What to Make of Putin’s Shake-Up in Russia

What to Make of Putin’s Shake-Up in Russia
President Vladimir Putin speaks at a meeting on drafting constitutional changes at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence, outside Moscow, Russia, Jan. 16, 2020 (pool photo by Mikhail Klimentyev of Sputnik via AP Images).

If one nice thing can be said about Vladimir Putin, it is that he is a master of political jujitsu. This week, Putin’s skills were on full display after he called for far-reaching constitutional changes that would transfer more power from the presidency to parliament—a move many suspect is really designed to extend his 20-year hold on power. Following Putin’s announcement, Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, and his entire Cabinet abruptly resigned, and hours later Putin named a new prime minister. Putin is technically barred by constitutional term limits that prohibit more than two consecutive presidential terms. The dramatic reshuffling […]

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