Heir Not Just Putin's Puppet

Medvedev favors Western style and outlook
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2008 3:16 AM CST
President Vladimir Putin's likely successor Dmitry Medvedev holds a Kalashnikov gun as he visits a plant manufacturing Kalashnikovs assault rifles and other fire-arms in the central Russian city of Izhevsk,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The man hand picked by Vladimir Putin to be his successor and a virtually certain victor in this Sunday's election has been portrayed in the West as the Russian president's personal puppet. But Dmitri Medvedev, who plans to appoint Putin as his prime minister, may be more independent, reform-minded and Western-oriented than some observers have suggested, reports the New York Times.

“He’s more Western in his attitudes than any of the other candidates out there,” said a Stanford University analyst. “Having said that, he is weak.” To assess who will wield true Kremlin power, analysts will be watching whether Putin, Medvedev or both go to a G8 meeting in Japan this summer.