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NEWS  / RUSSIAN POLITICS IN REVIEW MARCH
27.03.2008


Russian Politics in Review
March, 2008

The following resource is meant to quickly introduce the reader to politics issues in Russia - with a focus on the upcoming elections, political parties, and political personages. This news review is part of SRAS's monthly "obzor" publications. For more reviews, see the newsletter for this corresponding month.

To receive the free monthly newsletter and obzori by email, simply sign up.

 

Government Work
A few excerpts from government meetings

Meeting on Transport Issues, Housing, and Humanitarian Aid to Serbia
The highest growth was in cargo transport by air – up almost 20 percent in 2007… Around 30 countries have recognised Kosovo’s unilateral proclamation of independence, but a far greater number of countries have declared that they will not recognise this unlawful independence.

Speeches by Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev at a Concert following Voting in the Russian Presidential Election
We have every opportunity to bolster stability, raise living standards and advance according to the plan that we have been carrying out over these years.

Meeting on Industry, SME and minimum wage
If we compare February this year with February last year, industrial production increased by 7.6 percent, the manufacturing sector by 11.2 percent.

Beginning of the Session of the Presidential Council for the Implementation of Priority National Projects and Demographic Policy
Today, it is reasonable to argue that we selected the right goals two years ago, and that they should continue to be our long-term national priorities, in fact, part and parcel of our ideas for Russia's development between now and 2020.

 

Coming Government
What changes will Medvedev make to Kremlin staff?

The List: Seven Kremlin Powerbrokers to Watch.
This week, FP looks at the shadowy figures who will be shaping Russia’s future behind the scenes.

The Future Medvedev Team
Most of the people who worked on Medvedev's campaign are more strongly allied with Putin than with the new president.

Russia's president-elect moves to Kremlin early
Russia's president-elect Dmitry Medvedev has moved into the Kremlin eight weeks before he is sworn in.

Russian cabinet set to stay until new president's inauguration
The resignation of the incumbent government before the inauguration of the president is hardly possible.

Medvedev May Tap Leningrad Grads to Build Power Base
Now Dmitry Medvedev, Putin's first deputy prime minister and chosen successor, has his own cadre of associates who may help him to establish authority after the March 2 election.

Rumors Abound Over Possible Cabinet and Russian Appointments
Whatever shape the executive branch ends up taking in May could be transitional and short-term.

Five Hypotheses About the Future of Power in Russia
A helpful summary of hypothesis for those who have not been following Russian politics until now.

Medvedev faces woe from Putin, says Russian rival
Russia's communist leader, heavily beaten in Sunday's election, on Thursday saw rocky times ahead for president-elect Dmitry Medvedev and predicted he would have difficulty handling his mentor, Vladimir Putin.

 

Medvedev's Domestic Policy
What changes await Russia's population?

Russia's less-than-sure thing
More swimming pools. That, at least, is one change Russians might expect from their incoming president.

Medvedev Reveals Little, Save Loyalty
Under Mr. Medvedev, Gazprom's media arm also gobbled up rival voices that had angered the Kremlin.

Medvedev to scrutinise government’s structure
Russia’s President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev said he would look at the structure of the government and address the questions assigned to him by incumbent President Vladimir Putin.

Russia's Medvedev Outlines Plans for Anti-Corruption Plan
Such a problem as corruption cannot be defeated only by laws, however tough they are. What counts most is that an atmosphere of intolerance" toward corruption should be created.

Russia's Medvedev urges social, economic debate
President-elect Dmitry Medvedev urged experts outside the Kremlin to stimulate public debate about Russia's economic and social challenges.

Mikhail Gorbachev, Memo to Medvedev
Our people are more democratic than you think, despite the vicissitudes of Russia's history.

Despite Spotlight, Putin's Heir Still Shadowy
"It could have ruined his entire future career, because nobody knew who was going to win. Nevertheless, Medvedev willingly chose this path."

 

Mrs. Medvedeva
the next First Lady may be a public First Lady

Svetlana Medvedev no babushka
Socialite tempers love of night life to concentrate on church and charity work.

Enter Russia's new first lady, Svetlana Medvedeva
Russian media are already drawing comparisons with Raisa Gorbacheva, the late wife of the last Soviet president, whose glamorous image and frequent public appearances broke with Soviet tradition.

How Mrs Medvedev turned an academic into a president
The couple were childhood friends and high-school sweethearts in St Petersburg.

 

Medvedev - Anecdotal News
Jokes, pronunciation, and Russia's "Imperial House"

Medvedev. Mehd-V(y)EHD-yehf. Whatever.
The Voice of America offers this phonetic spelling: “mehd-V(y)EHD-yehf.” They also provided a voice recording by a man who tried that — in all fairness, he does a pretty good “yehf.” But it’s not a sound likely to make President Dmitri Medvedev turn around.

Romanovs bless Medvedev after Russian vote win
Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the leading claimant to the Russian imperial throne, sent a congratulatory telegram to Medvedev.

Medvedev is already the brunt of jokes amid speculation about power sharing
In one, Putin is asked if he will have Medvedev's portrait in his office. An angry Putin replies: "I'll put his hide on the floor instead."

 

Public Opinion
Russians like Putin, dislike politics and government

Confused by Branches of Government
Most Russians expect Vladimir Putin to retain some presidential powers in his role as premier.

Voters Dispirited About State of Democracy
"The people live in one country, and the government in another."

The Russians' Attitudes and the Opportunities to Make a Choice
78% of the respondents said that they were willing to take part in the presidential election.

"Putinites" plan Medvedev Street on Siberian farm
A Siberian entrepreneur who named his farming community after Vladimir Putin plans to name a street in honor of the man likely to be Russia's next president.

 

Youth Politics
Loyalty and Toilet Paper

The New Putin Generation
Russia's youth see their President - and his handpicked successor, Medvedev - as the key to their prosperity.

Students Use "Toilet Humor" Against Newspaper
Dozens of young people at metro station exits handed out rolls of cheap toilet paper to bemused Muscovites on last week printed with newspaper columns identical to those of business daily Kommersant.

 

The Opposition
Looks for a way to matter

Rice and Yabloko for Breakfast
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates had a business breakfast with Russian politicians, businessmen and social representatives yesterday in Moscow.

How to help Russia’s democrats?
The west's embrace can stifle. Russian democrats should turn back, look inwards and think forward.

Yavlinsky in Rare Talks With Putin
President Vladimir Putin held rare closed-door talks with Grigory Yavlinsky on Tuesday, his first with the tough-talking Yabloko opposition-party leader in more than a year.

Election-Season 'Hostages' Find Release
"I wouldn't wish anyone to go through what I endured in jail -- the humiliations, the mockeries from prison and law enforcement officials. In jail, I was treated worse than an animal, like some kind of object that you can kick, move around, isolate in a separate cell."

Russian opposition plans rallies prior to Medvedev's inauguration
"The 'Marches of Dissent' will be held in Moscow and St. Petersburg during the inauguration period."

The Return of Soviet Dissidents
The American Enterprise Institute hosted a panel discussion with leading members of the opposition in Russia — Boris Nemtsov; Vladimir Ryzhkov; Oleg Buklemishev, the deputy manager of Mikhail Kasyanov’s presidential campaign; and Vladimir Kara-Murza, the manager of Vladimir Bukovsky’s presidential bid.

The Pity Party: Russia's Nonexistent Opposition
I spent the final hours of March 2 in the closest place Moscow had to an opposition HQ that night: a party at Mayak Café organized by a dissident web site called grani.ru.

Putin’s Pariah
Is the mercurial novelist Edward Limonov the last best hope of the Russian opposition?

Jailed Opposition Leader Focus of Protests, Pressure
A sanctioned meeting in support of Reznik will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Shurshev said. The protesters will gather on Pionerskaya Ploshchad in front of the Young Spectator’s Theater (TYuZ).

Marchers Condemn "Coronation"
Anti-Kremlin political coalition The Other Russia held a protest demonstration and a subsequent meeting Monday in reaction to Sunday’s presidential election, which its members perceive as a “coronation” of the Kremlin-backed candidate Dmitry Medvedev.

Gary Kasparov, Election Season in Russia
"Find another place," they replied, meaning, "find another country, or another planet." We will march regardless. It is the only way.

Regional Elections A Tale Of Two 'Parties Of Power'
Competition has been taking place between the two main pro-Kremlin parties -- Unified Russia, headed by State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, and A Just Russia, headed by Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov.

 

Election Commentary
So, were they elections or not?

Medvedev to Oversee Foreign Policy
Summary of elections from the Moscow Times.

GOLOS - Nongovernmental monitoring reports
Reports on thier monitoring available in English.

Election Marks Uncertain Milepost in Russian Democracy
I want my motherland to live the life it deserves. I want our people to plan for years ahead and we are certain of their future. I want our country to live in order and justice, and I am convinced this is the way it's going to be. Video available

RT presents: Russia's Choice
The son of Nikita Khrushchev says the election was a "huge step towards democracy in Russia." Video available

Putin addresses Russians before election
We are all very much aware of the great role and responsibility that lie on the head of a country like Russia. We all realise how important it is to have the public’s trust.

PACE says Medvedev won Russian polls, but doubts fairness
"An election where there is not a level playing field for all contestants can hardly be considered as fair," the PACE team stated before the campaign.

A Dull and Boring Show
Once again, the majority of Russians placed their bets on a shell game in which they have no chance of winning.

An Election Can Be Boring and Democratic
In the end, the people wanted "someone like Putin," and that is exactly what they are getting.

Voters wooed with caps and food
There may not have been any campaigning worth speaking about before this election, but there was certainly a mammoth effort to persuade people to vote.

Chaos in the Kremlin
"Almost all of my clients have reported a spike in shakedowns from bureaucrats and the police."

 

Other Elections
Regional and local elections were also held

United Russia wins legislative polls in 11 Russian regions
The Kremlin-backed United Russia party has won a landslide victory in elections for legislative assemblies in 11 regions, which were held on March 2 together with the presidential polls.

Election fever grips Russia's heartlands
The election that is convulsing Voronezh, however, is not the contest between Mr Putin's designated heir, Dmitry Medvedev, and his three notional opponents. It is the election for mayor which is being held on the same day.

 

Putin
Putin and the "Putin Era"

Is Russia Entering the Post-Putin Era?
Webcast conference from the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Moscow's New Duo Promises Harmony
Putin leaves his successor Medvedev a difficult legacy, even though the state coffers are brimming with oil revenues.

Putinism is now Russia's political orthodoxy
Putin's most important legacy may be the extinction of political pluralism.

Putin: Off With Bribe-Takers' Hands
The quip, less a policy plan than a promise to get tough on rampant corruption, came during a Kremlin meeting with leading lawmakers.

Putin Era: Moving Forward, Falling Back
"They say that the worst addiction is to power," Putin said recently. "I have never felt that. I have never been addicted to anything."

A Report Card on Putin's Term in Office
President Putin has adopted a new approach to social problems. He has described it as a "policy of investment in people, and, hence, in Russia's future."



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