Rough Day for Prime Ministers

Russia tests 'dad of all bombs' - similar to a nuke without harming the environment...great

Putin, in a surprise dissolves Russian government

Ok, so after seeing these headlines I had to did a bit deeper. U.S. news tends to like sensationalist headlines. This necessitated a forray with my Russian dictionary and a search of non-US/UK sources, but in the end did provide a slightly different spin on things.

Putin didn't just dissolve the Russian government. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov resigned ‘due to upcoming political events,’ he wasn't dismissed. While we cannot know if Putin asked him to resign in order to prevent him from being seen as Putin's choice to succeed him next spring, it's not like Putin just dissolved the government. In Russia, whenever the PM steps down the government is automatically dissolved. The real surprise to me was that Russian President Vladimir Putin nominated the head of the country's financial regulator, Viktor Zubkov, for the post of prime minister. This guy is a political nobody and is not really a clear choice for succession to the presidency. Well, that is unless Putin intends to put a puppet in place for a term and then return to office, effectively becoming a rotational president for life. If that is the intention then this appointment makes total sense. Putin is wildly popular among Russians, having brought stability and relative prosperity after his predecessor, Boris Yeltsin. As a result, many Russian's don't want him to leave office, despite what the constitution says. With former colleagues describing Zubkov with words like, "He did not generate ideas. He was someone who carried out instructions.", if Putin is looking for a yes man to succeed him for a few years, maintain the current status of things, etc. his announcement might not be so surprising after all.

And now the Japanese Prime Minister is gone too? Wow! Rough day for prime minsters world wide. We'll see if Gordon Brown lasts the night.
Japan's prime minister in shock resignation