Vladimir Putin will be Russia’s president. Again.
He won re-election last week, although not without a touch of electoral fraud, according to his critics.
But what of the soon-to-be ex-president, Dmitry Medvedev? He’s likely to become Russia’s next Prime Minister.
Four years ago, though, he was the United States’ new best friend.
Some Russia watchers think the Obama Administration bet its much-vaunted ‘reset’ strategy with Russia on its relationship with Medvedev. He certainly seemed to fit the part of a cuddly liberalizer with a fondness for Western-style economies.
The question is: was falling in love with Medvedev a gamble worth taking?
Audio extra: Putin vs Brezhnev
One of the voices in the radio story is Mark Galeotti, a Russia specialist and the Academic Chair of New York University’s Center for Global Affairs. Here he compares the economic challenges facing Vladimir Putin as he prepares to return to the Russian presidency to the set of circumstances that Leonid Brezhnev confronted in his final years as Soviet General Secretary.