Medvedev and Putin: Interchangeable?




Don’t believe that Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev are a happy couple? That they’re basically the same man? Then check out this video, reportedly from Seliger, the annual summer camp held by Kremlin youth group Nashi:


There’s been a lot of talk in Russia-watching circles about this Reuters story citing three sources saying Putin is considering a return to the Kremlin. The sources are completely undefined – are they in the Kremlin? Are they in the White House? Are they businesspeople? Are they politically connected analysts? So it’s hard to say if this story is spot on, or part of the theatrics that passes for electioneering here or something else entirely. But Nashi, whose founder and big supporter Vasily Yakemenko, is currently the head of the government’s federal youth committee, clearly think it doesn’t matter who’s actually in the Kremlin.

When I interviewed Nashi leader Nikita Borovikov for this story, I asked him why so many youth groups appeared to support Putin and poor Medvedev garnered much less hoopla. He said: “Let’s look at things realistically. Vladimir Putin has led an active political life since 1999. So this is already, thank God, 12 years. When Dmitry Anatolievich (Medvedev) proves himself worthy then he will have analogous supporters. Anyway, he already has a group of people that supports him.”