It’s been quite a long time since ideology figured into Russian politics (as long as we’re not counting kleptocracy as a belief). However, with the selection of a successor and the move of Vladimir Putin to the office of prime minister, some people are thinking that some of these slight shifts of power and introduction of new structures, a polarization could occur. Academic Andreas Umland hopefully writes “Medvedev’s rise means that Russia might have a serious chance to embark anew on a course of political liberalization and democratization. It will provide a welcome opportunity for Western governments and organizations to reestablish a better partnership with Moscow. However, it also presents a threat that Moscow politics will once again become ideological: Medvedev’s office may become the focal point of liberal and pro-Western trends in Russia while other institution could become the power base for Moscow’s anti-Western nationalists.” I think it’s still far too early to make these kinds of predictions.