The only surprise is that nobody seemed to see it coming. Russia's President Vladimir Putin, as his second and final term in the job nears its end, has said he quite fancies being Prime Minister next. He made the announcement at a congress of his United Russia party and, perhaps unsurprisingly, got a Soviet-style standing ovation afterwards.
Anyone who might have hoped The Kremlin would take a less bolshy attitude with the west once Putin had stopped being president (the country's constitution prevents him from going for a third term) now must surely know they're in for a disappointment. Post-Putin Russia won't be post-Putin Russia at all, Putin's going to be there, just as prominent, just as high-profile as he is today. Russia under Putin has re-emerged as a challenger to the US, the EU, China and the rest, once again nationalistic and proud of itself, even when it has no right to be (on issues such as the poisoning murder of Alexander Litvinenko). Vlad's going to make sure that's not going to change. And he really doesn't care what any of us think about it.