Russia reshuffles government as Putin eyes prolonged power

This appeared in The Millennial Source

Image for post
Image for post

On Wednesday, January 15, the Russian government announced a wave of resignations after President Vladimir Putin proposed changes to the constitution that would give more power to the cabinet, parliament and prime minister’s (PM) office. The resignations occurred within hours of a televised national address by Putin that laid out the constitutional changes.

Among those that resigned were PM Dmitry Medvedev, a longtime Putin ally, along with the entire cabinet. Many political analysts suspect Putin is attempting to get around legal obstacles that could impede his ability to retain power after his term ends in 2024.

Holding a firm grip on power

Medvedev, the PM at the time, willingly swapped roles with Putin. With the consecutive term limit issue behind them, he stepped down as president in 2012 to pave the way for Putin’s return. Putin has retained the presidency since then. Although Russia’s government is similarly structured to other Western systems — with a parliament, ministries and cabinet — the country is often viewed as an autocracy, with Putin holding absolute power.

Future of Russian government

The president has “outlined a number of fundamental changes to the constitution,” Medvedev said in response to Putin’s speech. “In this context, it’s obvious that we, as the government … should provide the president of our country with the opportunity to make all the decisions necessary for this,” he added.

To replace Medvedev, Putin nominated Mikhail Mishustin, the 53-year-old head of the Russian Federal Tax Service (FTS), as the next prime minister. It is reported that Mishustin has maintained a low public profile during his time in government. He will be quizzed by parliament on Thursday, January 16 for the role.

Originally published at on January 16, 2020.

Written by

News features from The Millennial Source

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store