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Russia: Putin Out, Medvedev In

On Wednesday, Dmitry Medvedev became Russia's third post-Soviet president.

LJ user kozenko – Andrey Kozenko, journalist for the Russian daily Kommersantwrote this (RUS) about the legacy of the outgoing president, Vladimir Putin:

[…] I feel all but indifferent about Putin's departure. Nothing to thank him for. He ruled the way he could, according to the mentality. Many people liked it.

But still, there is something to this phrase: “Former Russian president Vladimir Putin”… mmmmm :) […]

In an earlier post, Kozenko explained (RUS) his decision to take part in the Dissenters’ March in Moscow on May 6 (his thoughts on what the rally turned out to be like were featured in yesterday's Global Voices translation):

[…] I don't like the [Soviet-style] “rapturous and long ovations” [to Russia's leaders] on TV. I don't like news styled as propaganda.

I don't like aggressive patriotism and hostile rhetoric.

I feel dirty when I hear of a certain governor who was sweating as he sat with a suitcase of cash in the reception area of the head of a certain state-controlled corporation – in order to have his region included into some [state-funded development] program.

I no longer find it funny that in my native region half of the officials have been sent to jail for corruption. Especially, considering there's an opinion that they were jailed not because they deserved it, but due to clan war. Because, basically, they all deserve to be jailed.

I really dislike it that all my friends and acquaintances involved in business [may be jailed all too easily]. And they're saying that they try [as hard as they can] to do their work in accordance with the law.

Anyway, I do have the reasons to dislike this regime. And I want to vote for the opposition. And I don't really understand why the regime has annihilated all the oppositional politicians who could have been representing my interests. I'm not even saying they should make up the parliamentary majority. I just want for them to be there and to have influence. But they aren't […]. And I'm presented not even with a choice, but with something given: forget about it, stop caring. We are experiencing a consumer boom, enjoy it. Buy yourself something. Or, well, go to the Dissenters’ March if you are so oppositional.

But I don't want to go to this march at all, with people I don't consider close. One of them […] is a writer [Eduard Limonov], the other is a chess player [Garry Kasparov]. I don't like this form of protest, I don't like to chant slogans and don't know how to. But, I repeat, I have no choice. Either I go, or I stop caring about what's going on.

Here is the last comment to this post:

stas_ya:

How about everything exactly [the way you describe it], but there's no money as well? And [no hope of getting some in the future.] What consumer boom are we talking about? The only thing left is angry apathy – would make it neither the [protest] march, nor to a store…

Back to Medvedev's inauguration: LJ user dolboeb (Anton Nossik) was so impressed with the traffic situation in Moscow on Wednesday that he decided to write a letter (RUS) to the new Russian president:

[…] Dear Dmitry Anatolyevich,

Congratulations on assuming your new post. I hope you enjoyed the ceremony as much as I did. I thank you for providing me with a rare opportunity to see daytime Moscow without traffic jams. Please consider holding inaugurations once every week, preferably on Wednesdays. I think this could contribute to solving many traffic problems of the Russian capital. […]

Judging by this popular “bold/hairy algorithm” cartoon – posted, among others, by LJ user tumbochka – Medvedev is to have more than one inauguration in the next few decades (if not weeks):


Soviet/Russian leaders: Lenin (bold), Stalin (hairy), Khrushchev (bold), Brezhnev (hairy), Andropov (bold), Chernenko (hairy), Gorbachev (bold), Yeltsin (hairy), Putin (bold), Medvedev (hairy)… Putin (bold), Medvedev (hairy), Putin (bold), Medvedev (hairy), Putin (bold), Medvedev (hairy)

4 comments

  • Kneecap

    Interesting read, thanks a lot!

  • […] every odd numbered Star Trek movie sucks. Anyway, this is courtesy of Veronica Khokhlova’s run down of Russian Live Journal reactions to Medvedev’s inauguration. It also seems that there are good and bad sides to Kremlin Inc. […]

  • […] Voices Online had roundups about both the inauguration and Victory Day. And the always interesting Wu Wei has an interesting account of what it was like […]

  • […] Linz and Stepan’s definition of autocracy does not fit entirely on Russia. While it is correct that there is no ideology and the political pluralism is not great, Russia still holds multi-party elections for parliament and presidency. Cheibub et al. (2010: 70) would probably argue that Russia is a difficult case. Who knows, they would argue, if the Putin / Medvedev tandem would resign if they lost an election? The question of mobilization is also questionable. Nashi (established in 2005), a youth group support Russia, is mobilised by the government. Without being able to deliver an elaborate analysis of the current Russian government, but it is fair to assume that Putin’s potential re-election for a third term as president indicates a small leadership (for quick historical overview as well as predictions about the future, look here). […]

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