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Medvedev Gives Putin Lip

He's Vladimir Putin's handpicked successor and typically assumed to be a loyal extension of the prime minister, but Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has surprised observers by biting the hand that feeds him and criticizing his predecessor recently. On Sunday, Medvedev blamed Prime Minister Putin's government for lagging behind in dealing with the economic crisis, saying “We have to acknowledge that at the present moment planned measures are being fulfilled more slowly than expected and, most important, more slowly than the current situation demands.” Last month, Medvedev also said that he had "final responsibility for what happens in the country," which some interpreted as a shot at Putin. American leaders have barely acknowledged that Medvedev replaced Putin as president, generally referring to Prime Minister Putin as the de-facto head honcho of the increasingly autocratic government.