Vladimir Putin came to power after Boris Yeltsin left office in 2000. His tough stance on Chechnya and Russia's oligarchs won him domestic kudos. Under Putin, Russia experienced rapid economic growth. At the same time, he clamped down on political and press freedoms. When forced to leave office in 2008 by term limits, he introduced his successor, Dimitri Medvedev. Medvedev talked the reformist talk, which impressed President Obama and other world leaders. Unfortunately, Medvedev was Putin's puppet all along and will give up the job for Putin for the next election.