A Study in Pink

Russia’s current Prime Minister and soon-to-be President Vladimir Putin and as yet President but soon Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have switched places, again. Vladimir Putin has stepped down as the chairman of United Russia. The seat will be taken by Dmitry Medvedev.

That Putin will try to distance himself from the ruling party, which fared badly in the parliamentary elections, was clear long ago. Still, the unsophisticated bluntness of the move has adorned this dry, predictable news with a touch of sensational flavour.

The chief of the party’s supreme council Boris Gryzlov has expressed confidence that the congress will unanimously support the proposed candidate. ‘In May, the congress of the party will take place, and your proposal to elect Dmitry Medvedev as the party leader will be supported by our entire party, all the delegates to the congress,’ Mr Gryzlov has said to Valdimir Putin. Then, somewhat unexpectedly, he added that the congress ‘must take steps towards democratization of the party life’.

Boris Gryzlov, who earlier coined the phrase that ‘Parliament is not a place for discussions’, also responded to those who say that United Russia is in decline. ‘They see something pink on the horizon, but this is sunrise not sunset.’