Dmitry Medvedev, the prominent Russian lawyer who rose to become Russia’s President during 2008-12, is now even likelier than he was before, to become the successor to Vladimir Putin. Medvedev has just been promoted to a new and permanent position in Russia as the head of Russia’s military-industrial complex, which (unlike America’s MIC that controls the U.S. Government) is majority-owned by the Russian Government and is therefore the most critically important part of the national-security side of the Government. With the steep increases in Russia’s military on account of the war in Ukraine, Russia’s MIC is more important for Russia than ever since WW II (the war against Hitler). Unlike America’s MIC, which exists in order to enrich America’s billionaires by selling their weapons (to the U.S. Government and its ‘allies’), Russia’s exists in order to protect the country — it’s a public, instead of private, asset.
But that’s not the only reason Medvedev is the likeliest person to replace Putin:
On 26 March 2012, during Obama’s campaign for re-election so as to have a second term as America’s President, his opponent, Mitt Romney, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, that “Russia, this is, without question, our number one geopolitical foe. They — they fight every cause for the world’s worst actors. The I — the idea that he has some more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling, indeed.” The ardently pro-Israel Blitzer seems to have been disturbed that Romney hadn’t said Iran was that. Romney’s response to Blitzer (so as not to lose the large pro-Israel/anti-Palestine vote) was “Of course, the greatest threat that the world faces is a nuclear Iran.” But then he went back to his main argument, which was against Obama’s announced “reset” with Russia, which Obama, speaking confidentially to Medvedev, had promised to do after the election, and was asking Medvedev to pass that message along to Putin; and, on this matter, Romney publicly condemned that Obama statement, and said: “in terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, that has the heft of the Security Council and is, of course, a — a massive nuclear power, Russia is the — the geopolitical foe and — and the — and they’re — the idea that our president is — is planning on doing something with them that he’s not willing to tell the American people before the election is something I find very, very alarming.” Romney was against negotiating with Russia (which would require privacy during such negotiations). Of course, Romney, when answering about Iran, was talking only about the possibility that Iran might acquire a nuclear weapon (and he said that Iran would be “the greatest threat that the world faces” if Iran gets nuclear weapons, whereas he posed Russia as being “OUR number one foe,” AMERICA’S (not “the world’s”) biggest enemy, without any ifs ands or buts); he said that Russia already IS “without question, our number one geopolitical foe.” Iran was a possible danger to the world, whereas Russia IS America’s #1 enemy (foe). That’s what he said. Subsequently, on 27 February 2022, CNN bannered “It’s time to admit it: Mitt Romney was right about Russia”, and thereby retroactively backed Romney’s repudiation of the idea that a U.S. President should negotiate with Russia ‘our number one foe’. (Obama had privately promised Russia private negotiations; Romney publicly condemned privacy in such negotiations. However, without privacy, international negotiations are impossible. CNN agreed with Romney; it’s clearly neoconservative, it’s clearly just a marketing organization for firms such as Lockheed Martin — part of the billionaires’ control over their Government, their biggest and most influential market.)
Subsequently, fact-checkers of the final Presidential candidates debate in 2012 gave Romney a pass when he denied, right after the debate, that he had ever said that Russia is America’s #1 geopolitical foe (as-if he hadn’t ever said it) — the ‘fact-checkers’ wanted to be on good terms with the next President regardless of which candidate would win. (Truth didn’t really count with them, but Romney had been clear that nothing should be private about negotiations with Russia, meaning that there shouldn’t BE any negotiations with Russia — and CNN actually backs that view, NOT what had been Obama’s criticism of Romney’s view). (Obama’s criticism of Romney’s view turned out to have been insincere — he privately actually agreed with Romney’s view regarding Russia. He was lying in order to win votes, because he knew that Romney’s position on that polled poorly at that time.)
That Obama-Romney fracas had occurred because on 26 March 2012, Obama had privately told Mevedev to tell Putin that, as I pointed out on 16 May 2016:
“On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved, but it’s important for him [the incoming President Putin] to give me space,” Obama was heard telling Medvedev, apparently referring to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“Yeah, I understand,” Medvedev replied.
Obama interjected, saying, “This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.”
So: Obama was telling Putin there, through Medvedev, that his next Administration would soften its stand on America’s installing in eastern Europe, near and even on Russia’s borders, missiles that are designed to disable Russia’s ability to retaliate against a U.S. nuclear first-strike — the U.S. ABM or anti-ballistic-missile system.
Obama wasn’t lying only to America’s voters [when subsequently crititicising Romney’s criticism of what Obama said in this private exchange with Medvedev]; he was shown there privately lying to Putin, by indicating to Medvedev that instead of becoming more aggressive (by his planned ABMs) against Russia in a second term, he’d become less aggressive (by negotiating with Putin about the matter — as you can see there, the nub of it was George Herbert Walker Bush’s lie to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990).
That “nub” was Putin’s demand to cancel the post-1991 additions to NATO’s membership, so that America wouldn’t be allowed to position its weaponry on Russia’s borders — so that America wouldn’t be allowed to repeat Hitler’s 1941 Operation Barbarossa invasion of Russia.
Putin knows that Obama had lied in confidence to Medvedev when Medvedev carried that hopeful message to him from Obama in March of 2012.
How much contempt and anger do both Medvedev and Putin probably feel toward Obama for his having privately promised to them, as he did there; but — as soon as becoming re-elected — did the exact opposite in everything, and especially regarding both Syria and Ukraine?
Unless Medvedev — entirely out of character for him — does something stupid, he will be Putin’s right-hand man until Putin leaves office. I can think of nobody else as having so high a likelihood to take over from Putin, especially because they’re both in the same, United Russia, political Party, and both are politically popular in Russia.
Ever since that 26 March 2012 incident, I have thought that Medvedev is Putin’s likeliest successor, but now I feel he is very likely to be, because he almost already is.