Michael Idov is the editor of Russia! magazine. He writes about the country for TNR.  

Leonid Bershidsky, one of Russia ’s leading business writers, points out (link in Russian) how, last month, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gave a speech denouncing a large mining company for skirting its tax obligations. (The former president's address also introduced the country’s hottest new catchphrase: “Where’s the margin?”). Russia ’s leading stock index, RTS, immediately dropped by five percent. A week later, current president Dmitri Medvedev assumed the role of the good cop and called on the government to “stop hounding businesses.” The RTS index rose by one sixth of one percent.

And there you have it: Putin is exactly 8.3 times more powerful than Medvedev.

--Michael Idov

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