News / Europe

Putin Appoints Former Ministers as Aides

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting of the new Cabinet team in Moscow's Kremlin, May 21, 2012. Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting of the new Cabinet team in Moscow's Kremlin, May 21, 2012.
x
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting of the new Cabinet team in Moscow's Kremlin, May 21, 2012.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) chairs a meeting of the new Cabinet team in Moscow's Kremlin, May 21, 2012.

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has named several new aides. They are former Cabinet members, and many analysts see the move as an attempt to weaken Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s power.


Putin’s announcement is expected to shift the center of power to the Kremlin. Many analysts say the president also may use the appointments as a center of power separate from the government.


Among the former ministers, who are now Putin’s aides, are former health minister Tatiana Golikova and former transport minister Igor Levitin. Putin also appointed former interior minister Rashid Nurgaliyev as a deputy to an influential leader on Russia's security council, which is a Kremlin advisory body. This is despite the fact that Nurgaliyev’s term was marred by police violence, corruption and abuse.


Political analyst Leonid Radzikhovsky said Putin’s decisions can mean only one thing. He said these are bureaucratic decisions, and some of these appointments appear to be professional specialists who were invited to the government. Radzikhovsky said in his opinion, this new government's lineup is not a sign of any conceptual change or a vision for the future.


This will not sit well with many Russians, who had hoped that the economy and the political situation could change in Russia. Putin has faced the biggest demonstrations since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Many say he rules the country through a tightly controlled political system and corruption. They protested against his United Russia party’s win in December’s parliamentary elections and Putin’s unprecedented return to the Kremlin for a third time.


Russian citizen Sandra Kytina said after the latest appointments, there is virtually no hope for any real political change.


She said the Kremlin is consistently ignoring the people's demands that the results of the parliamentary and presidential elections be annulled, and that new elections, both parliamentary and presidential, be held. Many Russians contend that until this is implemented, all the government's decisions will be illegitimate.


Many analysts also agree the new government appointed Monday by Putin will prevent his second-in-command, Medvedev, from implementing his reforms. These include launching pro-growth policies and a privatization bid to wean Russia off its independence from oil.


Yet, Medvedev continues to speak positively about the new government.


He said Russia needs to work on substantial reform of the state service, including introducing a contest on taking leading positions in federal executive bodies. The prime minister said he has spoken about this within the framework of an open government, and that all political positions in the Russian government have been filled according to the law.
 

Meanwhile, opposition activists say they will continue to protest Putin’s return to the Kremlin until a transparent political system is implemented. 

 

You May Like

WHO: Anti-Ebola Efforts Should Focus on West Africa

Official says WHO is 'reasonably confident' countries bordering those hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak are not seeing the virus crossing their borders More

South Sudan Crisis Threatens Development

Economic costs and lost development opportunities in South Sudan have erased what little progress the country has made since independence in 2011 More

Ukraine PM Warns Russia May Try to Disrupt Sunday Poll

Arseniy Yatsenyuk orders full security mobilization for parliamentary election to prevent ‘terrorist acts’ from being carried out More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid