Will the puppet untie from its puppeteer?

36_1.jpgDmitry Medvedev may face the necessity to fulfill his promises regarding the leadership of law and civil freedoms. The Washington Post writes that “to begin, Mr. Medvedev could be asked for action on the 14 unsolved murders of journalists during Mr. Putin’s tenure — such as that of Anna Politkovskaya”.
In addition, the newspaper writes that Medvedev will have to make a decision on the fate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. 

Also, Alexander Litvinenko’s wife addressed Medvedev the other day and appealed to the new Kremlin’s ringleader to take all steps necessary for extradition of the killers of her husband to face the British justice system.


Western commentators also indicate that another test will be the NATO’s pressure on Russia’s policies in Abkhazia.


Meanwhile, Western press has been actively discussing the inauguration ceremony of Dmitry Medvedev, which, according to the journalists, was held under the zodiac sign of Vladimir Putin. The New York Times points out that Putin arrived at a ceremony earlier then Medvedev, he was the one to make the first speech, and he was the subject of numerous ovations.


Putin talked about what was done during his rule and about the continuation of this course. Dmitry Medvedev thanked Putin for his accomplishments and promised to continue to improve the situation in the country. However, as political analysts note, Medvedev’s words on civil liberties suggest that not everything in him is harmonized with Putin’s policies and that his course will be independent.


“Mr. Putin played a central role in inauguration’s events, entering the palace before Mr Medvedev and giving a speech before passing the chain of office to the new President”, the Times emphasizes.

According to the newspaper this is demonstrated by the fact that as the first step as President, Medvedev will appoint his patron Putin to the post of prime minister. However, many hope that Medvedev will soon become an independent political figure and will fulfill his promises about the observance of political freedoms, the Times reminds.


“Medvedev sworn in as new Russian “puppet” president with Putin at his shoulder “, indicates The Times, while talking about the impression of a journalist, who watched Medvedev’s inauguration.


“His (Medvedev’s) slight figure seemed almost to be swallowed up at times by the scale of the occasion and the responsibility placed upon him as he neared the podium to take the oath of office, passing through an honour guard of soldiers from the Presidential Regiment dressed in Tsarist-era uniforms”.


“Mr Putin spoke first, however, underlining the message for millions of Russians watching on television that he will retain a firm grip on power long after he leaves the Kremlin. ”


A critic of Putin, an ex-oligarch in exile Berezovsky, commented on the current situation in Russia in the following way:


“Putin acts like a Jew. You remember when I was leaving the Duma, I said that an Englishman leaves without saying goodbye, and a Jew says goodbye but doesn’t leave… [Mr. Berezovsky is of Jewish descent – KC]


“Vladimir Putin had three options, and he chose the worst one. I often would say: what is bad for Putin is good for the country. But this option is bad for the country as well, because conflict in the power is inevitable. It is actually already here, so far at the level of officials, but it won’t be confined just among them”.


Russian experts too are saying that Putin is going to make a “Queen of England” out of Medvedev. Thus, head of the Analytical Center “Expertise”, Mark Urnov, said in his interview to Radio Liberty:


“It seems to me that Putin is not leaving the power. What’s more, everything reminds of strengthening of his positions. He is becoming a formal leader of the party that has constitutional majority in the parliament; in other words, directly controlling the legislature. Reporting procedures for regional leaders are changing as well — they used to report to the special commission in the president’s administration; and now they are reporting to the government. One last step is remaining: announcing that there is now a vice premier of power structures. Which will mean that Putin turns out to be the all-powerful chancellor, and the president will be the figure much weaker than prime minister, at least formally.


In fact it means that here the cycle of formation of authoritarian regime is now completed, when the main figure concentrating the all entirety of power ends up outside of the direct influence of the voters. Because, as you know, prime minister may be reappointed over and over again. In general, his position depends not on the will of the voters, expressed during the elections, but on the concord and balance of forces inside the elites.”

Kavkaz Center

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