Sunday, September 25, 2011

The tag-team dictator


Vladimir Putin (on the left) is the new face of Russian authoritarianism. He became prime minister in 1999, president in 2000, and prime minister again in 2008, shape-shifting with Dmitri Medvedev (on the right). There is no question however where the power lay, even though the two men followed the letter if not the spirit of the Russian constitution. Now the smiling Mr. Medvedev has announced that Mr. Putin will run for president again next year, "possibly extending his rule until 2024," in the words of the New York Times.

Mr. Medvedev, meanwhile, will replace him as prime minister. Isn't that cunning? Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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