Second-in-command is out

Three weeks before the presidential election, Putin sacked the government. Gone is prime minister Kasyanov (a.k.a. Misha “Two Percent” Kasyanov), who saw the GDP grow by 30% in the four years of his tenure, and a flat 13% tax rate introduced. How much of that is due to the PM, and how much to luck and Putin, is hard to tell. The economy enjoyed an easy ride on the oil wave, while everyone was waiting for the unearned comfort to end. Putin is becoming a bit like good old Yeltsin in his unpredictability.

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