the five Ws

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 March, 2008, 12:00am

Your primer to an issue in the news

Who?

Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin's protege Dmitry Medvedev has been elected Russia's new leader after a landslide victory saw him take more than 70 per cent of the votes.

When?

The two men have known each other for more than 17 years. Medvedev headed Putin's election campaign in 2000. He was made Putin's Chief of Staff in 2003 and First Deputy Prime Minister in 2005.

What?

What are Medvedev's political goals? He has vowed to continue Putin's work - a task which should not prove difficult, as the two men will continue to work together with Putin as Prime Minister.

Where?

Reactions around the world have been muted. Britain said it would 'judge the new government on its actions', France said the EU and Russia had to start a new dialogue and the US said it was looking 'forward to working with' Medvedev.

Why?

Why are outsiders worried? Election observers say there were flaws in the election process, limiting Russia's potential for democracy. For example, candidates were denied equal access to the media.

How?

How will the new presidency affect the way Russia is run? Some critics believe Medvedev is just acting as Putin's pawn until he can run again in 2012. They believe Putin wants to redefine the role of prime minister and will remain Medvedev's mentor.

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