Power Perceptions

Egged on somewhat, perhaps, by what he views as Vladimir Putin’s use of the US as a scapegoat for Russia’s financial problems, Clifford J. Levy wrote in the New York Times over the weekend about the doubtful light cast on Putin’s political position in light of recent economic developments.  The article resigns itself to the fact that Putin’s downfall will not happen ‘any time soon,’ but do I detect an underlying eagerness in his recounting of recent poll results that show Putin’s popularity slipping?

Levy is not alone in pre-empting a change in the Russian power structure.  Radio Free Europe has been writing a lot lately about the Putin-Medvedev dynamic, and today The Independent is hot on its heels:

“Everyone serious knows that in six months, things will be catastrophically bad here,” says Dmitry Oreshkin, a political analyst from Moscow. “Medvedev is subtly trying to make it clear that the economy is Putin’s responsibility. However well-disposed he is towards Putin, it’s very clear that the beginnings of a divide are there.”