The appointment of a new mayor of Moscow after the abrupt dismissal of Yuri Luzhkov who had dared to challenge President Dmitry Medvedev’s suggestion that he resign quietly, remained the main political intrigue in Russia.
Medvedev now has ten days to contemplate his final choice from this rather unexciting list.
Medvedev has discovered that his idea of “modernization” could not gain any traction unless economic innovation is combined with political democratization, but instead of going forward even at a slow pace, he has opted for back-pedaling. In early 2009, he met with the editor of the fiercely independent Novaya Gazeta and then granted it an interview. However, last week’s rally commemorating the fourth anniversary of Anna Politkovskaya’s murder was ignored by authorities and the official media (Novaya Gazeta, October 8). Medvedev apparently believes that human rights are an irrelevant political matter and has not seen any reason to write a word in his Twitter-blog on the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Medvedev may find joy in exercising the privilege of final choice, which in fact matters little for Moscow, where new energy is accumulating and new troubles are brewing.