Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev

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Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the third President of the Russian Federation.

Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent
Docent
Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks below professor . Docent is also used at some universities generically for a person who has the right to teach...

 at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

, where he taught civil and roman law until 1999. Medvedev's political career began as the election campaign manager and later an adviser of St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak was a Russian politician, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, and a mentor and teacher of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev....

. During this time, Medvedev befriended Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

. In November 1999, Medvedev was hired in the Russian presidential administration, where he worked as deputy chief of staff. In the 2000 Presidential elections
Russian presidential election, 2000
Russian presidential elections were held on 26 March 2000. Incumbent Prime Minister, and acting President Vladimir Putin, who had succeeded Boris Yeltsin on his resignation December 31, 1999, was seeking a four-year term in his own right and won the elections in the first round. Polling stations...

, Medvedev was Putin's campaign manager. On 14 November 2005, Medvedev was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

 and was tasked with overseeing National Priority Projects
National Priority Projects
The National Priority Projects of the Russian Federation is a program of the Russian government set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech on September 5, 2005. The program is aimed to develop social welfare in Russia by additional funding by the state of four selected projects...

. He also worked as the Chairman of Gazprom
Gazprom
Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company. Its headquarters are in Cheryomushki District, South-Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow...

's board of directors, a post which he held until 2008.

On 10 December 2007, Medvedev was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by four political parties: United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

, Fair Russia
Fair Russia
A Just Russia, , also translated as Fair Russia, is a social democratic political party in Russia currently holding 38 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. It was formed on October 28, 2006, as a merger of Rodina, the Russian Party of Life and the Russian Pensioners' Party. Later, 6 further minor...

, Agrarian Party of Russia and Civilian Power
Civilian Power
Civilian Power was a liberal political party in the Russian Federation, which prior to February 2007 was called Free Russia.According to data from Rosregistration, the party has 55,063 members...

, and was officially endorsed by United Russia on 17 December 2007. Medvedev's candidacy was backed by the popular outgoing President Vladimir Putin, giving a significant boost to his popularity. The 2008 presidential election
Russian presidential election, 2008
The Russian Presidential election of 2008, held on March 2, 2008 resulted in the election of Dmitry Medvedev as the third President of Russia. Medvedev, whose candidacy was supported by incumbent president Vladimir Putin and five political parties , received 71% of the vote, and defeated...

, held on 2 March 2008, was won by Medvedev with 70.28% of the popular vote, and he was inaugurated as on 7 May 2008.

Widely regarded as more liberal than his predecessor, Medvedev's top agenda as President has been a wide-ranging modernisation programme
Medvedev modernisation programme
The Medvedev modernisation programme is an initiative launched by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in 2009, which aims at modernising Russia's economy and society, decreasing the country's dependency on oil and gas revenues and creating a diversified economy based on high technology and innovation...

, aiming at modernising Russia's economy and society, and lessening the country's reliance on oil and gas. During Medvedev's tenure, Russia emerged victorious in the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

 and recovered from the late-2000s recession. Recognising corruption as one of Russia's most severe problems, Medvedev has launched an anti-corruption campaign
Russian anti-corruption campaign
Russian anti-corruption campaign is an ongoing effort by the Russian government to curb corruption, which has been recognized as one of Russia's most serious problems. Central documents in the campaign include the National Anti-Corruption Plan, introduced by President Dmitry Medvedev in 2009, and...

 and initiated a substantial law enforcement reform
Russian police reform
Russian police reform is an ongoing effort initiated by President Dmitry Medvedev to improve the efficiency of Russia's police forces, decrease corruption and improve the public image of law enforcement. On 7 February 2011, amendments were made to laws on the police force, the criminal code and the...

. In foreign policy, his main achievements include the signing of the New START
New START
New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation with the formal name of Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms...

 treaty, a "reset" of the Russia – United States relations which were severely strained following Russia's war with Georgia, as well as increasing Russia's cooperation with the BRICS-countries
BRICS
BRICS is an international political organisation of leading emerging economies, arising out of the inclusion of South Africa into the BRIC group in 2010. As of 2011, its five members are Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa...

.

Early life



Dmitry Medvedev was born on 14 September 1965 in Leningrad
Leningrad
Leningrad is the former name of Saint Petersburg, Russia.Leningrad may also refer to:- Places :* Leningrad Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, around Saint Petersburg* Leningrad, Tajikistan, capital of Muminobod district in Khatlon Province...

, Soviet Union.His actual name is David Aaron Mendel. His father,Jewish (November 1926 — 2004), was an expert in chemical processing and taught at the Leningrad State Institute of Technology. Dmitry's mother, Yulia Veniaminovna Medvedeva (née Shaposhnikova, born 21 November 1939), studied languages at Voronezh University and taught Russian at Herzen State Pedagogical University. Later she would also work as a tour guide at Pavlovsk Palace
Pavlovsk Palace
Pavlovsk Palace is an 18th-century Russian Imperial residence built by Paul I of Russia near Saint Petersburg. After his death, it became the home of his widow, Maria Feodorovna...

. The Medvedevs lived in a 40 m² apartment at 6 Bela Kun
Béla Kun
Béla Kun , born Béla Kohn, was a Hungarian Communist politician and a Bolshevik Revolutionary who led the Hungarian Soviet Republic in 1919.- Early life :...

 Street in the Kupchino district of Leningrad. Dmitry was his parents' only child. The Medvedevs were regarded as a fairly typical Soviet intelligentsia
Intelligentsia
The intelligentsia is a social class of people engaged in complex, mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture, encompassing intellectuals and social groups close to them...

 family of the time.

As a child, Medvedev was bookish and studious, described by his first grade teacher Vera Smirnova as a "dreadful why-asker". After school, he would only spend a short while playing with his friends before hurrying home to work with his assignments. In the third grade he studied the ten-volume Small Soviet Encyclopedia
Small Soviet Encyclopedia
The Small Soviet Encyclopedia was a general encyclopedia published in the Soviet Union. The encyclopedia was published in three editions:...

 belonging to his father. In the second and third grades, he was very interested in dinosaur
Dinosaur
Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

s and memorized all of Earth's geologic development periods, from the Archean up to the Cenozoic. In the fourth and fifth grades, he became interested in chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, enjoying conducting experiments; after that, he picked up sports, practicing three or four times a week. In the seventh grade, he became romantically involved with Svetlana Linnik
Svetlana Medvedeva
Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva , is the wife of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and thus the First Lady of Russia.-Early years:Svetlana Linnik was born into a military family in Kronstadt, a town administered by Leningrad...

, his future wife, who was studying at the same school in a parallel class. The romance negatively affected Medvedev's school performance. Medvedev calls the school's final exams in 1982 a "tough period when I had to mobilize my abilities to the utmost for the first time in my life."

Student years and academic career



In the autumn of 1982, the 17-year old Medvedev enrolled at the Leningrad State University in order to study law. Although he also considered studying linguistics
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

, Medvedev later said he never regretted his choice, finding his chosen subject increasingly fascinating as his studies progressed, and said he was lucky "to have chosen a field that genuinely interested me and that was really my thing". Fellow students described Medvedev as a correct and diplomatic person, who in debates presented his arguments firmly but without offending his opponent. During his student years, Medvedev was a fan of the English rock bands Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler , and Bill Ward . The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of 22...

 and Deep Purple
Deep Purple
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members believe that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre...

. He was also fond of sports and participated in academic competitions in rowing and weight-lifting.

He graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987 (together with Ilya Yeliseyev, Anton Ivanov
Anton Alexandrovich Ivanov
Anton Alexandrovich Ivanov is a Russian lawyer, businessman, and official. He was a fellow student of Dmitry Medvedev at the Law Department of Leningrad State University, graduated in 1987....

, Nikolay Vinnichenko
Nikolay Vinnichenko
Nikolay Alexandrovich Vinnichenko is a Russian lawyer and politician.From April 9, 2003, till September 12, 2004, he was the Chief Prosecutor of Saint Petersburg...

 and Konstantin Chuychenko
Konstantin Chuychenko
Konstantin Anatolyevich Chuychenko , is a Russian lawyer and businessman.-Career:Born in Leningrad, Soviet Union), Chuychenko graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987 as a fellow student of Dmitry Medvedev....

, who later became his associates). After graduating, Medvedev considered joining the prosecutor's office and becoming an investigator; however, he took an opportunity to pursue graduate studies as the civil law chair, Medvedev's specialisation, and decided to accept three budget-funded post-graduate students to work later at the chair itself. In 1990, Medvedev defended his dissertation, titled "Problems of realisation of civil juridical personality of state enterprise" and received his Candidate of Sciences degree in private law
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

.

Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak was a Russian politician, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, and a mentor and teacher of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev....

, a major democratic politician of the 1980s and 1990s, was one of Medvedev's professors at the university. In 1988, Medvedev joined Sobchak's team of democrats and served as the de facto head of Sobchak's successful campaign
Political campaign
A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, wherein representatives are chosen or referendums are decided...

 for a seat in the new Soviet parliament, the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR.

After Sobchak's election campaign finished, Medvedev continued his academic career, getting a position of docent
Docent
Docent is a title at some European universities to denote a specific academic appointment within a set structure of academic ranks below professor . Docent is also used at some universities generically for a person who has the right to teach...

 at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University
Saint Petersburg State University is a Russian federal state-owned higher education institution based in Saint Petersburg and one of the oldest and largest universities in Russia....

. There, he taught civil and roman law until 1999. According to one student, Medvedev was a popular teacher, "strict but not harsh". During his tenure, Medvedev co-wrote a popular three-volume civil law textbook which over the years has sold a million copies. Medvedev also worked at a small law consultancy firm which he had founded with his friends Ilya Yeliseyev and Anton Ivanov
Anton Alexandrovich Ivanov
Anton Alexandrovich Ivanov is a Russian lawyer, businessman, and official. He was a fellow student of Dmitry Medvedev at the Law Department of Leningrad State University, graduated in 1987....

, to supplement his academic salary.

Career in St Petersburg



In 1990, Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Sobchak
Anatoly Alexandrovich Sobchak was a Russian politician, a co-author of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, the first democratically elected mayor of Saint Petersburg, and a mentor and teacher of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev....

 returned from Moscow and became Chairman of the Leningrad City Council. Sobchak hired Medvedev, who had previously headed his election campaign, as his adviser. Another of Sobchak's former students, Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

, also arrived to help him. The next summer, Sobchak was elected Mayor of the city, and Medvedev became an expert consultant to the City Hall's Committee for Foreign Affairs, which was headed by Putin. The Committee met at the Smolny Institute and Medvedev dropped by once or twice a week to help Putin. During this time, Putin and Medvedev became friends. Putin sometimes took Medvedev to his family dacha on weekends, and invited Medvedev to some of working travels abroad.

In November 1993, Medvedev became the legal affairs director of Ilim Pulp Enterprise (ILP), a St. Petersburg-based timber
Lumber
Lumber or timber is wood in any of its stages from felling through readiness for use as structural material for construction, or wood pulp for paper production....

 company. Medvedev aided to company in developing its strategy as the firm launched a significant expansion. Medvedev also received 20% of the company's stock. In the next seven years, Ilim Pulp Enterprise became Russia's largest lumber company with an annual revenue of around $500 million. Medvedev sold his shares in ILP in 1999, before his first job at the central government of Russia. The amount of profits Medvedev may potentially have received from his stock is unknown.

Career in the central government



In June 1996, Medvedev's former colleague Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 was brought into the Russian presidential administration, and three years later, on 16 August 1999, became Prime Minister of Russia
Prime Minister of Russia
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and other laws....

. In November 1999, Medvedev became one of several people from St. Petersburg brought by Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 to top government positions in Moscow. In December of the same year, he was appointed deputy head of the presidential staff
Presidential Administration of Russia
The Presidential Administration of Russia ) is the executive office of Russia's president created by a decree of Boris Yeltsin on 19 July 1991 as an institution supporting the activity of the president and vice-president The Presidential Administration of Russia (also known as Staff of Russia’s...

. Medvedev became one of the politicians closest to President Putin, and during the 2000 Presidential elections he was Putin's campaign manager
Campaign manager
A campaign manager is a paid or volunteer individual, whose role is to coordinate the campaign's operations such as fundraising, advertising, polling, getting out the vote , and other activities supporting the effort, directly.Apart from the candidate, they are often a campaign's most visible leader...

. Putin won the election with 52.94% of the popular vote. Medvedev has said he thoroughly enjoyed the work and the responsibility, calling it "a test of strength".

As President, Putin launched a campaign against corrupt oligarchs and economic mismanagement. For this purpose, he appointed Medvedev Chairman of Gazprom
Gazprom
Open Joint Stock Company Gazprom is the largest extractor of natural gas in the world and the largest Russian company. Its headquarters are in Cheryomushki District, South-Western Administrative Okrug, Moscow...

's board of directors in 2000. Together with Alexei Miller
Alexei Miller
Alexey Borisovich Miller is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Management Committee of Russian energy company Gazprom, Russia's largest company and the world's biggest natural gas producer....

, Medvedev managed to put an end to the large-scale tax evasion and asset stripping that was going on in the company by the previous corrupt management. Medvedev then served as deputy chair from 2001 to 2002, becoming chair for the second time in June 2002, a position which he held until his ascension to Presidency in 2008. During Medvedev's tenure, Gazprom's debts were restructured and the company's market capitalisation grew from $7.8 billion in 2000 to $300 billion in early 2008. Medvedev also headed Russia's negotiations with Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 and Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 during gas price disputes.

In October 2003, Medvedev replaced Alexander Voloshin
Alexander Voloshin
Alexander Staliyevich Voloshin is a Russian politician who briefly was chairman of the Board of Directors of RAO UES, the former Russian state power utility, which was liquidated as part of the country's comprehensive power sector reforms on 1 July 2008.In 1997, he was appointed as an assistant...

 as presidential chief of staff. In November 2005, Medvedev moved from the presidential administration to the government when Putin appointed him as the First Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

 of Russia. In particular, Medvedev was made responsible for the implementation of the National Priority Projects, focusing on improving public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

, education
Education in Russia
Education in Russia is provided predominantly by the state and is regulated by the federal Ministry of Education and Science. Regional authorities regulate education within their jurisdictions within the prevailing framework of federal laws. In 2004 state spending for education amounted to 3.6% of...

, housing
House
A house is a building or structure that has the ability to be occupied for dwelling by human beings or other creatures. The term house includes many kinds of different dwellings ranging from rudimentary huts of nomadic tribes to free standing individual structures...

 and agriculture. The program achieved some major results, such as increase of wages in healthcare and education and construction of new apartments, but its funding, 4% of the federal budget, was not enough to significantly overhaul Russia's infrastructure. According to opinion polls, most Russians believed the money invested in the projects had been spent ineffectively.

In December 2005, Medvedev was named Person of the Year by Expert magazine, a Russian business weekly. He shared the title with Alexei Miller
Alexei Miller
Alexey Borisovich Miller is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Management Committee of Russian energy company Gazprom, Russia's largest company and the world's biggest natural gas producer....

, CEO of Gazprom.

Presidential candidate



Following his appointment as First Deputy Prime Minister, many political observers began to regard Medvedev as a potential candidate for the 2008 presidential elections, although Western observers widely believed Medvedev was too liberal and too pro-Western for Putin to endorse him as a candidate. Instead, Western observers expected the candidate to arise from the ranks of the so-called siloviki, security and military officials many of whom were appointed to high positions during Putin's presidency. The silovik Sergey Ivanov and the administrator-specialist Viktor Zubkov were seen as the strongest candidates. In opinion polls which asked Russians to pick their favourite successor to Putin from a list of candidates not containing Putin himself, Medvedev often came out first, beating Ivanov and Zubkov as well as the opposition candidates. In November 2006, Medvedev's trust rating was 17%, more than double than that of Ivanov. Medvedev's popularity was probably boosted by his high-profile role in the National Priority Projects
National Priority Projects
The National Priority Projects of the Russian Federation is a program of the Russian government set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech on September 5, 2005. The program is aimed to develop social welfare in Russia by additional funding by the state of four selected projects...

.

Many observers were surprised when on 10 December 2007, President Putin announced that Medvedev was his preferred successor. The announcement was staged on TV with four parties suggesting Medvedev's candidature to Putin, and Putin then giving his endorsement. The four pro-Kremlin parties were United Russia, Fair Russia
Fair Russia
A Just Russia, , also translated as Fair Russia, is a social democratic political party in Russia currently holding 38 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. It was formed on October 28, 2006, as a merger of Rodina, the Russian Party of Life and the Russian Pensioners' Party. Later, 6 further minor...

, Agrarian Party of Russia and Civilian Power
Civilian Power
Civilian Power was a liberal political party in the Russian Federation, which prior to February 2007 was called Free Russia.According to data from Rosregistration, the party has 55,063 members...

. United Russia held its party congress
Party Congress
A party congress is a general conference of a political party. The congress is attended by delegates who represent the party membership. In most parties the party congress is the highest decision making body of the organisation and elects the party's leadership bodies such as the National Executive...

 on 17 December 2007 where by secret ballot of the delegates, Medvedev was officially endorsed as their candidate in the 2008 presidential election. He formally registered his candidacy with the Central Election Commission on 20 December 2007 and said he would step down as chairman of Gazprom, since under the current laws, the president is not permitted to hold another post. His registration was formally accepted as valid by the Russian Central Election Commission on 21 January 2008. Describing his reasons for endorsing Medvedev, Putin said:

Election campaign


As the 2 March 2008 elections approached, outgoing President Vladimir Putin remained the country's most popular politician. An opinion poll by Russia's independent polling organization, the Levada Center, conducted over the period 21–24 December 2007 indicated that when presented a list of potential candidates, 79% of Russians were ready to vote for Medvedev if the election were immediately held. The other main contenders, the Communists'
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

 Gennady Zyuganov
Gennady Zyuganov
Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov is a Russian politician, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation , Chairman of the Union of Communist Parties - Communist Party of the Soviet Union , deputy of the State Duma , and a member of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe...

 and the LDPRs
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia , Liberal'no-Demokraticheskaya Partiya Rossii is a political party in Russia. Since its founding in 1991, it has been led by the charismatic and controversial figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky...

 Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky is a Russian politician, colonel of the Russian Army, founder and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia , Vice-Chairman of the State Duma, and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe....

 both received in 9% in the same poll. Much of Putin's popularity transferred to his chosen candidate, with 42% of the survey responders saying that that Medvedev's strength came from Putin's support to him.

In his first speech after being endorsed, Medvedev announced that, as President, he would appoint Vladimir Putin to the post of prime minister
Prime Minister of Russia
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and other laws....

 to head the Russian government
Government of Russia
The Government of the Russian Federation exercises executive power in the Russian Federation. The members of the government are the prime minister , the deputy prime ministers, and the federal ministers...

. Although constitutionally
Constitution of Russia
The current Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993. Russia's constitution came into force on 25 December 1993, at the moment of its official publication...

 barred from a third consecutive presidential term, such a role would allow Putin to continue as an influential figure in Russian politics. Putin pledged that he would accept the position of prime minister should Medvedev be elected president. Although Putin had pledged not to change the distribution of authority between president and prime minister, many analysts expected a shift in the center of power from the presidency to the prime minister post when Putin assumed the latter under a Medvedev presidency. Election posters portrayed the pair side-by-side with the slogan "Together We Win" (""). Medvedev vowed to work closely with Putin once elected.

In December 2007, in preparation for his election campaign, Medvedev announced that funding of the National Priority Projects
National Priority Projects
The National Priority Projects of the Russian Federation is a program of the Russian government set out by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his speech on September 5, 2005. The program is aimed to develop social welfare in Russia by additional funding by the state of four selected projects...

 would be raised by 260 billion rubles for 2008. Medvedev's election campaign was relatively low-key and, like his predecessor, Medvedev refused to take part in televised debates, citing his high workload as first deputy prime minister as the reason. Instead, Medvedev preferred to present his views on his election website .

In January 2008, Medvedev launched his campaign with stops in the oblast
Oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

s. On 22 January 2008, Medvedev held what was effectively his first campaign speech at Russia's second Civic Forum, advocating a liberal-conservative agenda for modernising Russia. Medvedev argued that Russia needed "decades of stable development" because the country had "exhausted its share of revolutions and social upheavals back in the twentieth century". Medvedev therefore emphasised liberal modernisation while still aiming to continue his predecessor's agenda of stabilisation. On 15 February 2008, Medvedev held a keynote speech at the Fifth Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk
Krasnoyarsk is a city and the administrative center of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia, located on the Yenisei River. It is the third largest city in Siberia, with the population of 973,891. Krasnoyarsk is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway and one of Russia's largest producers of...

 Economic Forum, saying that:

In the Krasnoyarsk speech, Medvedev harshly condemned Russia's "legal nihilism" and highlighted the need to ensure independence of the country's juridicial system and the need for an anti-corruption program. In economy, Medvedev advocated private property, economic deregulation and lower taxes. According to him, Russia's economy should be modernised by focusing on four "I"s: institutions, infrastructure, innovation and investment.

Election victory



Medvedev was elected President of Russia on 2 March 2008. According to the final election results, he won 70.28% (52,530,712) of votes with a turnout of over 69.78% of registered voters. The main other contenders, Gennady Zyuganov
Gennady Zyuganov
Gennady Andreyevich Zyuganov is a Russian politician, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation , Chairman of the Union of Communist Parties - Communist Party of the Soviet Union , deputy of the State Duma , and a member of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe...

 and Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
Vladimir Volfovich Zhirinovsky is a Russian politician, colonel of the Russian Army, founder and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia , Vice-Chairman of the State Duma, and a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe....

, received 17.72% and 9.35%, respectively. At least 3/4 of Medvedev's vote was Putin's
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 electorate. According to surveys, had Putin and Medvedev both run for president in the same elections, Medvedev would have received 9% of the vote.

The fairness of the election
Fairness of Russian presidential election, 2008
The fairness of the 2008 Russian presidential election is disputed, with election monitoring groups giving conflicting reports. Most official reports accept that not all candidates had equal media coverage and that some election monitoring groups had restricted access to perform their role...

 was disputed by many western observers and officials. Andreas Gross, head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe , which held its first session in Strasbourg on 10 August 1949, can be considered the oldest international parliamentary assembly with a pluralistic composition of democratically elected members of parliament established on the basis of an...

 (PACE) mission, stated that the elections were "neither free nor fair". Moreover, the few western vote monitors bemoaned the inequality of candidate registration and the abuse of administrative resources by Medvedev allowing blanket television coverage. Russian programmer Shpilkin, analyzed the results of Medvedev's election and came to the conclusion that the results were falsified by the election committees. However, after the correction for the alleged falsification factor, Medvedev still came out as the winner, although with 63% of the vote instead of 70%.

According to John P. Willerton, the 2008 presidential elections and Medvedev's inauguration "represented an unprecedented moment in the over thousand-year history of the Russian state, as a politically strong and healthy 55-year old president willingly turned powers to a similarly vigorous leader." At the time of the elections, President Putin was on the height of his popularity. With United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

's substantial majority in the State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

, Putin could have easily amended the constitution to allow him to serve a third consecutive term, yet he refused to do so.

Inauguration



On 7 May 2008, Dmitry Medvedev took an oath as the third President of the Russian Federation in a ceremony held in Kremlin Palace. After taking the oath of office and receiving a gold chain of double-headed eagles symbolizing the presidency, he stated:
As his inauguration coincided with the celebration of the Victory Day on 9 May, he attended the military parade at Red Square
Red Square
Red Square is a city square in Moscow, Russia. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitai-gorod...

 and signed a decree to provide housing to war veterans.

Personnel appointments




On 8 May 2008, Dmitry Medvedev appointed Vladimir Putin Prime Minister of Russia
Prime Minister of Russia
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and other laws....

 as he had promised during his election campaign. The nomination was approved by the State Duma with a clear majority of 392–56, with only communist
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

 deputees voting against.

On 12 May 2008, Putin proposed the list of names for his new cabinet, which Medvedev approved. Most of the personnel remained unchanged from the times of Putin's presidency, but there were a couple of high-profile changes. Minister of Justice Vladimir Ustinov
Vladimir Ustinov
Vladimir Vasilyevich Ustinov is a Russian politician.He currently is the Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Southern Federal District. Until 2008, he was Russia's Minister of Justice....

 was replaced by Aleksandr Konovalov; Minister of Energy Viktor Khristenko
Viktor Khristenko
Viktor Borisovich Khristenko is the current Russian Minister of Industry and former First Deputy Prime Minister.-Personal life:...

 was replaced with Sergei Shmatko
Sergei Shmatko
Sergei Ivanovich Shmatkó is a Russian businessman and politician specializing in the energy industry. Since May 2008, he is the Minister of Energy.-Early life:Shmatko was born in Stavropol...

; Minister of Communications Leonid Reiman
Leonid Reiman
Leonid Dododzhonovich Reiman, in Russian: Леонид Дододжонович Рейман; born July 12, 1957 in Leningrad is a Russian businessman and government official, former Minister of Communications and Information Technologies of the Russian Federation...

 was replaced with Igor Shchegolev and Vitaliy Mutko
Vitaliy Mutko
Vitaly Leontiyevich Mutko is a Russian politician. Since May 2008, he has been Minister of Sport, Tourism and Youth policy.Mutko was previously president of the Russian side FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, and then of the Russian Football Union.-World Cup bid:...

 received the newly created position of Minister of Sports, Tourism and Youth policy.

In the presidential administration, Medvedev replaced Sergei Sobyanin with Sergei Naryshkin as the head of the administration. The head of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev was replaced with Alexander Bortnikov
Alexander Bortnikov
Alexander Vasilyevich Bortnikov is a Russian official. He is Director of the FSB since May 12, 2008.-Career:In 1975–2004 he worked in KGB and its successors in Leningrad/Saint Petersburg. In June 2003 – March 2004 he was the Chief of the St...

. Medvedev's economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich
Arkady Dvorkovich
Arkady Vladimirovich Dvorkovich is an official of the Russian Chess Federation. Dvorkovich favors his opponent, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who is running for re-election of FIDE....

 and his press secretary Natalya Timakova became part of the President's core team. Medvedev's old classmate from his student years, Konstantin Chuichenko, became his personal assistant.

Medvedev was careful not to upset the balance of different factions in the Presidential administration and in the government. However, the influence of the powerful siloviki weakened after Medvedev's inauguration for the first time in 20 years. In their place, Medvedev brought in the so-called civiliki, a network of St. Petersburg civil law
Civil law (legal system)
Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

 scholars preferred by Medvedev for high positions.

"Tandem rule"



From the beginning of Medvedev's tenure, the nature of his Presidency and his relationship with Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 was subject to considerable media speculation. In a unique situation in the Russian Federation's political history, the constitutionally powerful President was now flanked with a highly influential Prime Minister (Putin), who also remained the country's most popular politician. Previous Prime Ministers had proven to be almost completely subordinate to the President and none of them had enjoyed strong public approval, with Putin's previous tenure (1999–2000) as Prime Minister under Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 being the only exception. Journalists quickly dubbed the new system with a practically dual-headed executive as "government by tandem" or "tandemocracy", with Medvedev and Putin called the "ruling tandem".

Professor Daniel Treisman has argued that early in Medvedev's Presidency, Prime Minister Putin seemed ready to disengage and started withdrawing to the background. In the first year of Medvedev's Presidency, two external events threatening Russia—the Late-2000s financial crisis
Late-2000s financial crisis
The late-2000s financial crisis is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s...

 and the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

—changed Putin's plans and caused him resume a stronger role in Russian politics.

2008 South Ossetia war





The long-lingering conflict between Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

 and the separatist of regions South Ossetia
South Ossetia
South Ossetia or Tskhinvali Region is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic....

 and Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

, which were supported by Russia, escalated during the summer of 2008. In the night of 7–8 August, Georgia launched a surprise attack, codenamed "Operation Clear Field", against South Ossetia with 10,000–11,000 soldiers and 75 tanks. Several Russian peacekeepers were killed in the attack, and many South Ossetians had Russian citizenship.

At the time of the attack, Medvedev was on vacation and Prime Minister Putin was attending the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. At about 1:00 a.m on 8 August, Medvedev held a telephone conversation with Defence Minister Anatoliy Serdyukov
Anatoliy Serdyukov
Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov is a Russian politician and businessman.He has been the Defense Minister of Russia since February 15, 2007. He is known for launching major reforms in the Russian military....

. It is likely that during this conversation, Medvedev authorised the use of force against Georgia. The next day, Medvedev released a statement, in which he said:
In the early hours of 8 August, Russian military forces launched a counter-offensive against Georgian troops. After five days of heavy fighting, all Georgian forces were routed from South Ossetia and Abkhazia. On 12 August, Medvedev announced an end to the Russian military operation, entitled "Operation to force Georgia into peace". Later on the same day, a peace deal brokered by EU President Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier....

 was signed between the warring parties. On 26 August, after being unanimously passed by the State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

, Medvedev signed a decree recognising South Ossetia
South Ossetia
South Ossetia or Tskhinvali Region is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic....

 and Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

 as independent states. The five-day conflict cost the lives of 48 Russian soldiers, including 10 peacekeepers, while the casualties for Georgia totaled 170 soldiers and 14 policemen.

The Russian popular opinion of the military intervention was broadly positive, not just among the supporters of the government, but across the political spectrum. Medvedev's popularity ratings soared by around 10 percentage points to over 70%, due to what seen as his effective handling of the war. Although Putin also had a visible role during the conflict, hurrying, for example, home from the Beijing Olympics to meet refugees arriving from the conflict zone, it was Medvedev who made the key decisions, authorising the use of force and leading the peace negotiations. Western media coverage of the war was, however, very critical of Russia. Especially the American media was quick to take the side of Georgia. For example, early reporting by the New York Times credited Georgian claims blaming Russia for starting the war, which later turned out unreliable. In September 2009, an international fact-finding mission headed by Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini
Heidi Tagliavini
Heidi Tagliavini is a Swiss diplomat noted for her service with international aid and peacekeeping missions; a 2003 profile in the monthly magazine of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung called her "Switzerland's outstanding diplomat"...

 confirmed that it was Georgia who started war, although according to it Russia responded with "disproportionate" measures.

2008–2009 Economic crisis


In September 2008, Russia was hit by repercussions of the global financial crisis
Late 2000s recession
The late-2000s recession, sometimes referred to as the Great Recession or Lesser Depression or Long Recession, is a severe ongoing global economic problem that began in December 2007 and took a particularly sharp downward turn in September 2008. The Great Recession has affected the entire world...

. Before this, Russian officials, such as Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin
Alexei Kudrin
Alexei Leonidovich Kudrin was the Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of Russia from 18 May 2000 to 26 September 2011. After graduating with degrees in finance and economics, Kudrin worked in the administration of Saint Petersburg's liberal Mayor Anatoly Sobchak. In 1996 he started...

, had said they believed Russia would be safe, due to its stable macroeconomic situation and substantial reserves accumulated during the years of growth. Despite this, the recession proved to be the worst in the history of Russia, and the county saw its GDP fall by over 8% in 2009. The government's response was swift and decisive: it used over a trillion rubles (more than $40 billion) to help troubled banks, and initiated a large-scale stimulus program, lending $50 billion to struggling companies. No major banks collapsed, and minor failures were handled in an effective way. The economic situation stabilised in 2009, but substantial growth did not resume until 2010. Medvedev's approval ratings declined in wave of the crisis, dropping from 83% in September 2008 to 68% in April 2009, before recovering to 72% in October 2009 following improvements in the economy.

According to some analysts, the economic crisis, together with the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

, delayed Medvedev's liberal program. Instead of launching the reforms, the government and the Presidency had to focus their efforts on anti-crisis measures and handling the foreign policy implications of the war.

Economy


In the economic sphere, Medvedev has launched a modernisation programme
Medvedev modernisation programme
The Medvedev modernisation programme is an initiative launched by President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in 2009, which aims at modernising Russia's economy and society, decreasing the country's dependency on oil and gas revenues and creating a diversified economy based on high technology and innovation...

 which aims at modernising Russia's economy
Economy of Russia
The economy of Russia is the eleventh largest economy in the world by nominal value and the sixth largest by purchasing power parity . Russia has an abundance of natural gas, oil, coal, and precious metals...

 and society, decreasing the country's dependency on oil and gas revenues and creating a diversified economy
Diversification (finance)
In finance, diversification means reducing risk by investing in a variety of assets. If the asset values do not move up and down in perfect synchrony, a diversified portfolio will have less risk than the weighted average risk of its constituent assets, and often less risk than the least risky of...

 based on high technology and innovation
Innovation
Innovation is the creation of better or more effective products, processes, technologies, or ideas that are accepted by markets, governments, and society...

. The programme is based on the top 5 priorities for the country's technological development: efficient energy use
Efficient energy use
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature...

; nuclear technology
Nuclear technology
Nuclear technology is technology that involves the reactions of atomic nuclei. Among the notable nuclear technologies are nuclear power, nuclear medicine, and nuclear weapons...

; information technology; medical technology
Medical technology
Medical Technology encompasses a wide range of healthcare products and is used to diagnose, monitor or treat diseases or medical conditions affecting humans. Such technologies are intended to improve the quality of healthcare delivered through earlier diagnosis, less invasive treatment options and...

 and pharmaceuticals; and space technology
Space technology
Space technology is technology that is related to entering, and retrieving objects or life forms from space."Every day" technologies such as weather forecasting, remote sensing, GPS systems, satellite television, and some long distance communications systems critically rely on space infrastructure...

 in combination with telecommunications. For Medvedev, the modernisation programme has become one of the most ambitious and important agendas of his presidency.

In November 2010, on his annual speech to the Federal Assembly
Federal Assembly of Russia
The Federal Assembly of Russia is the legislature of the Russian Federation, according to the Constitution of Russian Federation, 1993...

 Medvedev stressed for greater privatization of unneeded state assets both at the federal and regional level, and that Russia's regions must sell-off non-core assets to help fund post-crisis spending, following in the footsteps of the state's planned $32 billion 3-year asset sales. Medvedev said the money from privatisation should be used to help modernise the economy and the regions should be rewarded for finding their own sources of cash.

Medvedev has named technological innovation one of the key priorities of his presidency. In May 2009, Medvedev established the Presidential Commission on Innovation, which he will personally chair every month. The commission comprises almost the entire Russian government and some of the best minds from academia and business. Medvedev has also said that giant state corporations will inevitably be privatized, and although the state had increased its role in the economy in recent years, this should remain a temporary move.

On 7 August 2009, Dmitry Medvedev instructed Prosecutor General
Prosecutor General of Russia
The Prosecutor General of Russia heads the system of official prosecution in courts known as the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russian Federation ....

 Yury Chayka and Chief of the Audit Directorate of the Presidential Administration of Russia
Presidential Administration of Russia
The Presidential Administration of Russia ) is the executive office of Russia's president created by a decree of Boris Yeltsin on 19 July 1991 as an institution supporting the activity of the president and vice-president The Presidential Administration of Russia (also known as Staff of Russia’s...

 Konstantin Chuychenko
Konstantin Chuychenko
Konstantin Anatolyevich Chuychenko , is a Russian lawyer and businessman.-Career:Born in Leningrad, Soviet Union), Chuychenko graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987 as a fellow student of Dmitry Medvedev....

 to probe state corporations, a new highly privileged form of organizations earlier promoted by President Putin, to question their appropriateness.

In June 2010, he visited the Twitter headquarters in Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley is a term which refers to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area in Northern California in the United States. The region is home to many of the world's largest technology corporations...

 declaring a mission to bring more high-tech innovation and investment to the country.

Police reform



Medvedev has made reforming Russia's law enforcement one of his top agendas. Medvedev initiated the reform at the end of 2009, with a presidential decree issued on 24 December ordering the government to start planning the reform. In early August 2010 a draft law was posted on the Internet at the address http://www.zakonoproekt2010.ru for public discussion. The website was popular, with more than 2,000 comments posted within 24 hours of its opening. Based on citizen feedback, several modifications to the draft were made. On 27 October 2010, President Medvedev submitted the draft to the lower house of the State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

. The lower house of the Duma voted to approve the bill on 28 January 2011, and the upper house followed suit on 2 February 2011. On 7 February 2011, President Medvedev signed the bill into law. The changes came into effect on 1 March 2011.

Under the reform, the salaries of Russian police officers will be increased by 30%, Interior Ministry personnel will be cut and financing and jurisdiction over the police will be centralised. Around 217 billion rubles ($7 billion) have been allocated to the police reform from the federal budget for the time frame 2012–2013.

Anti-corruption campaign


Fighting corruption has been one of the key areas of Medvedev's presidency. On 19 May 2008, Medvedev signed a decree on anti-corruption measures, which included creation of an Anti-Corruption Council. In the first meeting of the Council on 30 September 2008, Medvedev said:
In July 2008, Medvedev's National Anti-Corruption Plan was published in the official Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Rossiyskaya Gazeta is a Russian government daily newspaper of record which publishes the official decrees, statements and documents of state bodies...

 newspaper. It suggested measures aimed at making sanctions for corruption more severe, such as legislation to disqualify state and municipal officials who commit minor corruption offences and making it obligatory for officials to report corruption. The plan ordered the government to prepare anti-corruption legislation based on these suggestions. The bill that followed, called On Corruption Counteraction was signed into law on 25 December 2008 as Federal Law N 273-FZ. According to Professor Richard Sakwa
Richard Sakwa
Richard Sakwa is an expert in the field of Russian and Eastern European communist and post-communist politics. Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent.-Career:...

, "Russia now at last had serious, if flawed, legislation against corruption, which in the context was quite an achievement, although preliminary results were meagre." Russia's score in Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
Since 1995, Transparency International publishes the Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private...

 rose from 2.1 in 2008 to 2.2 in 2009, which "could be interpreted as a mildly positive response to the newly-adopted package of anti-corruption legislation initiated and promoted by president Medvedev and passed by the Duma in December 2008", according to Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

's CPI 2009 Regional Highlights report.

On 13 April 2010, Medvedev signed presidential decree No. 460 which introduced the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, a midterm government policy, while the plan is updated every two years. The new strategy stipulated increased fines, greater public oversight of government budgets and sociological research. According to Georgy Satarov
Georgy Satarov
Georgy Alexandrovich Satarov , is a Russian mathematician, politician, political scientist and a former aide to Russia President Boris Yeltsin...

, president of the Indem think tank, the latest decree "probably reflected Medvedev's frustration with the fact that the 2008 plan had yielded little result."

In January 2011, President Medvedev admitted that the government had so far failed in its anti-corruption measures.

On 4 May 2011, Medvedev continued his anti-corruption efforts by signing the Federal Law On Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation to Improve State Anti-Corruption Management. The bill raised fines for corruption to up to 100 times the amount of the bribe given or received, with the maximum fine being 500 million rubles ($18.3 million).

Education



President Medvedev initiated new policy called "Our New School" and instructed the government to present a review on the implementation of the initiative every year.

Development of the political system



Regional elections held on 1 March 2009 were followed by accusations of administrative resources being used in support of United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

 candidates, with the leader of A Just Russia Sergey Mironov
Sergey Mironov
Sergey Mikhailovich Mironov , is a former chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament and a leading figure in the A Just Russia party.- Biography :...

 being especially critical. Responding to this, Medvedev met with Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia, Vladimir Churov
Vladimir Churov
Vladimir Yevgenyevich Churov is a Russian official and politician. Since March 26, 2007, he has been a member and the Chairman of the Central Election Commission of Russia....

, and called for moderation in the use of administrative resources. In August 2009, Medvedev promised to break the near-dominant position of United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

 party in national and regional legislatures, stating that "New democratic times are beginning". The next regional elections were held on 11 October 2009 and won by United Russia with 66% of the vote. The elections were again harshly criticised for the use of administrative resources in favour of United Russia candidates. Communist
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

, LDPR
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia , Liberal'no-Demokraticheskaya Partiya Rossii is a political party in Russia. Since its founding in 1991, it has been led by the charismatic and controversial figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky...

 and A Just Russia parliamentary deputies staged an unprecedented walkout on 14–15 October 2009 as a result. Professor Richard Sakwa
Richard Sakwa
Richard Sakwa is an expert in the field of Russian and Eastern European communist and post-communist politics. Sakwa is Professor of Russian and European politics at the University of Kent.-Career:...

 has noted, that although Medvedev has often promised to stand up for more political pluralism, after the 2009 regional elections, a gulf had formed between Medvedev's words and the worsening situation, with the question arising "whether Medvedev had the desire or ability to renew Russia's political system."

On 26 October 2009, the First Deputy Chief of Staff Vladislav Surkov
Vladislav Surkov
Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov is a Russian businessman and politician. Currently he is a First Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of the Russian Federation and a top aide to Vladimir Putin. Vladislav Surkov is widely seen as the main ideologist of the Kremlin...

, warned that democratic experiments could result in more instability and that more instability "could rip Russia apart". On 6 November 2010, Medvedev vetoed a recently passed bill which restricted antigovernment demonstrations. The bill, passed on 22 October, notably prohibited anyone who had previously been convicted of organizing an illegal mass rally from seeking permission to stage a demonstration.

In late November 2010, Medvedev made a public statement about the damage being done to Russia's politics by the dominance of the United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

 party. He claimed that the country faced political stagnation if the ruling party would "degrade" if not challenged; "this stagnation is equally damaging to both the ruling party and the opposition forces." In the same speech, he said Russian democracy was "imperfect" but improving. BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 Russian correspondents reported that this came on the heels of discontent in political circles and opposition that the authorities, in their view, had too much control over the political process.

In his first address to the Russian parliament
Federal Assembly of Russia
The Federal Assembly of Russia is the legislature of the Russian Federation, according to the Constitution of Russian Federation, 1993...

 on 5 November 2008, Medvedev proposed to change the Constitution of Russia
Constitution of Russia
The current Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted by national referendum on 12 December 1993. Russia's constitution came into force on 25 December 1993, at the moment of its official publication...

 in order to increase the terms of the President and State Duma
State Duma
The State Duma , common abbreviation: Госду́ма ) in the Russian Federation is the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia , the upper house being the Federation Council of Russia. The Duma headquarters is located in central Moscow, a few steps from Manege Square. Its members are referred to...

 from four to six and five years respectively (see 2008 Amendments to the Constitution of Russia
2008 Amendments to the Constitution of Russia
The amendments of 2008, which were proposed in November 2008 and came into force on 31 December 2008, have become the first substantial amendments to the Constitution of Russia of 1993 and extended the terms of the President of Russia and the State Duma from four to six and five years, respectively...

).

Medvedev on 8 May 2009, proposed to the legislature and on 2 June signed into law an amendment whereby the chairperson of the Constitutional Court
Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation
The Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation is a high court which is empowered to rule on whether or not certain laws or presidential decrees are in fact contrary to the Constitution of Russia...

 and his deputies would be proposed to the parliament by the president rather than elected by the judges, as was the case before.

In May 2009, Medvedev set up the Presidential Commission of the Russian Federation to Counter Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia's Interests.

In a speech on 15 September 2009, Medvedev stated that he approved of the 2004 abolition of direct popular elections of regional leaders, effectively in favor of their appointment by the Kremlin, and added that he didn't see a possibility of a return to direct elections even in 100 years.
Election reform


In 2009, Medvedev proposed an amendment to the election law which would decrease the State Duma election threshold from 7% to 5%. The amendment was signed into law in Spring 2009. Parties receiving more than 5% but less than 6% of the votes will now be guaranteed one seat, while parties receiving more than 6% but less than 7% will get two seats. These seats will be allocated before the seats for parties with over 7% support.

The Russian election law stipulates that parties with representatives in the State Duma (currently United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

, Communist Party of the Russian Federation
Communist Party of the Russian Federation
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is a Russian political party. It is the second major political party in the Russian Federation.-History:...

, Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
Liberal Democratic Party of Russia
The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia , Liberal'no-Demokraticheskaya Partiya Rossii is a political party in Russia. Since its founding in 1991, it has been led by the charismatic and controversial figure Vladimir Zhirinovsky...

 and A Just Russia) are free to put forward a list of candidates for the Duma elections, while parties with no current representation need first to collect signatures. Under the 2009 amendments initiated by Medvedev, the amount of signatures required was lowered from 200,000 to 150,000 for the 2011 Duma elections. In subsequent elections, only 120,000 signatures will be required.

Foreign policy




In August, during the third month of Medvedev's presidency, Russia took part in the 2008 South Ossetia war
2008 South Ossetia war
The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

 with Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, which drove tension in Russian-American relations to a post-Cold War high. On 26 August, following a unanimous vote of the Federal Assembly of Russia
Federal Assembly of Russia
The Federal Assembly of Russia is the legislature of the Russian Federation, according to the Constitution of Russian Federation, 1993...

, Medvedev issued a presidential decree officially recognizing
International recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are two breakaway republics in the Caucasus with disputed status over whether they are a part of Georgia or sovereign states. The Republic of Abkhazia and the Republic of South Ossetia were recognised following the 2008 South Ossetia War between Russia and Georgia, by six...

 Abkhazia
Abkhazia
Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

 and South Ossetia
South Ossetia
South Ossetia or Tskhinvali Region is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic....

 as independent states, an action condemned by the G7.
On 31 August 2008, Medvedev announced a shift in the Russian foreign policy
Foreign relations of Russia
The foreign relations of Russia is the policy of the Russian government by which it guides the interactions with other nations, their citizens and foreign organizations and sets standards of interaction for Russian organizations, corporations and individual citizens towards them...

 under his government, built around five main principles:
  1. Fundamental principles of international law
    International law
    Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

     are supreme.
  2. The world will be multipolar
    Polarity in international relations
    Polarity in international relations is any of the various ways in which power is distributed within the international system. It describes the nature of the international system at any given period of time. One generally distinguishes four types of systems: Unipolarity, Bipolarity, Tripolarity, and...

    .
  3. Russia will not seek confrontation with other nations.
  4. Russia will protect its citizens wherever they are.
  5. Russia will develop ties in friendly regions.


In his address to the parliament on 5 November 2008 he also promised to deploy the Iskander missile system and radar-jamming facilities in Kaliningrad Oblast
Kaliningrad Oblast
Kaliningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia situated on the Baltic coast. It has a population of The oblast forms the westernmost part of the Russian Federation, but it has no land connection to the rest of Russia. Since its creation it has been an exclave of the Russian SFSR and then the...

 to counter the U.S. missile defence system
National Missile Defense
National missile defense is a generic term for a type of missile defense intended to shield an entire country against incoming missiles, such as intercontinental ballistic missile or other ballistic missiles. Interception might be by anti-ballistic missiles or directed-energy weapons such as lasers...

 in Eastern Europe. Following U.S. President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's announcement on 17 September 2009, that Washington would not deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland, Dmitry Medvedev said he decided against deploying Iskander missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad Oblast.

On 21 November 2011, Medvedev claimed that the war on Georgia had prevented further NATO expansion.

Relationship with Putin


Although the Russian constitution clearly apportions the majority of power to the president, speculation has arisen over the question of whether it is Medvedev or Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 who actually wields the most power. According to The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

, "Kremlin-watchers" note that Medvedev uses the more formal form of 'you' (Вы, 'vy') when addressing Putin, while Putin addresses Medvedev with the more informal 'ty' (ты). According to a poll conducted in September 2009 by the Levada Center
Levada Center
Levada Center is a Russian independent, non-governmental polling and sociological research organisation. It is named after its founder, the first Russian professor of sociology Yuri Levada . Levada Center traces back its history to 1987 when VCIOM was founded, originally headed by Academician...

 in which 1,600 Russians from across Russia took part, 13% believed Medvedev held the most power, 32% Putin, and 48% both (7% failed to answer). However Medvedev has affirmed his position of strength, stating, "I am the leader of this state, I am the head of this state, and the division of power is based on this."

2012 Presidential elections


As both Putin and Medvedev could run for President in the 2012 general elections
Russian presidential election, 2012
The 2012 Russian presidential elections are to be held on 4 March 2012.According to a "Levada Center" opinion poll from September 2011, 41% of Russians wanted to see Putin be a candidate in the 2012 elections as opposed to 22% for Medvedev, while 10% wanted someone else and 28% were unsure.On 30...

, there is a view from some analysts that some of Medvedev's recent actions and comments are designed to separate his image from Putin's: examples noted by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 included his dealings in late 2010 with NATO and America, possibly designed to show himself as being better able to deal with the Western nations, and comments in November about the need for a stronger opposition in Russian politics, to present himself as a moderniser. The BBC also noted that other analysts believe the split is exaggerated, and Medvedev and Putin are "trying to maximise support for the authorities by appealing to different parts of society". There is belief that the court verdict on former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky is a Russian prisoner, considered by some - such as Amnesty International - to have been imprisoned for political reasons, jailed until 2016 and a former Russian oligarch and businessman...

 and his partner Platon Lebedev
Platon Lebedev
Platon Leonidovich Lebedev is a former CEO of Group Menatep, currently imprisoned in Russia, and is best known as a close associate of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.-Conviction:...

, both of whom funded opposition parties before their arrests, will indicate whether or not Putin "is still calling all the shots".

On 24 September 2011, while speaking at the United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

 party congress, Medvedev announced that he would recommend the party to nominate Vladimir Putin as its presidential candidate and that the two men had long ago cut a deal to allow Mr Putin to return to the presidency in 2012 after he was forced to stand down in 2008 on a technicality." Medvedev said he himself would be ready to perform "practical work in the government". Putin accepted Medvedev's offer the same day, and backed him for the position of the Prime Minister of Russia
Prime Minister of Russia
The Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation The use of the term "Prime Minister" is strictly informal and is not allowed for by the Russian Constitution and other laws....

 in case the United Russia
United Russia
United Russia is a centrist political party in Russia and the largest party in the country, currently holding 315 of the 450 seats in the State Duma. The party was founded in December 2001, through a merger of the Unity and Fatherland-All Russia parties...

, whose list of candidates in the elections Medvedev agreed to head, would win in the upcoming Russian legislative election
Russian legislative election, 2011
Legislative elections will be held in the Russian Federation on 4 December 2011. At stake will be the 450 seats in the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia .-Regulations:...

. The same day the Russian Orthodox Church
Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church or, alternatively, the Moscow Patriarchate The ROC is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world; including all the autocephalous churches under its umbrella, its adherents number over 150 million worldwide—about half of the 300 million...

 endorsed the proposal by President Medvedev to let Putin return to the post of President of Russia.

Personal life


Medvedev is married and has a son named Ilya Dmitrevich Medvedev (born 1995). His wife, Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva
Svetlana Medvedeva
Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva , is the wife of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and thus the First Lady of Russia.-Early years:Svetlana Linnik was born into a military family in Kronstadt, a town administered by Leningrad...

, was both his childhood friend and school sweetheart. They married several years after their graduation from secondary school in 1982.
Medvedev is a devoted fan
Fan (person)
A Fan, sometimes also called aficionado or supporter, is a person with a liking and enthusiasm for something, such as a band or a sports team. Fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fanbase or fandom...

 of British hard rock
Hard rock
Hard rock is a loosely defined genre of rock music which has its earliest roots in mid-1960s garage rock, blues rock and psychedelic rock...

, listing Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

, Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath are an English heavy metal band, formed in Aston, Birmingham in 1969 by Ozzy Osbourne , Tony Iommi , Geezer Butler , and Bill Ward . The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years. A total of 22...

, Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

, and Deep Purple
Deep Purple
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members believe that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre...

 as his favorite bands
Rock Band
Rock Band is a music video game developed by Harmonix Music Systems, published by MTV Games and Electronic Arts. It is the first title in the Rock Band series. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions were released in the United States on November 20, 2007, while the PlayStation 2 version was...

. He is a collector
Collecting
The hobby of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining whatever items are of interest to the individual collector. Some collectors are generalists, accumulating merchandise, or stamps from all countries of the world...

 of their original vinyl records
LP album
The LP, or long-playing microgroove record, is a format for phonograph records, an analog sound storage medium. Introduced by Columbia Records in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry...

 and has previously said that he has collected all of the recordings of Deep Purple
Deep Purple
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, they are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although some band members believe that their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre...

. As a youth, he was making copies of their records, although these bands were then on the official state-issued
Censorship in the Soviet Union
Censorship in the Soviet Union was pervasive and strictly enforced.Censorship was performed in two main directions:*State secrets were handled by Main Administration for Safeguarding State Secrets in the Press was in charge of censoring all publications and broadcasting for state...

 blacklist
Blacklist
A blacklist is a list or register of entities who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition. As a verb, to blacklist can mean to deny someone work in a particular field, or to ostracize a person from a certain social circle...

. In February 2008, Medvedev and Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Ivanov
Sergei Borisovich Ivanov is a Russian senior official and statesman. He was Minister of Defence from March 2001 to February 2007, Deputy Prime Minister from November 2005 to February 2007, and the First Deputy Prime Minister from February 2007 to May 2008...

 attended a Deep Purple concert in Moscow together.

During a visit to Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, Medvedev received the Order of St. Sava
Order of St. Sava
The Order of St. Sava was a decoration instituted by the order King Milan I of Serbia in 1883. The Order of Saint Sava originally was established to recognize civilians for meritorious achievements in the arts and sciences. In 1914 a change was made permitting military personnel to receive the...

 for "his contribution to the unity of the world Orthodoxy and his love to the Serbian people", it is the highest award of the Serbian Orthodox church
Serbian Orthodox Church
The Serbian Orthodox Church is one of the autocephalous Orthodox Christian churches, ranking sixth in order of seniority after Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Russia...

.

Despite a busy schedule, Medvedev always reserves an hour each morning and again each evening to swim and weight train. He swims 1,500 meters (approximately one mile), twice a day. He also jogs, plays chess, and practices yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

. Among his hobbies are reading the works of Mikhail Bulgakov
Mikhail Bulgakov
Mikhaíl Afanásyevich Bulgákov was a Soviet Russian writer and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his novel The Master and Margarita, which The Times of London has called one of the masterpieces of the 20th century.-Biography:Mikhail Bulgakov was born on...

 and he is also a fan of the Harry Potter
Harry Potter
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of the adolescent wizard Harry Potter and his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry...

 books after asking JK Rowling for her autograph when they met during the G-20 London Summit
2009 G-20 London summit
The 2009 G-20 London Summit is the second meeting of the G-20 heads of state in discussion of financial markets and the world economy, which was held in London on 2 April 2009 at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre. It followed the first G-20 Leaders Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy, which...

 in April 2009. He is also a fan of football and follows his hometown professional football team, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
FC Zenit Saint Petersburg
Football Club Zenit is a Russian football club from the city of Saint-Petersburg. Founded in 1925 , the club plays in the Russian Premier League...

. And since he has been living in Moscow he supports PFC CSKA Moscow as well.

Medvedev is an avid amateur photographer. In January 2010, one of his photographs was sold at a charity auction for 51 million rubles (US$1,750,000), making it one of the most expensive ever sold.

Medvedev keeps an aquarium
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

 in his office and cares for his fish himself. Medvedev owns a Neva Masquerade male cat named Dorofei
Dorofei
Dorofei is a rare Neva Masquerade cat belonging to incumbent Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his wife Svetlana Medvedeva. Dorofei took over the title of First Pet from Vladimir Putin's black labrador Koni, when Medvedev was inaugurated on 7 May 2008.Dorofei was born in 2004...

. Dorofei used to fight with a cat belonging to Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev is a former Soviet statesman, having served as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1985 until 1991, and as the last head of state of the USSR, having served from 1988 until its dissolution in 1991...

—who was Medvedev's neighbor—so the Medvedevs had to have Dorofei neutered.

Medvedev's reported 2007 annual income is $80,000, and he reported approximately the same amount as bank savings. Medvedev's wife reported no savings or income. They live in an upscale apartment house "Zolotye Klyuchi" in Moscow.

On the Runet
Runet
Currently Internet access in Russia is available to businesses and home users in various forms, including dial-up, cable, DSL, FTTH, mobile, wireless and satellite...

, Medvedev is sometimes associated with the Medved
Preved
Preved is a term used in the Padonkaffsky jargon, a meme in the Russian-speaking Internet which developed out of a heavily-circulated picture, and consists of choosing alternative spellings for words for comic effect...

meme, linked to padonki
Padonki
Padonki is a counter-culture subculture within the Russian-speaking Internet community most famous for using their slang Olbanian language or padonkaffsky jargon...

slang, which resulted in many ironical and satirical writings and cartoons
Photoshop contest
A Photoshop contest, or sometimes photochop contest, is an online game, in which a website or user of an Internet forum will post a starting image — usually a photograph — and ask others to manipulate the image using some kind of graphics editing software, such as Photoshop, Corel...

 that blend Medvedev with a bear. (The word medved means "bear" in Russian and the surname "Medvedev" is a patronymic
Patronymic
A patronym, or patronymic, is a component of a personal name based on the name of one's father, grandfather or an even earlier male ancestor. A component of a name based on the name of one's mother or a female ancestor is a matronymic. Each is a means of conveying lineage.In many areas patronyms...

 which means "of the bears"). Medvedev is familiar with this phenomenon and takes no offence, stating that the web meme has the right to exist.

Medvedev is competent in English, but due in part to protocol, he only speaks Russian in interviews.

Publications



Medvedev wrote two short articles on the subject of his doctoral dissertation in Russian law journals. He is also one of the authors of a textbook on civil law
Private law
Private law is that part of a civil law legal system which is part of the jus commune that involves relationships between individuals, such as the law of contracts or torts, as it is called in the common law, and the law of obligations as it is called in civilian legal systems...

 for universities first published in 1991 (the 6th edition of Civil Law. In 3 Volumes. was published in 2007). He is the author of a textbook for universities entitled, Questions of Russia's National Development, first published in 2007, concerning the role of the Russian state
Government of Russia
The Government of the Russian Federation exercises executive power in the Russian Federation. The members of the government are the prime minister , the deputy prime ministers, and the federal ministers...

 in social policy
Social policy
Social policy primarily refers to guidelines, principles, legislation and activities that affect the living conditions conducive to human welfare. Thus, social policy is that part of public policy that has to do with social issues...

 and economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

. He is also the lead co-author of a book of legal commentary entitled, A Commentary on the Federal Law "On the State Civil Service of the Russian Federation", scheduled for publication in 2008. This work considers the Russian Federal law
Federal law
Federal law is the body of law created by the federal government of a country. A federal government is formed when a group of political units, such as states or provinces join together in a federation, surrendering their individual sovereignty and many powers to the central government while...

 on the Civil service, which went into effect on 27 July 2004, from multiple perspectives — scholarly, jurisprudential
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

, practical, enforcement- and implementation-related.

In October 2008, President Medvedev began posting a videoblog at the presidential website kremlin.ru (English). His videoblog posts have also been posted in the official LiveJournal
LiveJournal
LiveJournal is a virtual community where Internet users can keep a blog, journal or diary. LiveJournal is also the name of the free and open source server software that was designed to run the LiveJournal virtual community....

 community "blog_medvedev" since 21 April 2009 by the Kremlin administration. In June 2011 Medvedev participated in launching of the "Eternal Values" project of RIA Novosti together with Russian Chapter of Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is an American non-profit charitable organization headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, and organized under the laws of the state of Florida, where it was initially based...

. RIA Novosti granted free CC-BY-SA-3
Creative Commons licenses
Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. They were initially released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S...

 licenses to a one hundred of its images while Medvedev registered as Dmitry Medvedev for RIAN personally uploaded one of those photographs to Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons is an online repository of free-use images, sound and other media files. It is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation....

.

On 13 April 2009, Medvedev gave a major interview to the Novaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta
Novaya Gazeta is a Russian newspaper well known in the country for its critical and investigative coverage of Russian political and social affairs....

newspaper. The interview was the first one he had ever given to a Russian print publication and covered such issues as civil society and the social contract, transparency of public officials and Internet development.
jurisprudential
Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence is the theory and philosophy of law. Scholars of jurisprudence, or legal theorists , hope to obtain a deeper understanding of the nature of law, of legal reasoning, legal systems and of legal institutions...

, practical, enforcement- and implementation-related.

External links