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Europe

Dossier: Russia Gets a New President

Dmitry Medvedev took over the reins of power in the Kremlin on Wednesday, May 7. But it may just be another expression of business as usual in a Russia dominated by his mentor, outgoing President Vladimir Putin.

A Matroshka doll painted with the faces of Medvedev and Putin

Dmitry Medvedev took over the reins of power in the Kremlin as he was sworn in as the country's next president on Wednesday, May 7. But it may just be another expression of business as usual in a Russia dominated by his mentor, outgoing President Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev knows what rights are due to him as Russian president. The question is whether he will be able to emerge from Putin's shadow. Observers predict the two men will run the country as a sort of "dual power." However, Medvedev position as the highest power in Russia may only be formal. But they are skeptical about whether the 42-year-old will truly be top dog once Putin's eight years as president come to an end.

Shortly after the young politician and Kremlin chief was -- with Putin's backing -- handily elected in March, Putin arranged to have himself designated prime minister.

A new, weakened presidency may be the result. As prime minister and head of United Russia, which holds a two-thirds majority in Russia's parliament, Putin will have the power to block presidential decrees and table constitutional amendments -- in effect to control the presidency.
Click on the links below to read more about Medvedev's rise and Putin's power.

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