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.
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid