Medvedev Becomes President of Russia

Putin's protégé takes office, if not power
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2008 5:44 AM CDT
Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, looks on at the start of an inauguration ceremony for president-elect Dmitry Medvedev, background center, in Moscow's Kremlin, Wednesday, May 7, 2008.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – Dmitry Medvedev today became the third president of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. But as the 42-year-old arrives at the Kremlin, most Russians believe Vladimir Putin, who becomes PM tomorrow, will continue to wield power. The Times of London looks at Russia's new leadership, asking whether Medvedev and Putin are a two-man team or a puppet and master.

A recent poll found two-thirds of Russians believe Putin will control Medvedev, the youngest Russian leader in a century and the first to have no links to the Communist Party or KGB. But some Kremlin-watchers predict a slow handover of power from the outgoing president to the incoming one, projecting Medvedev will establish himself as the true leader after a number of years.