The method behind the moves
Vladimir Putin, the present President of Russian Federation, maintained throughout his life a very upward and forward-looking policy which gave him much name and fame not only in the country but across the globe and as a result he remained either Prime Minister or President of the country for the last 24 years without any break or gap. Although, he started his career as a foreign intelligence officer in the KGB and after serving for 16 years, in 1990 he resigned to become adviser of the Mayor of the Saint Petersburg where he served the institution in different capacities and in March 1994 became first deputy head of the city administration, getting a major breakthrough in 1996 when elected the Mayor of St Petersburg. The same year in June he was called on by Moscow to be made deputy chief of the Presidential Staff of Boris Yeltsin where he remained till May 1998 when he was made First Deputy Chief of Presidential Staff and going a step further was 1999 appointed acting Prime Minister after the sack of the government led by Sergei Stepashin.
Now, his phase of top political began, as when Boris Yeltsin resigned he became President of the Russian Federation and as a result of his policy and performance re-elected twice as President then and in 2004. From 2008 to 2012 he served as Prime Minister under the Presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, when term limits prevented from contesting again, but Putin returned to power in 2012 as President of Russia. After being re-elected as President in 2018, in 2021 through a referendum and constitutional amendment his potential term of Presidency was extended up to 2036.
In the last 22 years, during his prime ministerial and presidential terms beginning in 2000, the most significant contribution of Vladimir Putin to the Russian Federation is related to the increase of the country’s potential in all walks of life- from the economy to military and general administration. His first term of office as President was devoted to making the country’s economy sound and it grew with an average of 7 percent per year but in succeeding years it improved further because of economic reforms he implemented and the five-times increase of the price of oil and gas.
In the period he prepared a new group of business magnates, such as Gennady Timchenko, Vladimir Yakunin, Yuriy Kovalchuk and Sergey Chemezov, and also established close personal relations with them to move the nation forward smoothly. In the same phase he continued to reform the faults in legal system, land tax arrangements, Russian press, and international media, although he devoted lots of his time in handling and finishing his political opponents and successfully ended the oligarchs of the Yeltsin era. He was victorious against the politically ambitious people who were jealous of his power as well as position which gave the nation ultimately a consolidated form of administrative stability when in May 2000 issued an order which divided the federal subjects of Russia in 89 heads and 7 districts to maintain the federal structure of the constitution.
Likewise, the second term of his office which began on 14 March 2004 with 71 percent votes received in the presidential election. He made some changes in the preferential order of the nation and new National Priority Projects were initiated with focus on health care, education, housing and agriculture. In those sectors while wages of employees were increased significantly, for the betterment of working efficiency, it was decided to purchase modernized equipment in both sectors in 2006 and 2007. It also followed another scheme for enhancing maternity benefits along with state-supported parental care for women, under the demographic programmes of the government.
From the beginning of his regime the first and foremost aim of Putin’s policy and strategic design was to re-establish Kremlin’s lost power, position and the might at national and international levels it availed in the post-World War two phase when it strongly stood against another superpower, the USA,as a superpower of equal potentiality. According to him the worst chapter of Russian history was the disintegration of the earlier USSR in the early 1990s which undermined its prestige across the world and while regaining the lost power, power and influence, it became essential first to expand the territories of the present Russian Federation.
In line with this, he first tackled the unrest of Chechnya which erupted after the adoption of a constitution which accepted the republic as a part of Russia, and where the Russian Federation openly supported pro-Kremlin elements which helped stabilize the situation along with restoring the control of federal Chechnya.
As Vladimir Putin had made a lot of reforms in military and police, under the premiership of Putin when Dmitry Medvedev was President, Russia got a victory against its war with Georgia. At the time Russia defeated Georgia, a common ally of US and the NATO, it was the phase of great global recession when its economy was badly affected by the flow of cheap Western credit and investments. This however was controlled and managed by the previous capital accumulation and strong anti-crisis measures which were considered by many including the World Bank, as one of the achievements of Putin’s regime. It paved the way for Putin’s third term as President beginning in 2012 which he won in the month of March by getting 63 percent of the total votes polled.
Gradually Putin became very powerful in national politics and his influences spread across the globe in the passingyears and the day he assumed office on 7 May 2012, he issued 14 Presidential decrees which detailed goals of Russian economy, education, housing, skilled-labour, relations with the European Union, defence industry, and inter-ethnic relations.
In this phase too, Putin’s policy of expanding Russia’s territorial area and restoring hegemony over the foreigner Soviet republics remained active, which compelled him to initiate several military incursions into Ukrainian territory and to annex Crimea and Sevastopol into the Russian Federation after conducting a referendum there on the issue.
In 2014 an anti-Russian government took over in Ukraine. Kremlin, began fomenting anti-Ukraine elements in the country and extended them required support by all possible means, especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics which were recognized by the Russian Federation as separate states in response to the current Russia-Ukraine war that has been going on since February 2022. Till date, all efforts to get a permanent ceasefire or end the war have failed to achieve a desired result despite global good wishes and pious intentions.
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