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Dmitry Medvedev (born 14.09.1965) - Russian president.

  / Dmitry Medvedev photoDmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) is a Russian politician, President-elect of Russia and the country's current First Deputy Prime Minister. He was elected President of Russia on March 2, 2008. According to final election results, he won 70.28% of votes with the turnout of over 69.78% of registered voters. The official result of the election was proclaimed on March 7, when Medvedev formally became Russia's president-elect. He is expected to take office on May 7, 2008.

He was appointed first deputy prime minister of the Russian government on November 14, 2005. Formerly Vladimir Putin's chief of staff, he is also the Chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, a post he has held (for the second time) since 2000. On December 10, 2007, he was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by the largest Russian political party, United Russia, and officially endorsed on December 17, 2007. Medvedev's candidacy was supported by incumbent president Vladimir Putin and pro-presidential parties. A technocrat and political appointee, Medvedev has never held elective office before 2008.

Dmitry Medvedev was born to a family of university teachers and brought up in Kupchino, a proletarian district of Leningrad.

He graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987 (together with Ilya Yeliseyev, Anton Ivanov, Nikolay Vinnichenko and Konstantin Chuychenko) and in 1990 received his PhD in private law from the same university. Anatoly Sobchak, an early democratic politician of the 1980s and 1990s, was one of his professors, and Medvedev later participated in Sobchak's successful Saint Petersburg mayoral campaign. In 1990 he worked in Leningrad Municipal Soviet of People's Deputies. Between 1991 and 1999 he worked as a docent at his old university, now renamed Saint Petersburg State University.

In 1991 - 1996 Medvedev worked as a legal expert for the International Relations Committee (IRC) of the Saint Petersburg Mayor's Office headed by Vladimir Putin. According to the research of critics of Putin's regime, Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky, the committee was involved in numerous business activities including gambling. The connection with gambling business was established through a municipal enterprise called "Neva Chance" "Neva Chance" became a co-owner of the city gambling establishments with an authorized capital usually of 51%. The mayor's office contributed its share not in money, but "by relinquishing the right to collect rent for the facilities that the casinos occupied". The authors concluded that Medvedev "was one of the first people ... in Russia as a whole, who figured out how the government could "join" a joint stock company without breaking existing laws: not by contributing land or real estate, but by contributing rents on land and real estate."

In November 1993, Medvedev became the legal affairs director of Ilim Pulp Enterprise, a St. Petersburg-based timber company. This enterprise was initially registered as a limited liability partnership, and then re-registered as a closed joint stock company Fincell, "50% of whose shares were own by Dmitry Medvedev" In 1998, he was also elected a member of the board of directors of the Bratskiy LPK paper mill. He worked for Ilim Pulp until 1999.

In November 1999 Medvedev became one of several St. Petersburgers brought by Vladimir Putin to top government positions in Moscow. In December of the same year he was appointed deputy head of the presidential staff.

Dmitry Medvedev became one of the politicians closest to President Putin, and during the 2000 elections he was head of the presidential election campaign headquarters. From 2000 to 2001, Medvedev was chair of Gazprom's board of directors. He was then deputy chair from 2001 to 2002. In June of 2002, Medvedev became chair of Gazprom's board of directors for a second time. In October 2003, he replaced Alexander Voloshin as presidential chief of staff. In November 2005, he was appointed by President Vladimir Putin as First Deputy Prime Minister, First Deputy Chairman of the Council for Implementation of the Priority National Projects attached to the President of the Russian Federation, and Chairman of the Council's Presidium.

A mild-mannered person, Dmitry Medvedev is considered to be a moderate liberal pragmatic, an able administrator and a loyalist of Putin. He is also known as a leader of "the clan of St.Petersburg lawyers", one of political groups formed around Vladimir Putin during his presidency. Other members of this group are the co-owner of the Ilim Pulp Corporation Dmitry Kozak, speaker of Russian Federation Council Sergei Mironov, Yuri Molchanov, and head of Putin's personal security service Viktor Zolotov.

2008 presidential elections
Following his appointment as First Deputy Prime Minister, many political observers expected Medvedev to be nominated as Putin's successor for the 2008 presidential elections. There were other potential candidates, such as Sergey Ivanov and Viktor Zubkov, but on December 10, 2007, President Putin announced that Medvedev was his preferred successor. Four parties supporting Putin also declared Medvedev to be their candidate to the post - United Russia, Fair Russia, Agrarian Party of Russia and Civilian Power. United Russia held its party congress on December 17, 2007 where by secret ballot of the delegates, Medvedev was officially endorsed as their candidate in the 2008 presidential election. He formally registered his candidacy with the Central Election Commission on December 20, 2007 and said he would step down as chairman of Gazprom, since under the current laws, the president is not permitted to hold another post. Sources close to Gazprom and Medvedev have told the Vedomosti newspaper that Medvedev may be replaced by Putin at Gazprom. His registration was formally accepted as valid by the Russian Central Election Commission on January 21, 2008.

Political analysts believe that Putin's choice of a successor would coast to an easy election-day victory, as pre-election opinion polls have indicated that a substantial majority of potential voters will back Putin's chosen candidate for president. An opinion poll by Russias independent polling organization, the Levada Center, conducted over the period December 21-24, 2007 indicated that when presented a list of potential candidates, 79% of Russians were ready to vote for Medvedev if the election were immediately held. In his first speech since he was endorsed, Medvedev announced that, as President, he would appoint Vladimir Putin to the post of prime minister to head the Russian government. Although constitutionally barred from a third consecutive presidential term, such a role would allow Putin to continue as an influential figure in Russian politics (the constitution also allows him to return to the presidency later). Some analysts have been quick to point out that such a statement shows that Medvedev recognizes that he would only be a figurehead president. Putin has pledged that he would accept the position of prime minister should Medvedev be elected president. Although Putin has pledged not to change the distribution of authority between president and prime minister, many analysts are expecting a shift in the center of power from the presidency to the prime minister post should Putin assume the latter under a Medvedev presidency. Election posters have portrayed the pair side-by-side with the slogan "Together we will win".

In January 2008, Medvedev launched his presidential campaign with stops in the regions. With preliminary results showing he would probably win the March 2, 2008 presidential election by a landslide, Medvedev vowed to work closely with the man who tapped him for the job, President Vladimir Putin.

Prior to the election, British news outlet The Guardian quoted Marina Dashenkova of the GOLOS Association, Renat Suleymanov of the Communist party in Novosibirsk, Vladimir Bespalov of the Vladivostok parliament and others accusing the Russian government of pressuring government employees and students to vote. However, Russia Today reported that few of the election monitors in attendance found this to be the case.

The GOLOS Association stated that "the Election Day was held in a relatively quiet atmosphere in contrast to the State Duma election day. Such large-scale violations observed then as campaigning next to polling stations, transporting of voters, intimidation of voters and others were practically non-existent."

According to observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Russia's 2008 presidential election probably reflected what would have been the will of voters had the election been completely free and fair, but questioned the fairness of the poll.Andreas Gross, head of the group from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said the vote was a "reflection of the will of the electorate whose democratic potential unfortunately has not been tapped." and questioned fairness of the vote due to unfair media access adding the election "repeats most of the flaws seen in the parliamentary elections last December."

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe member Bernard Perego confirmed the election met international standards. After we discussed what we saw, we came to the conclusion that the election was excellent in the way it was organized and that it met Western standards, Perego said.

Fellow Council member Andreas Gross, who headed the Council delegation to Russia, stated; "We think there is not freedom in this election".

Germany and France made clear the vote did not meet their criteria for a democratic election, but alongside Britain and the European Union they congratulated Medvedev on a victory they said appeared to reflect the will of the Russian people.

In December 2005 Medvedev was named Person of the Year by Expert magazine, an influential and respected Russian business weekly. He shared the title in 2005 with Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom.

Dmitry Medvedev is married and has a son named Ilya (b. 1996). His wife, Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva nee Linnik, was both his childhood friend and school sweetheart. They wed several years after their graduation from secondary school in 1982. Medvedev is one of the authors of a textbook on civil law for universities first published in 1991 (the 6th edition of Civil Law. In 3 Volumes. was published in 2007) and is regarded as "brilliant" by many civil law scholars. He is the author of a textbook for universities entitled, Questions of Russia's National Development, first published in 2007, concerning the role of the Russian state in social policy and economic development. He is also the lead coauthor of a book of legal commentary entitled, A Commentary on the Federal Law "On the State Civil Service of the Russian Federation", scheduled for publication in 2008. This work considers the Russian Federal law on the Civil service, which went into effect on July 27, 2004, from multiple perspectives - scholarly, jurisprudential, practical, enforcement- and implementation-related.

Medvedev has often represented himself as a devoted fan of hard rock, listing Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin as his favorite bands. He is a collector of their original vinyl records and has previously said that he has collected all of the recordings of Deep Purple. As a youth, he was making copies of their records, although these bands were then on the official state-issued blacklist. In February 2008, Medvedev and Sergey Ivanov attended a Deep Purple concert in Moscow together.

Medvedev stands 162 centimeters (5'4") in height.

Despite a busy schedule, he always reserves an hour each morning and again each evening to swim and lift weights. He swims 1,500 meters (approximately 0.93 miles), twice a day. He also jogs, plays chess, and practices yoga. Among his hobbies are reading the works of Mikhail Bulgakov, and following his hometown professional soccer team, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.

He keeps an aquarium in his office and cares for his fish himself.

He is a fan of an Internet slang dialect common among Russian youth, Olbanian, and even suggested it should be studied in schools to promote greater literacy in the Internet and modern culture in Russia.



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