December 10, 2007

Putin Lite or False Dmitry?

And so the choice has been made.

Dmitry Medvedev will be the next president of Russia, having gotten the nod from Putin, United Russia and all the other powers that matter.

Now the chatter will begin discussing whether Medvedev is more liberal, how he is the "softer" choice than would have been the candidate of the siloviki, Sergei Ivanov.

Don't believe a word of it.

Medvedev and Putin have worked hand in glove for the past 17 years. Medvedev, in his most recent role of Chief of Staff, has implemented Putin's policies for the last several years, including the crackdown on the oligarchs. He may have been given the "social programs" brief for the last year or so, but don't be fooled. Medvedev is Putin and Putin is Medvedev. They would not have continued to work side by side for so long if they were not mainly of one mind.

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