When Dmitry Medvedev takes over as Russia's president and Vladimir Putin assumes the mantle of prime minister, after Sunday's elections, Russia will be moving into uncharted territory—and Der Spiegel writer Christian Neef isn’t confident it’ll work. Putin’s Russia isn’t nearly as stable as it looks, and though it appears Putin will still be in control, Russians have never shared power well.
“We can assume that Putin will not lose his power,” said one relieved German official. But while Medvedev seems loyal to Putin, “this doesn’t necessarily mean anything,” Neef writes. Medvedev is a strategic thinker, and Russian leaders have a habit of pushing aside their rivals. Even if the buddy system works, can authoritarian-minded Russia handle two power centers?