Clearly, Putin has manipulated the system to maintain power. When he reached his first term limit in 2008, after two, four-year terms in office, Putin hatched a simple plan to stay in power. He had his appointed prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, Putin’s former chief of staff, run for president. After Medvedev won — more on the corrupted Russian election system later — he appointed Putin to be his prime minister. Then, by amending the Russian constitution, Putin sifted much of the power of the office of the presidency to the office of prime minister.