Putin Positions Himself for Influence

The Russian President's nomination for Prime Minister indicates that he's trying to fill key positions, not just the presidency, with allies

Is history repeating itself? It's an obvious question to ask, after Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed his government on Sept. 12, nominating the little-known Viktor Zubkov, the head of Russia's anti-money-laundering watchdog, to head his government. The appointment, just seven months before presidential elections in March, invites obvious parallels with Putin's own route to office. Pundits in Moscow have long predicted that Putin would follow the same tactics as his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, handing the premiership to his preferred successor.

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