Peter Rutland

prutland@wesleyan.edu
Articles by Peter Rutland

Russian Government Reshuffle: Plus ça Change

Vladimir Putin’s surprise announcement during his annual presidential address on 15 January that the constitution will be rewritten, and the subsequent resignation of his government, caught everyone by surprise. Like Meghan and Harry’s announcement a few days earlier that they were leaving Britain, it seemed to have been be done in a hurry, and leaves many key questions unanswered. Does it signal the beginning of the end of Putin’s long reign – or is part of a scheme to enable him to stay in power behind the scenes even after he steps down as president in 2024?

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Putin’s Y2024 Problem

There is no doubt that Putin has a succession plan – but he has not yet revealed what it is. During his June 2018 call-in program, Putin said in response to a question about his succession “of course I think about it all the time,” remarking that “we have a new generation of young leaders who can take responsibility for running Russia.” When asked about his successor in a June 2019 interview with the “Financial Times,” he said, “I have always been thinking about this, since 2000,” but did not provide any more details.

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