Sunday, September 25, 2011

Putin Once More Moves to Assume Top Job in Russia

Putin, right, is expected to be the next Russian President
President Dmitri A. Medvedev announced at a party convention in Moscow that he would step aside for Mr. Putin, who served as president from 2000 to 2008 but was limited by the Constitution to two consecutive terms. Mr. Medvedev is to take his place as prime minister after presidential elections in March that Mr. Putin is assured of winning.       

At the announcement, wave upon wave of applause washed over the hall, where 11,000 members of Mr. Putin’s party, United Russia, had gathered. Mr. Medvedev’s face was projected on a giant screen above the stage, and he gave a flickering smile as the crowd roared, rose and swung its attention away from him toward Mr. Putin, who was sitting in the audience.


“I don’t know what feelings I have about it because on one hand, it seems like we don’t have any alternative, we have to accept that Putin will be president,” said Yulia Belova, an advertising manager. Ivan V. Chaikin, 71, was similarly philosophical, saying his own hopes for democratic reform had withered a decade ago.

“They decided between themselves who will hold which job,” he said. “It’s like a swap in chess — my bishop for your rook.”

President Medvedev and Putin

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