- House and Senate negotiators reach two-year budget deal
- Congress seeks ban on in-flight calls
- Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy site sold to owners of Townhall, HotAir: report
- GM’s Barra to be first woman to run top American carmaker
- China: Poisonous smog is a military asset, if you think about it
- Texas woman admits to sending ricin to Obama
- Ron Paul on son Rand: ‘I think he probably will’ run for president
- Cold War heats up again in the Arctic: Russian airfield reactivated after 20 years
- 6-year-old boy suspended for sexual harassment over kiss
- Voters deciding Mass. congressional contest
Medvedev is ‘dead man walking’ as Putin undoes his Russian reforms
MOSCOW — Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, once one of Russia’s most popular leaders, is now politically a “dead man walking” as his former mentor, President Vladimir Putin, undermines him, leading many to predict that the ruthless president is preparing to dump his reform-minded protege.
Mr. Putin has been reversing Mr. Medvedev’s reforms, making slander a crime again and imposing Kremlin control over the direct election of Russian governors. Meanwhile, the pro-Putin state-controlled media ignores the prime minister or carries negative stories about him.
Analysts generally agree that Mr. Medvedev’s dismissal and political obscurity are imminent.
“Mr. Putin has already decided on the issue of Mr. Medvedev. Now it’s just a matter of time before he goes,” said Andrei Piontkovsky, a Moscow-based political writer. “This will be when it’s most advantageous for Mr. Putin.”
When Mr. Medvedev was elected president five years ago, he proclaimed, “Freedom is better than nonfreedom.” He inspired a generation of urban, educated Russians who were hoping for genuine reforms.
But Mr. Medvedev proved too independent for Mr. Putin, who served as prime minister during his presidency. Mr. Putin, president from 2000 to 2008, could not seek a third consecutive term under the Russian Constitution and tapped Mr. Medvedev to be a place-holder until he could run again in 2012.
There also has been widespread speculation that Mr. Putin, who as president appoints the prime minister, could replace Mr. Medvedev with Sergei Shoigu, the newly installed and popular defense minister.
In another high-profile slight, Mr. Putin in November personally picked the head of the ruling United Russia party’s parliamentary faction instead of letting Mr. Medvedev, the official party leader, do the job.
Mr. Putin’s irritation with Mr. Medvedev stems in part from his belief that the younger politician’s support for reforms as president gave birth to an anti-Putin movement. As prime minister late last year, Mr. Medvedev expressed public sympathy for Mr. Putin’s critics.
“Certain issues that are being voiced [by the opposition] are probably reasonable, and the authorities should take action on them,” Mr. Medvedev said.
Mr. Medvedev also spoke out for a milder handling of a feminist punk group whose anticlerical and anti-Putin prayer in a Moscow cathedral landed several of its members in jail last year. Mr. Putin accused the group of “undermining moral foundations” of Russia, but Mr. Medvedev criticized the court’s harshness in imposing a three-year sentence on the musicians.
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Harry Reid's visa pressure cooker
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Obama shakes hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral
- Somber duty: U.S. presidents in hot demand at Mandela's memorial
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whiskey: U.K.-born expert
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A column dedicated to discussing politics, national security, civil liberties, and education.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
The “Silver Tsunami” created by aging Baby Boomers is hitting America. Let’s explore how we adjust to it, enjoy it and defy negative expectations about age.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow