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The Third President of Russia [1]

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Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the 3rd and current President of Russia, inaugurated on May 7, 2008. He won the presidential election held on March 2, 2008 with about 70% of the vote. Formerly Vladimir Putin's chief of staff, he was also the Chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, a post he had held since 2000. On December 10, 2007, he was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by the largest Russian political party, United Russia, and officially endorsed on December 17, 2007. Medvedev had never held elective office before 2008.

Medvedev is a Putin protégé, a fixture in his administrations dating back to Putins appointment as prime minister in 1999. Their relationship, however, dates back to the early 1990s when they worked together in the city government of St. Petersburg. In November 2005, Putin tapped Medvedev for the newly created deputy prime minister position. The appointment fueled speculation that Medvedev would become Putins chosen successor. That speculation shifted to then-Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and later to Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov.

On December 10, 2007, Putin announced his support for Medvedev in the 2008 presidential elections. The informal endorsement came at a Kremlin appearance with Putin, Medevedev, United Russia party leader Boris Gryzlov, A Just Russia leader Sergei Mironov, and the leaders of two smaller parties. All present sounded their agreement with the presidents choice. One week later, United Russia, the countrys largest political party which had just won a constitutional super majority in parliamentary elections two weeks earlier, formally nominated Medvedev as their candidate in a near unanimous decision. On Dec. 11, 2007, Medvedev said, if elected, he would ask Putin to serve as his prime minister. Following Medvedev's success in the 2008 presidential elections, Putin was indeed nominated by the latter to be Russia's Prime Minister and took the post on May 8, 2008.

By trade, Medvedev is a lawyer. He received a law degree and doctorate from St. Petersburg University. During his time as president, Putins support for Medvedev was widely viewed as a blow to those in the Kremlin with backgrounds in the secret service known as the siloviki.


[1] Source: Russia Profile.

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