RFE/RL: 2008 In Review: Top 10 News Stories Of The Year

2008 In Review: Top 10 News Stories Of The Year

(The Sroty That Peratins To Russia)

December 31, 2008


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

5. Russia’s Change In Leadership

On March 2, Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s first deputy prime minister and outgoing President Vladimir Putin’s hand-picked successor, was elected in a landslide to become Russia’s next leader.

As for Putin, he was shortly appointed as the country’s prime minister and is believed to still wield considerable influence over most aspects of Russian life.

In November, Russia’s parliament began the process of passing constitutional amendments that extend the presidential term from four to six years.

Some say the amendments are meant to allow Putin to return to the presidency in 2009, following Medvedev’s resignation. Putin could then serve two, six-year terms — from 2009 to 2021.

Putin did nothing to squelch the rumors earlier this month.

“The next elections in the Russian Federation are in 2012,” he said. “We will have to get through to that time, then we will see.”

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