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After President Putin

Vladimir Putin is likely to try to shift powers from the presidency to the premiership next year. But Russian history suggests that such power-sharing is difficult

By Andrew Jack   January 2008

When Vladimir Putin was still an awkward technocrat plucked from obscurity by Boris Yeltsin to become prime minister in 1999, he was asked by journalists whom he considered to be his “comrades.” He cited three names: Sergei Ivanov, Nikolai Patrushev and “Dima” Medvedev.

Of this troika, Patrushev runs Putin’s old employer, the KGB-turned-FSB; and Ivanov and Medvedev, both senior aides with pivotal roles in the past eight years, were leading contenders to take over as president, until Putin recently named Medvedev as his preferred candidate in the presidential election next March.

This succession process—”I nominate and the people endorse”—is intriguingly…

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