In the beginning of Putin's first term at power, sinks "Kursk"; in the beginning of Putin's second term, terrible fire consumes historic building in downtown Moscow. Coincidence or a bad sign? We want to believe that our President is not superstitious and wouldn't regard yesterday's collapse of the unique cultural monument as a bad sign. After all, he needs to justify the high percentage of people's trust. The percentage was high indeed. The notorious administrative resource has fulfilled its mission by luring Russians to cast their votes for the right candidate. However, it was this particular resource that voted. Even if we are to assume that Putin's real rating is 60% instead of 71,2% (after the examination of 98% of ballots), the number still exceeds that of all the candidates. The fact remains undisputable: there exists no alternative to today's president. And the ones who have been building today"s political structure are to blame for this. Neither one of the existing oppositions was capable enough to bring up a worthy individual. Putin, is associated with stability, even though he isn"t the one to be thanked for all this (high oil prices became some sort of a security deposit for the relative prosperity). People do not care much though. They will be happy if things will improve; otherwise, they will manage to survive.
Nominating Mikhail Fradkov Prime Minister is Vladimir Putin’s reply to the West and anti-Semites. Dismissing former Prime Minister Kasyanov and nominating Fradkov for this post confirmed that Prime Minister is not a key player on Russian political scene, he is just a tool in the hands of the President who has supreme authority. The first issue the new Prime Minister will face will be recruiting officials to his Cabinet. At that point he will be shown who is the real boss. However, experienced bureaucrat Fradkov is well-aware that his authority is limited. The President said that he had replaced the Cabinet before the elections to send the voters the message of his intentions for his next term in office. Nominating Fradkov Prime Minister demonstrates the priorities of Vladimir Putin: improving the relations with the West and the EU, Russia"s integration in global economy and joining WTO. The recent deterioration of the relations between Russia and the EU has not been Fradkov"s fault: he was just a conductor of the Kremlin"s policy. Speaking of domestic policy, many government officials" posts will be abolished. The number of Deputies Prime Minister will be reduced. No Head of the Cabinet has been able to reduce the number of his deputies before. Part of the Ministries and government departments will receive the status of agencies. The President has set the task of modernizing the country. Probably Health Care will undergo reforms in the first place. Health Care Minister may be dismissed despite being close to Vladimir Putin and "Petersburg Group". The President himself will decide on the future of the Heads of Financial and Economic bloc of the government - Mr. Kudrin and Mr. Gref.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23