Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev (Russian: Дми́трий Анато́льевич Медве́дев, tr. Dmitriy Anatolyevich Medvedev; IPA: [ˈdmʲitrʲɪj ɐnɐˈtolʲjɪvʲɪtɕ mʲɪˈdvʲedʲɪf] born 14 September 1965) is the tenth and current Prime Minister of Russia, incumbent since 2012. He previously served as the third President of Russia, from 2008 to 2012. When he took office at the age of 42, he was the youngest of the three Russian Presidents who have served.
Born to a family of academics, Medvedev graduated from the Law Department of Leningrad State University in 1987. He defended his dissertation in 1990 and worked as a docent at his alma mater, now renamed to Saint Petersburg State University, where he taught civil and Roman law until 1999. Medvedev’s political career began as the election campaign manager and later an adviser of St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak. During this time, Medvedev befriended Vladimir Putin. In November 1999, Medvedev was hired in the Russian presidential administration, where he worked as deputy chief of staff. In the 2000 Presidential elections, Medvedev was Putin’s campaign manager. On 14 November 2005, Medvedev was appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and was tasked with overseeing National Priority Projects. He also worked as the Chairman of Gazprom‘s board of directors, a post which he held until 2008.
On 10 December 2007, Medvedev was informally endorsed as a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections by four political parties: United Russia, Fair Russia, Agrarian Party of Russia and Civilian Power, and was officially endorsed by United Russia on 17 December 2007. Medvedev’s candidacy was backed by the popular outgoing President Vladimir Putin, giving a significant boost to his popularity. The 2008 presidential election, held on 2 March 2008, was won by Medvedev with 70.28% of the popular vote, and he was inaugurated on 7 May 2008. Although he did not run for a second term as President, Medvedev was appointed Prime Minister by Putin, who won the 2012 presidential election. On 26 May 2012 he also was appointed officially as the Leader of United Russia Party.
Widely regarded as more liberal than his predecessor, Medvedev’s top agenda as President was a wide-ranging modernisation programme, aiming at modernising Russia’s economy and society, and lessening the country’s reliance on oil and gas. During Medvedev’s tenure, Russia emerged victorious in the 2008 South Ossetia war and recovered from the late-2000s recession. Recognising corruption as one of Russia’s most severe problems, Medvedev has launched an anti-corruption campaign and initiated a substantial law enforcement reform. In foreign policy, his main achievements include the signing of the New START treaty, a “reset” of the Russia – United States relations which were severely strained following Russia’s war with Georgia, as well as increasing Russia’s cooperation with the BRICS-countries, as well as the Russia‘s admission into the WTO in 2011.
On 7 May 2012, the same day he ceased to be the President of Russia, Dimitry Medvedev was nominated by President Vladimir Putin to the office of Prime Minister. On 8 May 2012, the State Duma of the Russian Federation voted on the nomination submitted by the new President, and confirmed the choice of Medvedev to the post. Putin’s United Russia party, now led by Medvedev, secured a majority of the Duma’s seats in the 2011 legislative election, winning 49% of the vote, and 238 of the 450 seats. Medvedev’s nomination to the office of Prime Minister was approved by the State Duma in a 299–144 vote. With becoming prime minister he was the first man from the presidential administration to become the Prime Minister.
Medvedev took office as Prime Minister of Russia also on 8 May 2012, after President Vladimir Putin signed the decree formalizing his appointment to the office.
On 19 May 2012 Dmitry Medvedev took part in G-8 Summit in Camp David, USA, replacing President Putin, who decided not to represent Russia in the summit. Medvedev was the first Prime Minister to represent Russia in G-8, instead the President of Russia. On 21 May 2012 his Cabinet was appointed and approved by the President. On 26 May, he was approved and officially appointed as the Chairman of United Russia, the ruling Party. Earlier in the same week Medvedev was officially joined to the party and thereby became Russia’s first prime minister affiliated to a political party.
During his 1st year as Prime Minister, Medvedev has presided over tough legislation against smoking in public places in Russia, increases in prices of alcoholic beverages, and stricter punishment for drunk drivers. However, he was criticized for not opposing legislation against homosexuals in Russia.