Pro-Kremlin pundit and state media head Dmitry Kiselyov says Putin thinks constantly about grooming a successor, and that's perfectly normal
Vladimir Putin spends all his waking hours thinking about grooming a successor, pro-Kremlin TV pundit and “Rossiya Segodnya” state news agency CEO Dmitry Kiselyov told an audience of first-year journalism students in an unscheduled lecture at Moscow State University this week. Footage of Kisleyov’s remarks was published on October 23 by the news website RBC.
“It [would be] irresponsible for him to go, storming out without leaving a successor. I think any responsible politician should ensure the continuity of authority,” Kiselyov said, arguing that it’s “a normal worldwide tradition” for leaders to choose their own successors, while stressing that voters should then weigh in on these decisions. He told the room of journalism students that Barack Obama selected Hillary Clinton just as Boris Yeltsin picked Vladimir Putin. The difference, Kiselyov claimed, was how voters responded.
As noted by RBC, President Putin has himself acknowledged that he thinks about his successor. “Of course, the current leader always supports someone, and this support can be substantive if the person supported has the respect and trust of the people, but in the end, the choice is always made by the Russian people,” Putin told The Financial Times in an interview this July. In a live television appearance last year, the president also said he’s “always” thinking about finding the right person to follow him, remarking that “a new generation of managers” has emerged that will be capable of “taking on responsibility” for the country.