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A Puzzle Over Intentions of Russia’s President — May 3, 2009

By 04.05.09 No Comments

About a year after becoming Russia’s third president, Medvedev remains something of a puzzle, and the financial crisis has only deepened the questions about his intentions, The New York Times states.

Medvedev lately seems to have gone out of his way to showcase his supposed liberal leanings and to distinguish himself from Putin, who is now prime minister. Medvedev first gave an interview to a fiercely anti-Kremlin newspaper, Novaya Gazeta.

He then convened the meeting with human rights and related advocacy groups.

But on the other hand the recent mayoral race in Sochi appeared to have been orchestrated using the same techniques honed in the Putin era, Clifford Levy says. Opposition candidates were kicked off the ballot or subjected to intensely hostile television coverage. The Kremlin’s favorite won 77 percent of the vote after barely campaigning.

In truth, it is not at all clear that most Russians care about Medvedev’s gestures. A majority of the population is primarily concerned with what the government is doing to preserve stability and the strong economic gains of the last decade.