The term "tandem" was used to describe the Putin-Medvedev combination which ruled Russia from 2008 to 2012, when Medvedev was president and Putin prime minister. Many people saw Putin as the real wielder of power, with Medvedev as his puppet. Others, however, saw Medvedev as a visionary, someone who envisioned large scale schemes - even though these schemes have not yet come to fruition. At the same time, many in the West regarded Medvedev favourably, and gave him credit for raising expectations among both the elite and the middle classes in Russia in such a way as to make it difficult for the Russian state to return to its old ways. This book presents a comprehensive survey of the Medvedev presidency, covering all areas including politics, the economy, international relations and social developments. The author concludes that it is still too early to assess Medvedev's achievements definitively.
'Larry Black’s excellent book convincingly demonstrates that Dmitry Medvedev was much more than Vladimir Putin’s alter ego, contrary to what was often said in the Western press. It unquestionably helps us to understand why the announcement of his departure in favour of Putin’s return to the Presidency in the fall of 2011 led to the largest mass demonstrations in Moscow and St-Petersburg since the end of the USSR. Larry Black shows how and why many significant moves introduced by Medvedev, to modernize the economy, to reinforce the rule of law and cope with endemic corruption, did generate high hopes in Russia’s new urban middle class for much needed changes. Even if the strong relationship based on personal trust and loyalty between the two leaders allowed for Medvedev’s replacement as President and the partial reversal of many of his initiatives, Black is convinced many of these are bound to revive, one way or the other.' – Jacques Lévesque, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
'This informative and lucid study of Russia between 2008 and 2012 details the challenges that confronted the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev in his efforts to modernize the economic, political, and social life of that vast territory. Larry Black offers much in this account of the four-year Tandem, providing insights not only into domestic developments but also into Russia’s relations with neighbouring countries and the West.' – Serge Cipko, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, Canada
'As the Medvedev Presidency is receding into history, it continues to puzzle observers of Russian affairs. By providing the first comprehensive account of that period, Larry Black helps us understand the logic of Russia’s continuing political evolution, shaped by a complex and ever-changing array of domestic and international factors.' – Sergei Plekhanov, York University, Canada
'This is a benchmark assessment of an important transition period in the political, economic and social history of modern Russia. It is highly commended to scholars and students, as it offers unique apolitical insight into the nature of high politics in Russia, 2008-12. This is an indispensable asset to any serious student of Russia’s modern progress to finding its place in the world.' – Roger McDermott, Affiliated Senior Analyst, Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen
'Behind the imposing figure of Vladimir Putin, the important interregnum of Dmitry Medvedev as Russian president (2008-2012) has, unfortunately, faded into the background. Larry Black’s newest publication admirably fills this gap, providing a thorough examination not only of the genesis, character, and durability of the Putin-Medvedev ‘tandem’ but also by documenting Medvedev’s (often only partially successful or failed ) initiatives in a wide range of policy areas, including his version of ‘modernization.’ With the keen eye of a historian with indepth knowledge of Russia, Black provides students, experts, and policy-makers with a detailed account of developments in the political, economic, social, and international spheres during the Medvedev presidency that serve as a reliable and enduring reference point when assessing ongoing change in Russia.' – Joan DeBardeleben, Carleton University in Ottowa, Canada
Preface Introduction 1. The Tandem 2. The Russian Federation: Source of Strength and Weakness 3. The Political Cockpit 4. Economic Considerations 5. Themes in Foreign Affairs 6. Society, Daily Life, and the Corruption Conundrum Concluding Remarks