The election of Dmitri Medvedev as the new president of the Russian Federation came as no surprise. He was championed by the outgoing incumbent Vladimir Putin, and his campaign had an effective media monopoly.
Medvedev is presented as a liberal. But being a liberal in economic policies is one thing – being a liberal in terms of human rights and democracy is another.
Putin has presided over an increasingly repressive state with an intensely nationalist agenda. It is widely suggested he will continue to wield effective power behind the scenes.
During his election campaign Medvedev made a highly publicised visit to Serbia to show support for its opposition to the US backed declaration of Kosovan independence.
This is a continuation of a more aggressive stance as a new Cold War develops with the US.
Some argue that a resurgent Russia can act as a balance to US power. Yet neither Putin or Medvedev have anything to offer those fighting war and oppression. Their aim is to create a downsized version of the old Soviet empire.
The old slogan “Neither Washington nor Moscow” is a better guide to where anti-war activists should stand.