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

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid