What Putin's 'Out Of Character' Abrupt Power Move Actually Means

Jasmin Gray
Russian President Vladimir Putin during his state of the nation address 

It may be a brand new decade, but the world’s so-called “super-powers” are still up to the same old tricks. 

Britain is at war with itself over whether Big Ben should bong over Brexit (yes, really), Donald Trump is in the process of being impeached over alleged dodgy dealings with Ukraine and tensions between the US and Iran are escalating. 

So of course, it was clearly time for Russia to get involved in some drama. 

On Wednesday – out of the nowhere – Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned, along with his entire government. “It was a complete surprise,” one government source told the BBC.

It came after the country’s president Vladimir Putin suggested serious and fundamental changes to the constitution – a move critics have speculated will allow him to cling on to power after he has to give up the presidency in 2024, the end of his fourth term in office. 

So, to put it lightly, things are kicking off in Russia right now. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Changes To The Constitution Has Vladimir Putin Suggested? 

In his state of the nation address on Wednesday, Putin proposed a radical shake-up of Russia’s political system. 

Among the suggested changes was the possibility of amending the constitution to give politicians – rather than the president – the power to name the prime minister and cabinet ministers. 

“It will increase the role of parliament and parliamentary parties, powers and independence of the prime minister and all cabinet members,” Putin said. 

Meanwhile, he called for an increased role for the State Council, an advisory body made up of top federal officials that he currently chairs. 

All of these changes should be put to a nationwide vote, Putin said. 

Why Does Putin Want To Change The Constitution?  

Putin has been president of Russia since 2012

OK, to summarise: Putin – the president – has suggested moves to make the president… less powerful? What gives? 

While it may look bizarre, critics reckon this is actually a bid by Putin to *retain*...

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