Sanjuro detailed for us some events that have led him to suggest that times are really changing in Russia:Interesting things are apparently happening in Russia. . . . it appears that Putin has finally began to fade as the political strongman, and Medvedev is slowly and somewhat reluctantly showing glimpse of independence.Only glimpses so far, but the liberal opposition and the online intelligentsia seem to find some inspiration in that, although they haven't taken any active steps. For now, it's just the online discussions that are sort of picking up, compared to what was seen in 2001-2008. There's growing realization that the fat years are finally over, and that the lean years are here to stay. I guess that's the reason that is forcing the society to at least demonstrate some (marginal) willingness to engage in reconciliation.
- Journalist Svetlana Bakhmina, an ex-Yukos accountant, was released from jail early.
- Mr. Medvedev mentioned his intention to start a blog on LiveJournal.
- Scores of federal and regional level official have rushed to declare their incomes.
- Vladimir Pronin, a supposedly "untouchable" Moscow police chief was fired by Medvedev.
NY Times has published an article that looks at this issue.