05 April 2005
This planned restructuring would reduce the 89 Regions of the Russian republic to a smaller number of larger regions. This is being billed as causing a "further increase in Mr. Putin's powers."
On the face of it such a consolidation might not be a bad idea under the circumstances. Just for comparison, England, France, Germany, and Italy all consolidated and streamlined their respective systems of political subdivisions at various times in more or less recent history. In each case, the reorganization was met with popular resentment to some degree, but the nations did end up with less administrative duplication of efforts.
Nonetheless, this looks to be very interesting to follow, but not much to get exercised about yet - unless Putin really DOES push things to move toward a defacto modern Czardom.