A day after giving up Russia’s presidency (as required by that pesky constitution), Vladimir Putin assumed the role of prime minister. Anyone want to bet that doesn’t suddenly become the most powerful job in Russia?


AP via the International Herald Tribune:

Loyal lawmakers were set to confirm Vladimir Putin as prime minister Thursday, capping a carefully engineered recast of Russia’s leadership a day after he handed the presidency to his protege Dmitry Medvedev.

Putin’s unprecedented move from the Kremlin to the No. 2 post will keep him politically prominent for the foreseeable future and could serve as a springboard back to the presidency. It has Russians wondering who will really hold the country’s reins.

The switch comes after months of political maneuvering by the popular Putin to maintain a role in ruling Russia after stepping down. Barred by term limits from running in the March presidential vote, he anointed Medvedev as his favored successor in December and pledged to serve as his prime minister.

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