Last week Vladimir Putin was inaugurated as President of Russia for the fourth time. Government reshuffles followed as anticipated and will continue over the next few weeks.

The most important announcement - about the new Cabinet of Ministers - has already been made by Prime Minister Medvedev who managed to retain his position for a second term. Not only will the new team shape the policies of the next presidential term, but it will also be key to how power will transition in 2024.

Shadow Governance Intel looks at who is in and who is out of the new government, and explains what new appointments reveal about the power balance within Russia’s elite groups.

Key Points

  • Reshuffling is a result of elite infighting that has emerged over the past few years, confirmed by the absence of new faces in the Cabinet.
  • Dmitry Medvedev managed to retain his position despite his decreased influence and last year’s corruption scandal. However, some of his closest allies within the government have lost their positions. This indicates that the decision to keep Medvedev in power is a result of a compromise, and that the position of prime minister will largely remain technical.
  • The removal of some high-profile power players from the Cabinet of Ministers demonstrates the Kremlin’s intolerance for public mistakes and inefficiency; while new appointments confirm the trend towards promoting (younger) technocrats.
  • Overall, if approved by the President, the new configuration of the Cabinet of Ministers will be very similar to that of Putin’s first two presidential terms.