the rule of law, and the accountability of the authorities." No matter how "liberal" Medvedev's views might be, there was little reason to anticipate that his diplomacy will differ significantly from that of his mentor, especially during the initial start of his potential presidency.
There was little reason to expect a Medvedev presidency to follow a very different trajectory that that of the current regime. Despite the remarkable differences between the two men, Medvedev's "bureaucratic liberalism" echoed that of Putin's first administration. There was little evidence to suggest that Medvedev's ideas about democracy varied far from Putin's.
According to the 1993 Russian Constitution a President can only serve two consecutive terms, though a president can serve more than two terms. In the fall of 2007 Putin made it clear that he would not attempt to amend the Constitution and seek a third consecutive term as as President of Russia. Along with Medvedev, Putin could have supported either First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov or Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov for the position.
Ivanov shared a KGB background with Putin. Ivanov's November 2005 appointment as Deputy Prime Minister made him second in line to the presidency, after Dmitry Medvedev. His February 2007 promotion, giving him a position equal to that of Medvedev while removing him from the much criticized and tarnished Defense Ministry, was seen as increasing the chance that Ivanov would become Putin's successor.
The other contender, Viktor Zubkov, had been the head of the Federal Financial Monitoring Committee since March 2004, which had been set up to counter money laundering. On 12 September 2007, Vladimir Putin put forward Zubkov as candidate to replace outgoing Mikhail Fradkov as prime minister of Russia. Zubkov, who had previously stayed well out of the limelight, was suddenly catapulted into the rank of one of the favorites to become the next president of Russia.
In a news conference at the Kremlin on 10 December 2007, Putin sat at a table with Medvedev, United Russia party leader Boris Gryzlov, A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov, the leader of the Civil Force Party and the Agrarian Party. Gryzlov said he offered his support for Medvedev and Putin assented. "I fully support this candidacy," he said. The next day, Medvedev said, if elected, he would ask Putin to serve as his prime minister.
It seems that Medvedev was picked above the other two possible candidates because Putin wanted to maintain the current political system where he had successfully kept the government stable through allowing various alliances of bureaucrats, security services members, and business people, who all competed for power.
Despite his prominence as First Deputy Premier, Gazprom Board Chair, and earlier as Head of the Presidential Administration, Medvedev remained only somewhat less an enigma than his mentor Putin was when the latter was picked as Yeltsin's successor eight years ago. In the near unanimous approval of Putin's anointing him as candidate for President, no one seriously questioned Medvedev's character or suitability for the top Kremlin seat. Conventional wisdom presented a capable conscientious manager, able to deliver on what he promises. However, like Putin in 1999, Medvedev had lived largely in the bureaucratic shadow of others, serving as the perennial deputy or assistant, generally to "big brother" Putin. His announcement on 10 December 2007 that he planned to ask Putin to serve as Premier suggested he was already preparing (at least initially) for a "back-seat" role as the third President of Russia.
Medvedev's reputation for being liberal also helped him to get picked because a hard-liner might have hurt the Russian economy and standing in the world by scarring off potential Western allies and consumers. This reasoning also contributed to Putin's decision not to amend the Constitution to allow himself to run again. There were definite divisions between Russia and the West, but they shared very important common interests and worries such as the slowing of the global economy, which had become frighteningly evident in 2007. There were also the matters of international terrorism and preventing weapon's proliferation. Backing a liberal member of the Cabinet showed a nervous West that Putin was willing to keep talking and that he did not want a complete alienation of the two sides.
As of 7 May 2008, Medvedev was the President of Russia. It was the first time he had held an elected position and was a member of no political parties. Politically, Medvedev created alliances with various divisions within the Duma. Primarily he was an ally of Putin and some members of Putin's United Russia party, which controlled and absolute majority in the Duma as of the elections in December of 2007. As of June 2008 Putin was the PM of Russia.
Given their strong long and successful history together it was not a surprise that Putin became PM and would probably be a strong force in Medvedev's government. Putin's influence over the Medvedev's cabinet was impressive given that 16 of Medvedev's 24 cabinet positions were filled by politicians who were also in the cabinet of Putin. Medvedev and Putin shared an extremely strong relationship. In the company of his confidantes, Putin commented "Dima has never let me down."
Constitutionally the more powerful of the two positions was the Presidency, but Vladamir Putin had put into place several measures to prevent Medvedev from limiting his power. Should Medvedev attempt to remove Putin from power he would have to have to receive consent from the Duma, which was currently controlled by the United Russia party which since May 2008, and was chaired by Putin. Therefore a change in PM would be highly unlikely unless that party were to loose control of the Duma. Medvedev also needed the Duma to support him and therefore needed to keep Putin appeased. Medvedev was also thought to feel obliged to let Putin run with more power than a normal PM would have.
Medvedev's popularity rating, was approximately 10 percent before he had received Putin's backing and ended up winning the election with 70 percent of the vote mainly because of Putin's backing. As PM Putin would have control over the economy, and how and to whom the government's money would go. Putin's increased power could be seen from his the 11 deputies that he had in comparison to the 5 that the previous PM Viktor Zubkov had had. Analysts believed that the first year of Medvedev's presidency would be heavily influenced by Putin, and as time went on there would be less and less intervention by the Putin.
Along with his position as the PM, Putin also became the chairman of the United Russia Party. Putin attended the December 2007 parliamentary elections amd also an April 2008 convention of the United Russia Party and accepted the parties chairmanship. United Russia members then voted unanimously to allow the President to hold a position, which had just been created. Party members then voted in a unanimous show of hands to a rule change that created the new position of chairman and allowing it to be held by an individual who was not a member of the United Russia Party. A second unanimous vote elected Putin to the newly created position.
Medvedev also made allies with various liberals within the government. He had good relations with the oligarchs, many of them who were referred to as "syreviki" as they have gained wealth and power through their export of raw materials. In his home city of In St. Petersburg, Medvedev has close relations with various with parliamentarians and business people.
At the time he was elected President, Medvedev had yet to create strong relationships with the "siloviki" as a whole, though, he did have ties with various individuals of this group. The "siloviki" were those who originally made their way into politics through the security or military services. Media outlets suggested that Medvedev was motivated by solidarity with those who have organizational biographies similar to his, rather than to any specific national interests.
Dmitriy Medvedev was viewed as being more liberal than his predecessor. Some thought that the liberal impressions given by Medvedev early in 2008 were a ruse in attempt to comfort western leaders fearful of Putin-esque president. Medvedev's views were unknown although he had discussed issues such as reforms to the judicial system, protecting independent media, fighting corruption, and increasing the respect of private property, equal access to healthcare, education, other social support, and increasing the middle-class. As president it was thought that he would attempt to better Russia's transport, industrial, and social infrastructures, as he did in his collegiate years at LGU. In the Putin cabinet he supported the partnership between businesses and state.
Given past experiences with Gazprom, as of mid-2008 it was predicted that Medvedev would help the company with domestic price issues, tax issues and will probably show favor to them in government contracts. Concerning foreign policy issues, it was thought that Medvedev desires closer relationships with Europe and the United States. He was expected to attempt to turn Russia into an energy superpower. It was expected that he would continue Putin's stance on the proposed US missile defense plan in Eastern Europe, the introduction of former Soviet states into NATO and an independent Kosovo.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was widely expected to return to the job for a third term after President Dmitry Medvedev in September 2011 agreed to step aside, in a job swap with Putin. The Putin-Medvedev job swap plan was unveiled 24 September 2011 at a congress of Russia’s ruling United Party. The congress immediately rubber stamped it. On March 2, in his talk with journalists, Putin confirmed his intention to nominate Dmitry Medveded for the PM post, so he could continue the work he had started while heading the country. And on 04 March 2012 Vladimir Putin claimed victory in Russia’s presidential election, and Medvedev soon returned to his old job as Prime Minister.
At the beginning of Medvedev’s work as Prime Minister, Russian President Vladimir Putin posed a difficult task for the government. He signed eleven decrees on strategic development goals and then closely monitored their implementation on key indicators. In 2018, these goals were updated in a new May decree, which laid the foundation for new national projects.
But, perhaps, the period 2014-2015 became the most difficult for Medvedev and his cabinet. After the reunification of Crimea with Russia, a number of Western countries initiated sanctions against the Russian economy, which in fact froze investments and some joint projects, business relations, and the supply of certain goods and services. The government has developed a response, in particular by restricting the import of certain categories of products from Western countries.
A challenge for the government was the fall in oil prices in the fall of 2014. Compared to the summer, it decreased by half - to about $ 60 per barrel, although the 2015 budget was drawn up based on the projected oil price of $ 93 per barrel. This provoked a dramatic depreciation of the ruble, which ended on December 16, 2014 with an anti-record of 80 rubles per dollar, 100 rubles per euro. The government and the Central Bank had to urgently develop measures to stabilize the situation. The banking key rate was almost doubled to 17%, and the government agreed with large exporters on the need for rhythmic currency transactions. A further depreciation was stopped.
During Medvedev’s premiership, a qualitative breakthrough was made in terms of creating a comfortable business climate. If in 2012 Russia was at the 112th position of the Doing Business World Bank rating, then by the end of 2019 it was possible to rise to 29th place. The government has been actively working not only to improve administrative procedures, but also on the very conditions for business. The territories of accelerated development were created throughout the country, the mechanism of a special investment contract was launched, the Far Eastern Hectare program was being implemented, etc.
However, measures that were not at all popular had to be taken. In the social sphere, the most resonant discussions centered around raising the retirement age from 55 to 60 years for women and from 60 to 65 years for men with a transitional period to 2023, during which the retirement age will increase annually by 12 months. This, according to Medvedev himself, has become one of the most difficult for all the time of his work. “Nobody wanted to make this decision, it is absolutely understandable, but it had to be made so that our economy could develop, and therefore, people lived in normal conditions,” he said.
During Medvedev’s premiership, the government has undergone personnel adjustments more than once. Some officials left "of their own free will", in particular, Deputy Prime Minister Vladislav Surkov or Minister of Regional Development Oleg Govorun, others were dismissed "due to loss of confidence" and even ended up in the dock, like the head of the Ministry of Economic Development Alexei Ulyukaev or the Minister open government Mikhail Abyzov. The composition of the ministries also changed. As necessary, some structures were abolished, as happened with the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Crimea. In the latest composition, the Medvedev government was formed on May 18, 2018. It left 10 deputy prime ministers, including one first deputy prime minister, and 22 ministers.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Medvedev withstood the blow and was able to create the ground for further socio-economic transformations in the country. Over the years of work at the head of the government, he developed his own style. Every Monday, the prime minister gathered deputies for a meeting and dealt with operational issues with them. In addition, he tried to make the work of his office as open as possible: weekly government meetings were broadcast live, and deputy prime ministers regularly reported to reporters on the results of these meetings.
Dmitry Medvedev officially changed his position. On 15 January 2020, the president accepted his resignation as prime minister, and appointed 54-year-old Medvedev to the newly created post of deputy head of the Russian Security Council. Medvedev became the absolute record holder in modern Russian history for the duration of his work at the head of the cabinet - more than seven years and eight months (2,808 days from the moment he was approved for the post of Prime Minister on May 8, 2012). This period turned out to be very turbulent: the government had to deal with the task of modernizing the economy under unprecedented pressure from the countries of the West, which, after the return of Crimea to Russia in 2014, launched a large-scale sanctions campaign.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced that the entire government resigned. Medvedev said this during a meeting of cabinet members with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 15 January 2020.
At the same time, Putin proposed introducing the post of deputy chairman of the Security Council and appointing Medvedev to it. “Dmitry Anatolyevich has always dealt with these issues. And from the point of view of increasing our defense capability and security, I consider it possible and asked him to do so in the future to deal with issues of this particular property, this category of issues,” the Russian leader emphasized. Medvedev will deal with issues of improving defense and security. According to Putin, Medvedev has all the necessary experience as president and prime minister.
Medvedev noted that during his message to the Federal Assembly, Putin outlined not only priorities for work for the coming year, but also a number of serious changes that need to be made to the country's Constitution. “These changes, when they are adopted, they will introduce significant changes not only in a number of articles of the Constitution, but also in general in the balance of power,” said the Prime Minister.
Medvedev noted that in this context it is obvious that the Russian government should provide the president with the opportunity to take all the necessary decisions. “And in these conditions, I believe that it was right that, in accordance with Article 117 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation in the current composition resigned,” the head of the Cabinet noted.
Putin expressed "satisfaction with the results that have been achieved" by this composition of the government. “Not everything, of course, worked out, but everything never works out in full,” the president said. He also asked ministers to carry out their duties until the formation of a new government.
Putin replaced Medvedev as head of the government after he failed to deliver on the president's domestic priorities, including improving living standards. But the shakeup also came as Putin was preparing constitutional amendments, adopted that July, that allow him to run for president again in 2024 and 2030, a move that seemed aimed to quash talk of a post-Putin Russia and ensure he could stay in power for years.
Putin created a new role for Medvedev as deputy chairman of the Security Council, which is one of his main venues for decision-making on strategic issues but is a purely advisory body. Some analysts saw the position as a sort of political retirement home for Medvedev.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|