The claims that Russia will see political continuity seem to be backed by the fact that, with everything having gone reasonably well in recent years, it seems there is little to demand modification of Putin’s official policies. However, the vital need to confront unresolved problems could provoke Medvedev to step forward and assume a protagonism not foreseen by analysts.



NOW THAT THE TRANSFER OF POWER in Russia is growing nearer, it seems as if everyone is making the same prediction: with Dmitri Medvedev in charge of the country, a continuity without cracks will be carried out with regards to those policies endorsed by Vladimir Putin. Taking advantage of this situation is a well settled structure of interests which, according to the evidence, transcends individuals.

“The majority of specialists believe that those in power are not going to experiment with great changes in Russia

In this sense, Medvedev and Putin are both shown to be the visible heads of a power structure in which the rules of the game are controlled to the millimeter. What is more, there are few who doubt that Putin, in the process of electing Medvedev as his successor, has made sure to leave everything on a short leash.

In order to complete the diagram and close the circle, it should be added that the majority of specialists understand that those in power are not going to experiment with great changes in Russia. It seems to be commonly suggested that in the coming weeks the transfer that will come to pass is one of mere attribution, between the new president and the new prime minister.


In such a situation, Medvedev would lose a large portion of the executive faculties which have until now benefited Putin, who, from his position as leader of the state, would even control the military. In contrast, the future tenant of the Kremlin would assume fundamentally representative or ceremonial functions with regards to the military.

“Some might say that within the framework of power the president possesses a seal of authoritative power that makes it difficult to imagine Medvedev giving into temptation”

In the (improbable) event that someone wonders whether an operation like this one has the effective blessing of the Constitution, it would have to be said that the aforementioned text is definitely a malleable one. In reality, the pattern in the organization of power applied until now in Russia (with a hardly hidden restructuring of the rules of the game from a semi-presidentialist model to one obscenely presidentialist) has little to do with what the Constitution says, a circumstance which in itself opens the way to all kinds of interpretation.

So far this has all been in the realm of the theoretical, if you want to look at it that way. It would be inadvisable, even under the weight of all this, to close the door to surprise. “Putin’s management has left more problems to solve than it seems”

Someone might say that in the Russian framework of power, the figure of the president, regardless of accompanying circumstances, possesses a seal of authoritative and uncontested power that would make it difficult to imagine Medvedev giving into temptation.

Someone might also suggest, however, that although Putin and United Russia enjoy a comfortable position in Parliament, with an ample majority, the fact that, in one way or another, the new prime minister has to argue with opposition after opposition could well generate more than a small problem for the until-now president.


But the principal source of unknown factors stems from elsewhere: in the end, what appears to invoke the thesis that postulates frankly continuist policies in Russia is the fact that, with things having gone reasonably well in recent years, there is no stimulus to modify even a shred of the official policies.

This kind of preconception is more than a little problematic, or at least in the eyes of those who think that Putin’s management has left many more problems to be solved than it might seem. Such is the case of those linked with a battered federal State; with the black hole called Chechenia; with a social situation that is anything but promising; with the radical supremacy that continues corresponding to the oligarchies; or with a foreign policy (whatever might be said) with a feeble profile.

Let’s put it a different way: the vital need to confront such delicate frames of mind could well provoke Medvedev to step forward and assume a protagonism unforeseen by analysts.