The Russian strongman is back! Valdimir Putin reclaimed his position as Russia’s commander-in-chief in an emotional and vehement presidential victory speech on Sunday.
Fifty-nine-year-old Putin held office – as an imposing and arguably inspirational leader – between 2000 and 2008, renouncing his leadership due to constitutional limitations preventing a third consecutive term. Ally Dimitry Medvedev replaced Putin on the understanding that he would not run for a second term, therefore paving the way for Putin’s return in 2012.
Given Putin’s previous public relations tendencies – elaborately generating and maintaining an image of toughness, authority and control – is Russia’s much-talked-about military spending set to increase following his emphatic return to power?
Putin’s strong words directed at his, and Russia’s, doubters suggest that increased military spending is a possibility, as he looks to reassert his political dominance: “We showed that no one and nothing can tell us what to do. We were able to save ourselves from political provocations that have just one aim: to overturn the Russian state and usurp power. Such attempts will not succeed on our land. They won’t succeed!”