Heirs to Putin
The week's news at a glance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin promoted two close aides to be deputy prime ministers this week, a move most Kremlin watchers saw as an indication that Putin wants one of them to succeed him as president. Putins second term ends in 2008, and he cannot run again. The promotion of Sergei Ivanov, who also remains defense minister, gives the military more say in the government. And the promotion of Kremlin chief of staff Dmitry Medvedev, who is also an official with the state gas company Gazprom, appeases economic liberals. Medvedev, who has long been a protégé of Putin, is considered the favorite as successor.