Putin in 2012 - by Stephen Lendman
Putin is odds on favorite to be elected Russia's president again in 2012.
Currently he's United Russia's Prime Minister, serving with President Dmitry Medvedev.
From May 7, 2000 - May 7, 2008, he was Russia's second President, succeeding Boris Yeltsin, a man known for destructive "shock therapy" that created shocking levels of poverty and social inequality.
After he resigned on the last day of 1999, Putin became acting president, knowing 1990s policies were no longer acceptable. As a candidate, he promised corrective measures, saying:
"I am convinced that the defining feature of the new century will not be a battle of ideologies, but a sharp competition over the quality of life, national wealth and progress."
His agenda included:
- rule of law principles under which corporate and private interests no longer would get special privileges the way oligarchs did under Yeltsin. Perhaps not as much, but social inequality is still extreme.
- reawakening "national dignity," wanting Russia to be "a self-confident (potentially) great power; and
- economic recovery, including elimination extreme poverty and economic crime; calling Russia "a rich country of poor people," he said "there (cannot) be a superpower where weakness and poverty reign."