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

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid