Dima Medvedev, Crypto-Fascist
Medvedev poured cold water on the hopes of private media outlets when he said: “It seems to me that it does not make sense to set the goal of moving away from government media because both [private and government-controlled media] exist everywhere in the world.” In this sense, Medvedev departs from the more liberal stance of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. As president, Putin never publicly spoke out so directly in support of state-controlled media.
— A report from the 10th Russian-German Petersburg Dialogue forum in Yekaterinburg on July 15
Dima Medvedev is, of course, a shameless idiot and liar. Which explains this particular remark, we cannot say. Perhaps, both.
Did you think you would live to see the day when Medvedev would be called more fascist than Vladimir Putin? We didn’t.
But perhaps it’s the case.
Newsweek blows the lid off the “Medvedev is a liberal” myth, for all the world to see:
It says a lot about the kind of place Russia has become that just two minutes of mild mockery of the Kremlin could cause a political shock wave. But sure enough: when the state-controlled Channel One showed a short cartoon in January depicting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President.
Dmitry Medvedev dancing together in Red Square, singing a comic duet about the big news stories of 2009, liberals rejoiced. After years of political repression, tight media control, and officially ordained Putin-worship, they saw the lighthearted cartoon as a sign that Medvedev is finally changing Russia. The cartoon followed on the heels of a number of speeches the young president has given on the ills of Russia’s rotten bureaucracy and its broken economy. He’s promised, for instance, to slash bureaucracy and reform the corrupt judiciary, to simplify regulation, and to put government services online. He’s vowed to break Russia’s economic dependence on natural resources and build a knowledge economy. He also recently ordered the firing of 10,000 cops and 16 top police officials, and warned police to stop “terrorizing” private businesses. Nasty nationalist youth movements have been shut down, and human-rights activists once squeezed by Putin have been received as honored guests at the Kremlin. Taken together, these moves have made it seem as though spring is in the air. “I believe President Medvedev sincerely intends to liberalize the system,” says Kirill Kabanov, head of the National Anti–Corruption Committee, an NGO.
Radio Free Europe reports on what it calls Dima Medvedev’s “laughable” call for reform:
So the president of Russia continues his effort to conquer the Internet space. Dmitry Medvedev’s article “Russia, Forward!” which appeared on gazeta.ru on September 10, is charming. Its charm is unqualified and unconditional — I’d even say that it is absolute. At least it would be hard for me to imagine anything more charming.
My first reaction when I read the piece was a desire to copy it and rework it a bit. For example, maybe put it on a pink background and decorate it with flowers here and there. To mark out particular paragraphs with lipstick kisses and others with smiley faces.
Dmitri Medevev, Rat Bastard
“As for the theories, I believe that those who committed this crime expected that the theories most primitive and unacceptable to the authorities would be put forward immediately. Her professional activities are necessary for any normal state, she was doing very useful things. She was telling the truth, she has openly and sometimes maybe even harshly evaluated certain processes in the country and that is why defenders of human rights are so valuable even if they are uncomforting and unpleasant for the authorities.”
Those are the remarks of Russian “president” Dmitri Medvedev, made in Germany, in response to the brutal murder of heroic Russian journalist Natalia Estemirova. Without any investigation having taken place at all, Medvedev has already ruled out the possiblity that Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, who had repeatedly threatened Estemirova’s life, could have been involved in the killing. He calls such an idea “unacceptable to the authorities.” Not false, mind you, just “unacceptable.” Just as Putin did with Politkovskaya, he claims the murderers are foreign conspirators who want to make Russia look bad. Berezovsky again, Mr. Medvedev? And while acknowledging her work as “necessary” he also finds it necessary to dismiss it as “harsh.”
So now we know without any shadow of doubt exactly where so-called “liberal” Medvedev stands. He stands with Putin. And let’s not forget for a second: Putin gave Kadyrov Russia’s highest state honour, making him a “Hero of Russia.”
Mr. Medvedev, his Carpet and his Broom
See Dima sweep. Sweep, Dima, Sweep! Under the carpet! Sweep, sweep, sweep!
Streetwise Professor reports that last week Russian “president” Dima Medvedev announced a massive new slate of spending reductions forced upon his government by the national economic collapse. Paul Goble reports that among these will be a brutal slashing of the budget for the 2010 census.
Let’s overlook the fact that the Putin regime is apparently still able to find plenty of funds for nuclear weapons and other ways of provoking and escalating the new cold war, sending all sorts of wealth to all sorts of places from Venezuela to Syria. Let’s not focus on what these draconian cutbacks mean for the people of Russia. Let’s instead watch Dima feverishly trying to sweep it all under the carpet.
Dima Medvedev, Psychopath
In 1957, a 16-year-old boy went off to Jewish summer camp in the wilds of Wisconsin. While there, he published a poem about the cruel slaying of a faithful doggy in the summer camp newspaper. It was a real tear-jerker, a work of art, and indeed nearly flawless except for the fact that it was a shameless plagiarism of a country music ditty written several years before.
The young man’s name was Bob Dylan.
Never you mind though, dear reader, because the Christie’s auction house, which didn’t deign to notice the forgery until alerted by customers, still thinks it can get a cool 15 g’s for the childish scribbling. How many of “his” songs Dylan actually wrote now becomes, well, anyone’s guess.
Things, you may say, are not always what they seem. And so it is with our good friend Dima Medvedev, neo-soviet psychopath.
The Moscow Times reports that, since the Russian economy is doing so well, “president” Dima Medvedev has plenty of time on his hands to mess around with academic projects, like this one for instance (look for our editorial and Yulia Latynina’s op-ed on the same topic in Monday’s issue):
President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the creation of a new commission tasked with countering attempts to rewrite history to the detriment of Russia’s interests, the Kremlin said Tuesday. The presidential decree establishing the commission follows a May 8 video address posted on Medvedev’s web site in which the president complained that attempts to falsify history were becoming “increasingly harsh, depraved and aggressive.”
The initiative appears to be part of a Kremlin drive to defend its vision of the country’s 20th-century history.
Unhinged Medvedev on the Warpath
As neo-Soviet nuclear weapons and tanks prowled Red Square two weekends ago, Russian “president” Dima Medvedev boldly declared (clearly and repeatedly referencing Russia’s invasion of Georgia): “Russia’s defense is our holy duty. Any aggression against our citizens will be rightfully repelled.”
Anyone who still thinks this maniac might be a liberal clearly needs to have his head examined.
Post Global carries a column by Russian expat Anna Borshchevskaya of Johns Hopkins University:
If it weren’t so sad, it would be funny to read Russia’s President Medvedev’s recent interview with Novaya Gazeta, in which he said, “Democracy [in Russia] existed, exists, and will exist.”
Human rights still appear to be a luxury in Russia. Recently, Lev Ponomaryov, director of the Moscow-based Organization For Human Rights, and a leader in the new political opposition movement Solidarity, was reportedly beaten by a group of men outside his home . Stanislav Markelov, whom the Wall Street Journal called one of Russia’s top human rights lawyers, was murdered in late January, as was Anastasia Baburova, a 25-year-old freelancer for Novaya Gazeta, which, according to the New Zealand Herald, is the last major publication critical of the Kremlin. Novaya Gazeta also lost three other journalists in the last decade– Anna Politkovskaya, Yuri Shchekochikhin, and Igor Domnikov.
Law professor and Russia scholar Ethan Burger and his colleague Mary Holland, writing on the Foreign Policy website, wonder whether Dima Medvedev has a roving eye:
When Vladimir Putin stepped down as president of Russia last May, he left little to chance. Just as his predecessor Boris Yeltsin had anointed him, Putin made sure that his loyal protégé of 20 years, Dmitry Medvedev, would take his place. Putin took the helm of the country’s dominant political party, United Russia, and then, as prime minister, expanded that position far beyond what the Constitution envisions. Although Putin rearranged the musical chairs, he continued to call the tune. Until now.
The Beeb and Mr. Medvedev
The BBC aired a pathetic excuse for an “interview” with Russian “president” Dmitri Medvedev last week, and concluded by stating:
Who is Dmitry Medvedev really? No single interview can answer that question. But for what it is worth, he seemed to me a man on a journey, and rather more interesting than the Putin front man people describe. He is smart and he is well aware that he is a player in a world dominated by media-savvy rivals, not least the man he is clearly fascinated by, that Mr Obama.
What a charade: This is basic Psych 101 stuff. If Medvedev is a boring nobody, then so is the reporter who is interviewing him, and then why should the viewer care? But if Medvedev is “rather more interesting” . . . It’s also journalism 101, the part about ethics and conflict of interest.
The pathetically vapid nature of the BBC’s written summary of the interview is all the proof you need of how utterly useless the exercise was — and therefore how it played right into the Kremlin’s hands. Given this kind of spineless, idiotic coverage, it’s little wonder the Kremlin thinks it can liquidate KGB defectors on British soil using radiation weapons and get away with it.
Writing in the Moscow Times, Nikolai Petrov of the Carnegie Center states:
How can Putin hold onto his high ratings in the midst of a worsening economic crisis? It is possible that Medvedev’s frenetic schedule in recent weeks is one attempt at resolving that problem. Putin has to be somehow saved from the blow, pulled to the side so as to remove any hint of his being responsible for the negative consequences of the crisis. The only way to do that is to put someone else’s head on the chopping block. But now the country is faced with another problem: Who can rule the country besides Putin?
Of course, there is no guarantee that Medevedev is prepared to go “all the way” with this “chopping block” business, so Putin must hedge his bet. That is where Vladmir Frolov comes in.
Thus once again, writing in the Moscow Times, Putin shil Frolov has turned up the flame under the boiling pot of Russian failure that must be spilled on poor scapegoat, and sooner rather than later, sending a clear message to Medvedev that he must toe the line or be liquidated.
Medvedev is telling the old warhorse: "Medals are fine, but I'm a blogger with 10,000 registered readers!" (Source: Ellustrator)
It was reported last week that Russian “president” Dima Medvedev’s six-month-old blog, which was however opened to commenting less than a month ago, has recorded its 10,000th registered reader (registration is required to comment). What Kremlin mouthpiece RIA Novosti didn’t care to mention, however was that only 50 of those “readers” signed up to receive regular updates on the blog’s contents and, according to Yandex, Dima’s blog wasn’t in the top 400 in Russia based on link activity. It was behind the blog of so-called “liberal” politician Nikita Belykh, for instance, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s blog has more than 10,000 readers receiving updates, Belykh more than 2,000. The Moscow Times reported: “Of the more than 6 million blogs tracked by Yandex, Medvedev’s was ranked No. 293,326 according to the number of subscribers. President Dmitry Medvedev may be the most powerful man in the country, but it appears to be a different story in the Russian blogosphere — at least for now.”
From the 10,000 registered readers only 2,500 comments have actually been published to date, so at most a quarter of those who registered have talked back to the “president” (less for each reader who commented more than once). The Committee to Protect Journalists suggests why that might be: Not that they didn’t write, but that they got censored.
Russian “president” Dima Medvedev wrote about what he called the “global economic crisis on his blog on October 23, 2008. He blamed the United States entirely for causing the crisis, said Russia was only a minor victim and only because it had become open to the outside world, and said Russia would avoid any more serious consequences. He did not give a single specific statistic on any consequences Russia had experienced to that point, making no reference to the catastrophic decline in Russia’s stock market or the massive FOREX reserves Russia was expending, nor did he acknowledge that the Russian economy’s performance at that time was far worse than most other nations. He states: “We have taken a number of measures that should restore confidence in the near future in the financial sector and normal lending.”
Since then, the bottom has fallen out of Russia’s currency, reserves are down by half and the stock market has been virtually obliterated. Meanwhile, Medvedev has put up four additional posts: one about sports, one about what he does in a typical day, one about how students can finance education and one about his trip to Latin America. For more than three months, he has totally ignored the country’s economic status on his blog.
Here is Medvedev’s October 23rd blog post in full (staff translation, corrections welcome):
I would like to talk about what is now worrying the world – the global financial crisis. Most countries are faced with the fact that the gross errors – errors committed by several states (especially America) – have led to serious problems. The size of the U.S. financial market and its impact on the world economy is very high. That is why when the crisis happened in the U.S., the rebound hit the economies of almost all countries.
Five or seven years ago, the impact of this crisis might have been negligible in Russia. Now the situation is different: we are a country with an open economy. On the one hand, this gives us enormous advantages, on the other – it forces to react and deal with the problems faced by other leading states. Now everyone is focused on one problem: how to get through the global financial crisis with minimal losses.
Putin Declares War on Medvedev
Unless we are very much mistaken, the first shot in Vladimir Putin’s war against Dmitri Medvedev was fired on December 29th by Putin shill Vladimir Frolov in his Moscow Times column.
Headlined “Putin’s Remote Control puts Kremlin on Mute,” the article states: “When Georgia invaded South Ossetia. Medvedev responded with a strong show of force and moved to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states, a move denounced by all major powers.”
Note how Frolov blames the Georgia invasion directly on Medvedev personally, and even goes so far as to acknowledge worldwide denunciation of the move. This well illustrates how awfully handy it is to have an expendable “president” around to get the blame for mistakes. In fact, if one were inclined to attribute genius to Putin, one might even suspect he knew the crisis was coming and stepped aside specifically to avoid it. How long will it be before some other Putin flack blames the economic crisis on Medvedev as well, pointing out how rosy things were before Putin left the Kremlin?
Hero journalist Yulia Latynina, writing in the Moscow Times:
We all learned from the Russian media how President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Washington for the Group of 20 summit and offered his ideas on how to build a new global financial system.
What the media did not report, however, is that Russia has been essentially evicted from the G8. After Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised to “send a doctor” to Mechel and sent tanks into Georgia, the West, for all intents and purposes, reached a consensus that Russia has no place in the elite club of developed, wealthy and democratic nations.
Although Russia was “expelled” from the G8 for its poor performance, it was invited to attend the larger G20. What would a bad student probably do after being expelled from school for poor grades? He would probably stand up with his tail between his legs, promise to work harder on his homework and try to raise his grades. But what did Medvedev, the failing student, say in Washington? “I have an idea of how we can restructure the principle’s key job functions.”
Особенность Дмитрия Медведева заключается в том, что он ― абсолютно независимая фигура. В том смысле, что от него совсем ничего не зависит.
What uniquely distinguishes Dmitri Medvedev is that he is a completely independent figure. In the sense that nothing whatsoever depends on him.
From Alexander Golts’ Ezhednevny Zhurnal report on Mevdedev’s recent European visit , translated from the Russian by Dave Essel.
A note from the translator: This, I think, ranks amongst the best of the many reviews of the state of the nation address made by Pooty’s Teddy to the Federal Assembly. It’s written in the rather histrionic, hysterical style that Russian journalists like to adopt occasionally. To the Western reader, this may appear overly self-conscious, like a novice writer for a provincial paper, but here it’s a accepted style.
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Medvedev’s first state of the nation address has been interpreted in many ways.
The simplest – don’t worry your head about it! It’s a ritual, a farrago of words… Words were in order and words were spoken. “Freedom (bureaucracy) is better than slavery (the population). We’ve heard it before and we’ll hear it again…. (Incidentally, why do we actually need all the “phonemes about freedom”? The West couldn’t care; inside the country, they are as unpopular with the natives as they are with the inhabitants of the Kremlin; and no one would want a liberal, even if one was being given away for free. And the same goes in reverse: the liberals don’t want these speeches which they don’t believe or trust in the slightest. So why give the address? Is it something he just enjoys?)
Nonetheless, whatever you may think of Medvedev and his speech, objective facts remain: they can’t be abolished. Russia has come up against a challenge. And its leaders simply MUST do something about it. As everyone knows, a failure to respond is also a response.
Listening to Dima “Teddy” Medvedev
by Dave Essel
The recent state-of-the-nation speech by Pooty’s Teddy was epoch-making. Shame is, the epoch it unfurled is “more of the same”. It makes me think, showing my age, of The Who:
I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around me
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
We don’t get fooled again
Don’t get fooled again
Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss…
Of course, the Russians as a nation will be fooled again. Grani.ru’s writers and readers won’t be, of course, but they are, sadly, a practically unheard minority with no real influence except insofar as it is they who will provide a moral measure for posterity.
I’m feeling Trotskyist in wanting things in Russia to get worse so that a general desire for a cure is generated. In fact, sensible and intelligent as the comments below are, I am surprised at the absence of consideration given to the fact that, thanks to the economic crisis which is crashing down on Russia, the Pooty social contract of “we give you some stability at the low level to which we have ensured you are accustomed and a basic income and you let us get on with robbing the country blind” may break down and actually lead to something more than words.
Perhaps only a foreigner can wish such a thing on a country.
Here then, are comments on the Teddy’s speech published in Grani.ru last week, preceded by this introduction:
Neo-Soviet Russia’s American Bogeyman
Last weekend, Vladimir Putin’s youth cults burst into a flurry of activity in Moscow. On Saturday, the Youth Guard marched in support of banning migrant workers from entering the country, an openly racist and fascist position that even some of its own members had previously denounced. Then on Sunday, the Nashists were out in force, laying the groundwork for “president” Dima Medvedev’s state-of-the union message, which will seek to blame America for Russia’s current financial crisis. Other Russia reports that while Nashi claimed 20,000 of its activists were on the streets, even Kremlin-controlled media were reporting that number was exaggerated by at least half, while OR’s own sources claimed no more than 3,000 Nashists actually came out to march.
No thinking person can point to any significant difference between these events and those that would have occurred in Soviet times. Russia’s frenzy of generalized xenophobia and particularized anti-American hatred, seeking to scapegoat the outside world for the Kremlin’s own failures, mixed with ridiculous lies and propaganda that only a nation of sheep would believe, is precisely the demonic force that prevented the USSR from undertaking real reform and which therefore drove it into the dustbin of history.
Where are the Russophiles, who routinely screech that attacks on Russia are born of anti-Russian hatred? How can they stand silent as Russia mobilizes such an intense tsunami of openly racist hatred against foreigners? We doubt that they are capable of giving any coherent answer to that question.
How can they, or the people of Russia, justify this mind-boggling hypocrisy? They cannot. They can only follow the USSR into the dustbin of history.
A recent news item in the Moscow Times cites a VTsIOM poll (Russian language link) released a few days ago in connection with “National Internet Day” which reveals the following information about Russian Internet use:
69% of Russians never use the Internet
11% use it daily
9% use it several times per week
3% use it a few times per year
VTsIOM is controlled by the Kremlin, yet even it admits that the Internet is a non-factor in Russian political life. 70% of the country makes no use of the Internet for any purpose, and 90% lacks daily contact with the only conceivable source of news which might give them real information, as opposed to merely repeating Kremlin propaganda. Less than half of those who do access the web do so in order to get news about national and international events. Even in Moscow and St. Petersburg, 60% of residents do not use the Internet. In the main part of the country, the Internet may as well not even exist. For this reason, as we report below, the Kremlin has been able to effectively hide the recent stock market collapse from the vast majority of the population simply by not mentioning it on TV and in the nation’s major newspapers.
But despite all this, the Kremlin is still obsessed with controlling the web, because it is the only flickering source of real information left in Russia. Bloggers have faced criminal prosecutions and whole websites, especially those involving Chechnya, have been shut down (the eXile magazine faced a similar fate). And now, the MT reports, “president” Dima Medvedev wants to be a blogger.
Back to the USSR
Last week we reported on a brutal condemnation of neo-Soviet Russia by U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice, who accused Russia of taking a “dark turn” to a “one-way path to isolation and irrelevance.” A few days later, Russian “president” Dima Medvedev responded. He stated: “This is not our path. For us there is no sense going back to the past.” Let’s pass over Medvedev’s just-plain-crazy suggestion that Russia never does anything irrational, like taking off its shoe before the world at the United Nations. Let’s instead just question Dima regarding his statement’s bona fides on its own terms.
If we could interrogate him, we’d start like this: Oh really, Dima? Well, if it’s not your path then how come you have a proud KGB spy remaining in power after eight years in office, and making a total mockery of your presidency? Do you really think that sends the appropriate message of rejecting Russia’s evil past to the Western world? If you really believe that, then why do you stand mute as your own Duma votes to return the statue of dreaded KGB maniac Felix Derzhinsky to Lubianka Square, in front of KGB headquarters, after the Russian people removed it when the USSR collapsed? Why do you say nothing as that same Duma votes to outlaw Western influences like Halloween and Valentine’s Day? Isn’t it because you, in fact, want your nation to follow the dark path — mostly because you are the witless slave of your dark master Vlad Putin?
But more important that what others are doing, Dima, why are you yourself lying so brazenly to the West, just as the dark empire of the USSR always used to do. Even your written promise, it seems, means no more to you than it did to the members of the Politburo. How else can we explain your blatant violation of the cease fire agreement you signed regarding the Georgia conflict, suddenly declaring you will leave thousands of Russian soldiers in the region indefinitely. Why, Dima, are you continuing to carry on the absurd pretense of governing the country when in fact the whole world clearly sees that Vladimir Putin is still in charge? And why did your government decide to go forward with ballistic missile tests while embroiled in an international crisis over Georgia and an economic meltdown? Is that how Russians show the world how reasonable they are? As we’ve recently pointed out, that’s only the latest in a whole host of provocative actions your government has taken unilaterally in recent weeks.
Given his government’s actions, it was hardly surprising to see Dima contradict his own words in the same breath and bare his neo-Soviet fangs. He stated: “We are in effect being pushed down a path that is founded not on fully-fledged, civilised partnership with other countries, but on autonomous development, behind thick walls, behind an Iron Curtain.”