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Meet Dmitri Medvedev

Russia's new president loves Deep Purple, shuns alcohol.

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Dmitri Medvedev's character and tastes

Active: Swims for an hour every morning and evening, sleeping only from 2 a.m. to 8 a.m.

Teetotaler: Favors lighter fare – sushi is his current favorite – and shuns alcohol, but not ice cream and candy.

Finicky: Won't let anyone else feed the fish in his office fish tank.

Precocious: Modern Russia's youngest head of state. Met wife Svetlana at age 7.

Discriminating: Disdains going to the movies, preferring instead to view "serious" European and Russian films at home – but confesses to an occasional Hollywood flick.

Dapper: Fellow students remember him in a suit with a briefcase at his side.

Rocker: A fan of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple – bands that were all cool but blacklisted when he was a teen in the '70s.

Edgy: Decided at age 23 to be baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church, when the Soviet government frowned upon it.

Intellectual: Born to two professors, he likes Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, and chess.

His career

• After law school, campaigned for his former professor, Anatoly Sobchak, who was pushing the envelope on free markets and political pluralism amid a crumbling Soviet Union. When the KGB confiscated the campaign's leaflets on the eve of the parliamentary elections, he worked all night to reprint them by hand. Sobchak won, and went on to become St. Petersburg's mayor.


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