There have been a number of headlines about the Russian government resignation. This American ABC News article is one example. The reason I ask is that, I don't know the mechanism of the Russian political processes, and what government means in this case.

I'd like to understand what it means and a little of what it does not mean. For example, does it mean a re-election somewhere?, which is what it could mean in other countries?

  • An election would not (necessarily) be required in the UK. Theresa May resigned as leader of the Conservative Party, there was then an election for that position (which Boris Johnson won), and then she resigned as Prime Minister (which removed all the other ministers from their positions) and formally advised the Queen to ask Boris Johnson to form a government. Jan 17, 2020 at 14:15
  • @MartinBonnersupportsMonica the UK? Is the russian government laid out similarly to the UK's parliament?
    – bobsburner
    Jan 22, 2020 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


The processes regarding the Russian government are described in Chapter 6 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The articles which are most relevant to this question are 111 (appointment of the government) and 117 (resignation of the government).

In Russia, the government consists of the Prime Minister and the ministers. The ministers are appointed by the Prime Minister (who was Dmitry Medvedev until his resignation) and the Prime Minister is appointed by the President (currently Vladimir Putin) and confirmed by the Duma (the elected parliament).

When the government resigns, then the President will nominate a new Prime Minister. The Duma will vote on that nomination. When the Duma confirms the appointment, the Prime Minister will then appoint a new cabinet of ministers.

The only way how this could lead to a new election in Russia would be if the Duma rejects the candidates nominated by the President three times. In that case the Duma would get dissolved and a general election for a new one would take place.

But this is unlikely to happen this time. Putin already did nominate a new Prime Minister. The new Prime Minister of Russia will be Mikhail Mishustin (former head of the federal tax service). The Duma has not yet confirmed the appointment, but is expected to do so today (January 16th 2020) because the party United Russia which controls 341 of 450 seats in the Duma has already signaled their support for Mishustin.

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    You write, "the government consists of the Prime Minister and the ministers." and then later state, "When the government resigns, then the President will nominate a new Prime Minister." You still havent answered what it means by "the government resigns". If your latter statement meant to imply that when a PM resigns, then the "Government resigns", could you please be more explicit about that? But even then, thats still confusing because in your opening sentence you defined the government to be the Prime Minister and the ministers; but the ministers didnt resign, did they?
    – 8protons
    Jan 17, 2020 at 18:35
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    @8protons Yes. Essentially, the Chairman (the Prime Minister, if I understand correctly) resigns on behalf of the entire government, including all of the ministers. The President can then either accept or reject the resignation. When a new Prime Minister/Chairman is appointed and confirmed, they appoint the other ministers.
    – reirab
    Jan 18, 2020 at 0:06
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    You might want to edit now that Mishustin has been confirmed by the Duma/Parliament.
    – reirab
    Jan 18, 2020 at 0:14

With the last message (this link contains full speech) to the Federal Assembly, president Putin proposed some constitutional changes, main point of which - in reorganization "vertical of power" in Russia. Along with that, Putin announces changes in inner politics, especially in demographic politics.

Main point of constitutional changes - shifting government appointment from president to parliament, and so weightening role of parliament. In generally, Russia stays a strong president republic, as China, for example. Some general information about Russian structure of power can be picked from wikipedia.

What does it mean inside Russian structure of power? More responsibility for parliament. President still can fire every government member, but since now, government is appointed not by president.

As long as this is enough "shock" changes, PM D.Medvedev resigns. And then president Putin immediately appoints new PM - Mikhail Mishustin - after few hours of D.Medvedev resigns.

The main point of PM and government resigning - the sudden start of structure reforms in Russian power structure.

Main points of the message to Federal Assembly:

  • Fighting poverty - donations for poor families with children younger than 7
  • "Mother's capital" now payed not for second and above children, but now for the first child born in family too. Russian "Mother's capital" is one-time donation to the family for the child born. In 2019 it was 453,026 rubles (about 7300 US dollars). Along with it, there are some month donations, but they are lower and vary in different regions.
  • Investments stimulation for real economics with lowering tax on income for companies.

What does it mean to other countries? In fact, nothing. This message to Federal Assembly was nearly fully about inner politics. Of course there are some words about US, as main political opponent, but not very much.

What is next in terms of political procedures? All along to wikipedia - President appoints new ministers. New PM was appointed few hours after previous PM resigns.

For readers, opposite to Russian political system - I respect your point of view, but I doubt if such constitutional changes directly mean "grabbing power by a dictator". You surely may make proposals, and then make considerations over your proposals. But it looks like more a conspiracy than interpretation of an event.

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    is there any indication that Putin is grabbing more power for himself? or the reverse? is this partly motivated by him running up against the 2 term limits? sure, fighting poverty sounds good, but is this what this is really about? Jan 16, 2020 at 8:35
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    This answer doesn't really respond to what the question was actually asking. The question was asking about the procedural consequences of the government resigning. It did not ask anything about the proposed constitutional reform which (apparently) triggered their resignation.
    – Philipp
    Jan 16, 2020 at 9:30
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    @Philipp, misunderstood, I've been sure, that question was about origins of resign. :/ Will update answer a bit later Jan 16, 2020 at 9:35
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    – Philipp
    Jan 16, 2020 at 9:59
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    @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica Looks like some power is shifted from the president towards the parliament ("Duma"). Generally, less power for the next president (and even for Putin, if he keeps the office for the rest of his term).
    – fraxinus
    Jan 16, 2020 at 16:33

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