Medvedev, Dmitri Anatolyevich (mĕdvyĕdˈyĕf) [key], 1965–, Russian political leader, president of Russia (2008–12), b. Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He earned a doctorate in law in 1990 and was a law professor at St. Petersburg State Univ. until 1999. At the same time, he also was chief counsel (1993–99) to Ilim Pulp, a large timber company, and he became involved in local politics, working with Vladimir Putin. Following Putin's rise to prime minister of Russia in 1999, Medvedev became Putin's deputy chief of staff; when Putin was made interim president in 2000, Medvedev became deputy head of the presidential administration and then headed Putin's successful campaign for president. After serving in several government posts, Medvedev was (2002–8) chairman of Gazprom, the state-run gas company. In 2005, he also was appointed first deputy prime minister. Putin, constitutionally barred from running for a third consecutive term, endorsed Medvedev as his successor in 2007, and Medvedev was easily elected to the office in 2008. Putin, who became prime minister, remained the most powerful figure in the government. After Putin was elected to succeed Medvedev as president, he appointed Medvedev prime minister in 2012 and secured Medvedev's election as chairman of the United Russia party.
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