Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, January 06, 2012

Look at my words, not my actions

Maybe thinking of Russian politics as a magician's performance would help. Or you could think of the promises of reform as Potemkin promises.

Political Promotions in Russia Appear to Belie President’s Promise of Reform
President Dmitri A. Medvedev has responded to the street protests in Moscow with proposals for political reform, but his recent personnel appointments seem to tell a different story: top posts went to former officers in the K.G.B. and long-serving loyalists of his political mentor, Vladimir V. Putin…

The highest position went to Sergei B. Ivanov, a former colleague of Mr. Putin’s from the Leningrad office of the K.G.B….

In another change, Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitri O. Rogozin, who is known as irascible and an outspoken nationalist and who once hung a poster of Stalin in his office in Brussels, was appointed a deputy prime minister overseeing the military-industrial complex.

Finally, the Kremlin’s deputy chief of staff, Vladislav Y. Surkov… moved to a deputy prime minister’s position in the cabinet. He was replaced by Mr. Putin’s former chief of staff in the prime minister’s office, Vyacheslav Volodin, a loyalist who helped form a pro-Putin national political movement this year called the People’s Front…

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