The eternal, hotly-debated question about whether or not Vladimir Putin will return to the Kremlin was answered yesterday in the affirmative. None other than Dmitri Medvedev made the announcement, minutes before Putin returned to the stage at the United Russia party convention to deliver what was essentially an early victory speech.
There is much to lament in this development, but I’ll cast aside any personal disappointment and focus instead on what I view to be the greatest dangers now facing Russian politics observers and analysts. The inescapable conclusion today is that supporters of a second consecutive term for Dmitri Medvedev have suffered a major defeat. Whether we brand them ‘reformers,’ ‘ciliviki,’ or ‘liberals,’ this loose group among Russia’s political actors has lost the politician it hoped to ride for the next six years.
To better understand the nature of these ‘reformers,’ it’s worth remembering one of the funnier anecdotes about the current president: ‘Medvedev’s Party most certainly exists, but it’s unclear whether or not Medvedev himself is a member.’ Yesterday, we all learned that he is not. Continue reading ‘No Time for Obituaries: Putin’s Return in 2012’ »