Charles Landow presents another wide range of stories in this week’s edition of Missing Pieces. I look forward to your views. Enjoy!
- Russia’s Presidential Maneuvers: Analysis and commentary have been flowing since the announcement last Saturday that Russian president Dmitri Medvedev and prime minister Vladimir Putin would switch jobs next year. An editorial in the Guardian advances the widespread view that the move “confirms a country slipping from democracy back towards autocracy.” CFR’s Stephen Sestanovich says in a CFR.org interview that Medvedev may continue his efforts to modernize the Russian state, though Putin might limit his prime minister’s visibility. Sestanovich also raises the prospect that Alexei Kudrin, fired as finance minister on Monday after clashing with Medvedev, could join the opposition. Chrystia Freeland of Reuters argues that Putin’s “ruling clique” has failed to develop an institutional structure that could perpetuate their regime, as China’s Communist Party has done. Instead Putin has built a “sultanistic” government based solely on him, a construction with deep vulnerabilities. Finally, Matthew Rojansky writes in the International Herald Tribune that Putin is unlikely to “undo the most important accomplishments of the U.S.-Russia ‘reset.'” Read more »