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Vladimir Putin Bets His Political Legacy on a Tax Whiz

  • New premier swelled budget with state-of-the-art tax system
  • Millions of retail e-registers offer real-time peek at economy
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinPhotographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Vladimir Putin’s political legacy may hinge on the technocratic skills of a little-known tax whiz who revolutionized Russian revenue collection and now aims to bring the same efficiency to the Kremlin’s ambitious spending plans.

With parliamentary elections a year away and Putin preparing the public for constitutional changes the would allow him to retain some power after his term ends, Russia’s president surprised the country by replacing long-serving Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in January with Federal Tax Service chief Mikhail Mishustin, a career bureaucrat who’s never held a political post.