With elections for the Russian presidency due in March 2008 the prospective candidates for the top job are making their moves, particularly Dmitry Medvedev. The first vice premier took his charm offensive into cyberspace hosting a two hour Internet conference. The 41-year old used the opportunity to stamp his liberal views on the burning issues of the day. Soaring real estate prices, medical care and the pros and cons of religious teaching in schools cropped up.
With an eye on the youth vote Medvedev spent time defending “Olbansky” a corrupted form of Russian that’s enraging language purists but has become accepted as Internet jargon. On one subject he remained silent, weather or not he intends to run for president when Vladimir Putin’s second term, his last, according to law, comes to an end.
The man those in the know think will take on Medvedev is another vice premier the hawkish former defence minister Sergei Ivanov. Ivanov a close Putin associate not only controls the country’s military-industrial complex but also innovations in Russian economy.