Scenes from a Bromance

In an amazing photo essay at Foreign Policy, web editor Joshua Keating takes a look back at Russia’s most enduring political alliance – the bond between Russia’s neo-Czar Vladimir Putin and his protege, technocrat and current President Dmitry Medvedev.

Keating asks, “Vova and Dima 4eva?

In related reporting at FP, the magazine has heard some rumblings of a feud between the two. It seems Putin is ready to take back the Presidency from his designated heir, and Medvedev might not be so down with that…

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev raised doubts Tuesday that he and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin were working together to determine who will run for president in 2012.

Speaking at the Valdai conference of Russia experts in Moscow, Medvedev responded to Putin’s comments last week, when the prime minister told attendees, “We’re people of the same blood, with the same political views,” referring to the president. “When it comes to 2012, we’ll work it out together.”

“We’ll have a test to see whether we have the same blood type,” said Medvedev, indicating that he might not be a fan of Putin’s aspirations to seek a third term so soon.

Georgetown University scholar Angela E. Stent, who attended both speeches, said that Medvedev’s comments introduced even greater ambiguity into the process and were a clear signal that the two Russian leaders were not on the exact same page.

“One comes away with the impression that anything could happen in 2012,” she said in an interview with The Cable from Moscow. “It’s definitely an open question.”

Piotr Dutkiewicz, director of the Institute for European Studies at Ottowa’s Carleton University, called in from Moscow to relay an additional Medvedev quote: “I have to take my own interests into account in the potential deal [about the 2012 elections],” the president said.

Dutkiewicz said that while it was probably too early to game out the election politics, Putin clearly has the upper hand because his political ratings are higher, but Medvedev has plenty of time to prove some successes on the ground and make a run.

“Putin has all the ties with oil and gas industry, so he controls the flow of money to the Russian Federation’s coffers,” Dutkiewicz added.

ROTI might be a little biased on this one – our obsession with Putin, the most entertaining leader in the world, is well documented – but I strongly urge Medvedev: don’t rock the boat, bro.

Just think of all the good times you dudes have had together…how can you possibly break up this dream team??

Here’s the duo jammin’ on the one while triple-fisting cocktails at a Kremlin hootenanny.

Putin is telling their dinner companion, “You best respect Dmitry, because he’s the reincarnation of a Buddhist goddess. I’m 100% serious. White Tara in the house! “

This is from the time that Putin and Medvedev made a surprise appearance at a rock concert.

No doubt they engaged in a big backstage argument about what truly constitutes an epic jam. While these two Russky leaders are in tune on a lot of issues, music is one place where they really diverge.

As ROTI has reported in the past, Putin is obsessed with the music of ABBA. Meanwhile, Medvedev loves Deep Purple and had them perform a concert for him in Moscow.

OK, I have to take Dmitry’s side on this one — “Smoke on the Water” is one of the dankest basslines of all time…but ABBA has put together some nice grooves too, like “Fernando” and “Gimme Gimme Gimme.”

Agree to disagree?

Here are the dudes on a little ski trip this past winter. Male bonding through sports is the best!

Putin is a certified badass athlete, having made his own judo video, among other exploits.

Medvedev is dorkier and less studly, but only in the context of Russian manliness — he works out for two hours a day.

Basically, either of these guys could kick my ass with one hand tied behind their backs. Then they’d hear you laugh at me and kick YOUR ass just to teach you a well-deserved lesson.

Bros’ night out! Here are the dudes hitting the town in Sochi, a Black Sea resort where they like to get their mack on.

These guys are an unstoppable combination when they set their sights on a toothsome dame. Putin is the alpha male, he’ll drop a few “negs” and act disinterested, while charming wingman Dmitry chats up the less attractive best friend..

Next thing the ladies know, they’re passing each other in the hallway after nailing one and preparing for round 2 with the other.

These guys aren’t too insecure to take a page from the playbook of other famous bros.

Here we see them cruising around in an electric car, a move they no doubt gleaned from the antics of the legendary Leo and his “Pussy Posse.” (Note: that article has a funny item about Susan Sarandon and her then-teen daughter Eva, who has now grown up into…quite a lady.)

However, even when these guys deign to offer a bro-homage, they still take it up a notch.

“We’ll see your electric car, di Caprio…and raise you an adorable Golden.”

Later that day, the homies let the immortal words of The Upper Crust dictate their leisure time activities…

“Croquet’s gay, golf is only OK.
Tennis is too strenuous, and that’s why we play bad…minton.”

There’s little doubt that Putin and Medvedev are among the world’s most inspirational BFFs.

Hopefully they won’t let a silly power struggle come between them…

Let’s face it, Medvedev seems cool and all, but know your role, man. Stay in your lane.

No matter who you are, it’s extremely inadvisable to step to Putin.

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