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Russian Leaders Do Some Role Swapping

Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images(MOSCOW) -- Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is getting ready to assume the presidency again on May 7 after having previously held that position.

The current president, Dmitry Medvedev, isn't exactly heading for retirement.  He'll become Russia's next prime minister.

Basically, these guys have just swapped jobs, an agreement that isn't sitting well with many Russians who feel like they're living back in the days of the old USSR when this kind of thing was commonplace.

Even more harrowing was Medvedev's declaration during an interview that he and Putin would be on the top of the roost "for a long time."

Still, that means that Medvedev is the number two man, which political observers say was the case anyway during his four-year tenure, with Putin really the one pulling the strings.

Asked if he was depressed about the demotion to prime minister, Medvedev responded, "When I get into a bad mood I do sports and then everything’s OK.  And then I go and make decisions, however painful they may be."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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