The rivalry between Medvedev-Putin is out in the open. Both Russian leaders have already laid out in public their discordant views as regards the sanctions against Iran, the Khodorkovsky trial and, latterly, the war against Libya. The release of their pre-electoral programmes will be an opportunity for venting their mutual gripes.

On 15 March 2011, Dmitry Medvedev’s think-tank, Institute of Contemporary Development, published a report entitled "Attaining the future: Strategy for 2012" (found here in Russian). The central theme is the need for more democratization (alluding to the post-authoritarian period under Putin).

On 26 March, the Center of Conservative and Social Policy, close to Vladimir Putin, issued a copycat report titled "Strategy 2020" (is Putin planning to re-enlist for two mandates?). This time, the emphasis is placed on pluralism (implied, what’s the use of having democratic structures if all the levers of power are in the same hands?)