The first week of Vladimir Putin’s reinstated monopoly on power was marked by Dmitry Medvedev’s persistent attempts to prove that his presidency did not end on September 24.
Opting out of this political puppet-show, Kudrin has spoiled Medvedev’s declared intention to form “a thoroughly renewed government made up of new people.”
Putin’s long-planned return to the position of supreme authority might appear to be triumphantly executed but in fact, the legitimacy of his power is seriously compromised because the spirit, if not the letter, of the constitution is clearly violated (Novaya Gazeta, September 30). He may have developed a high opinion of his own leadership abilities, but Putin cannot avoid fears about showing weakness in comprehending the nature of the economic stagnation and in arresting the rot in his executive pyramid. Orchestrating Medvedev’s self-demotion marks the completion of his project for eliminating all alternatives to his super-presidency, but that does not make him the right man for the job of reversing Russia’s decline.