Reuters, the Associated Press, and RT reported that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has resigned.
In some countries that would signal a political crisis. But not in today’s Russia.
This is merely a consolidation move by Russian President Vladimir Putin as he seeks to streamline his regime with changes to the Russian constitution.
Not only is this an interesting organizational move in of itself, it shows Putin is starting to think past his own time in office and further into the 21st century after his reign…er..um…term ends.
The authoritarian leader has brought a mode of stability and 1920s Chicago style capitalism to much of the former Soviet Union.
Now he wants his particular form of government, which is somewhat effective if political freedom is not a vital goal, to far outlive him. He seems to envision kind of a never-ending Mussolini style state.
RT, a virtual state organ, has this to say.
Russian government resigns, after #Putin's State-of-the-Nation Address proposes changes to the constitution
— RT (@RT_com) January 15, 2020
Putin proposes “substantial changes” to Russia’s constitution and also to the “entire balance of power, the power of the executive, the power of the legislature, the power of the judiciary,” said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev will be the new deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council. The innocuous yet subtly ominous-sounding title likely will give Medvedev first dibs on power after Putin leaves the scene.
This will not be the last reform in Russia’s government structure, as Putin makes an attempt to do what no leader of that country has done since perhaps Peter the Great in the early 18th century: Modernize without causing mass and systemic violent chaos while at the same time keeping a tight lid on political dissent.
Whether he accomplishes it or not, it’s going to be an interesting effort to watch.