Geopolitics: Putin's return - but what chance has democracy?

Swapping roles - Vladimir Putin, left, and Dmitry Medvedev (photo: dpa)
Swapping roles - Vladimir Putin, left, and Dmitry Medvedev (photo: dpa)

Politics in the traditional sense has ceased to matter in Russia – it is not the office, but the man which matters, says GIS expert Professor Stefan Hedlund, who examines, in this briefing, Vladimir Putin’s ‘return’ to the Kremlin and to institutions he has effectively drained of democratic power.

THE guessing games on Russia are finally over. Vladimir Putin will return to the Kremlin.

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Still a young man, born in 1952, he is sure to be elected president in 2012, most likely to be re-elected in 2018, and will then probably remain as Russia’s leader for life. His record of personal achievement is great.

When Mr Putin was f...

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