Dmitry Medvedev is the third president of the Russian Federation, inaugurated on May 7, 2008. A first time candidate for elected office, Medvedev won the March, 2008 presidential elections decisively with over 71% of the popular vote.
Dmitry Medvedev's rise to power can be chronicled with a short outline of his business and political career. The old adage, "it's not what you know, but who you know", has some merit in his case. Medvedev had the good fortune of crossing paths with two of Russia's political heavyweights early in his road to the presidency.
- The first was with professor (and future Mayor of St. Petersburg), Anatoly Sobchak. In 1988, Medvedev joined Sobchak's team of democrats and served as the de facto head of his Saint Petersburg mayoral campaign.
- After Sobchak's election, Medvedev worked in the mayor's office as a legal expert for the International Relations Committee (IRC). Head of the committee was another former student of the mayor, Vladimir Putin.
- In November 1999, in the midst of the succession of power from Yelsin to Putin, the soon-to-be president called upon Medvedev to take a government position in Moscow. In December he became the deputy head of staff for the new president and soon after assumed the role of Putin's campaign manager for the 2000 presidential elections.
- In an attempt to clean up corruption within Gazprom (a state controlled gas producer), Putin appointed Dmitry Medvedev to chair the company's board of directors in 2000. Medvedev once again proved his competence, ending the tax evasion and asset stripping committed by Gazprom's previous management.
- In 2003 Medvedev was named presidential chief of staff, and in 2005 Putin appointed him to several high positions, including First Deputy Prime Minister. The appointment as First Deputy Prime Minister, though not official, made it fairly evident of Putin's intentions for his successor in the upcoming 2008 elections.
- On December 10, 2007, Putin made his intentions official, publicly endorsing Dmitry Medvedev as his preferred successor.
While the March 2, 2008 election went according to early pre-election opinion polls (a decisive win for Medvedev), many western observers still question the fairness of the election. Chairman of the Presidential Election Committee, Vladimir Churov (friend and colleague of Medvedev and Putin from their days working in Sobchak's administration), suspiciously denied participation to the two leading opposition candidates. Furthermore, European monitors cried fowl at the apparent abuse of administrative resources which were used to monopolize TV coverage for Medvedev and Medvedev alone.
Dmitry Medvedev Facts
Russian Name: Дмитрий Медведев
Date of Birth: September 14, 1965
Place of Birth: Leningrad (St. Petersburg), USSR
Spouse: Svetlana Medvedeva
Children: Ilya Medvedev