WASHINGTON — Once known as a moderate influencer within the Kremlin, Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and now the Kremlin’s top security adviser, recently wrote a lengthy statement on the social media network Telegram. has emerged as a surprisingly belligerent presence, using the sharp posts of the Russians to justify their aggression. Ukraine rewrites 20th century history and threatens the West with nuclear war.
Posted in late July, Medvedev explains Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky accused of being under the influence of ‘psychotropic drugs’. He said American democracy was nothing more than the totalitarian dystopia described in George Orwell’s famous novel Animal Farm.
“If someone disagrees, he will be stripped of his rations, crushed or sent to the slaughterhouse,” Medvedev wrote. In the same post, he accused Americans (and their British “slackers”) of selling their exceptionalism in “Nazi delight.”
What did it all reach Russian academic and podcaster Mark Galeoti To make Medvedev better known, he is called a “hysterical hawk”. Siloviki (roughly, “tough guys”) around Putin.
“I think he thinks he has to overcompensate, and it sounds even crazier than they are,” Galeoti told Yahoo News. , so easy to self-justify that you may be making yourself believe it.”
At least Medvedev seems to realize that his new persona seems incongruous. In fact, he doesn’t seem to care. “People often ask me why my Telegram posts are so harsh,” he wrote in June. “The answer is I hate them. They are bastards and scum.” .
In a recent post on VKontakte, another social media network popular with Russians, Medvedev said: It was suggested that the Kremlin was designing Georgia and Kazakhstan, both former Soviet republics like Ukraine. Medvedev wrote that “all nations inhabiting the once great and mighty Soviet Union will once again live together in friendship and understanding,” and the “mistake of the early 1990s,” the dissolution of the Soviet Union, will be corrected. I promised.”
The post was quickly deleted, Medvedev claimed that he was hacked, but the incident baffled observers who remember the once-affable 56-year-old as a far more approachable Western moderate than current President Vladimir Putin, with its ludicrous, counter-historical claims. It only encouraged the barrage of excessive threats. He served as both his predecessor and successor in the Kremlin.
Medvedev seems to be trying to imitate Putin’s belligerence these days. Considering how unlikely that effort would be to succeed, and how much Medvedev, who had once worked with Western elites at Davos, had on his global reputation, the performance surprised many in the West. rice field.
“He’s opportunistically trying to rebrand himself,” Russia expert Samuel Ramani told Yahoo News. It’s about being a pioneer and making them mainstream.”
According to Nina Khrushcheva, an expert on international affairs at the New School, Medvedev doesn’t have the influence or knowledge to overtake his Kremlin rivals for power. Sergey KiriyenkoBut even if he never rules Russia again, Medvedev’s display of enthusiasm for the Ukraine war may be necessary to keep him from becoming irrelevant. “Maybe he’s saying all this so he doesn’t get kicked out for being unfaithful,” she wrote in an email to Yahoo News.
In any case, Medvedev makes his point clear by devolving into a disturbing act of geopolitical rebranding.
“Even by the standards of Putin’s regime, this man is clearly insouciant,” said European diplomat Karl Bildt. wrote on twitter After Medvedev warned of the possibility of nuclear war if the International Criminal Court brought a case against Russia for alleged atrocities committed on the battlefield.
“The Fall and Fall of Dmitry Medvedev” Recent headlines in Foreign Policy reflect the deep disappointment of a man once invested in the West’s hopes of reform. “Russian Geek”
A lawyer by training, Medvedev, like Putin, is from St. Petersburg. The two met in 1990, and Medvedev acted as consigliere in Putin’s rise to power in Russia. Medvedev stood with him, and from 2008 he was president of Russia until 2012. This will allow Putin to return as Russia’s leader after a constitutional hiatus. (2020, Putin changed the Russian constitution So that we can serve effectively and enduringly. )
During his time as Russian leader, Medvedev never materialized as the reformer some in the West expected him to be.nevertheless he broke up with putin Regarding the offer of assistance to Libyan strongman Colonel Moammar Gaddafi. Medvedev was criticized in 2011 as a precursor to Telegram habits. message retweet He likens political opponents to “stupid sheep getting fucked in the mouth.” The Kremlin blamed low-level tech support personnel for this retweet, and the obscene post was deleted amid controversy.
The target of the message was Alexander Navalny, who at the time had emerged as the leading critic of what had become of Russia under Putin. In 2017, Navalny was released 40 minute documentary It claimed that Medvedev was involved in corruption on an alarming scale. Corruption was not uncommon among the country’s political and business leaders, but Medvedev, as the country’s prime minister, tried unsuccessfully to present a friendly image to the West. rice field.
“He owns vast tracts of land in the most elite areas. He manages yachts, apartments in old mansions, agricultural complexes, wineries in Russia and abroad.” Navalny wrote in an accompanying report“All this property was purchased with bribes from oligarchs and loans from state banks.”
Early 2020, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev resigns It is widely seen as a demotion triggered by Putin’s self-doubt. He was appointed to the Security Council a year after Russia decided to invade Ukraine.
Here Medvedev saw his chance. With Russia becoming increasingly isolated, he used his Telegram to advocate an invasion of Ukraine.
“The West’s frenzied Russophobia is clearly not going to bottom out,” he wrote in the first message posted on March 17. I shared it with
Four days later, in a post with nearly 938,000 views, Medvedev called Polish leaders “political fools” who sided with the West against Ukraine.Poland is the epicenter of refugees fleeing Ukraine. This post raised concerns of a wider conflict in Eastern Europe, as Western weapons were flowing to the front.So an attack on NATO member Poland could spark the kind of continental war we feared from the start. Alina Polyakova, Director of the European Center for Policy Analysis, said:spoke of Medvedev’s embarrassing message.
In April, he derisively contrasted the West’s green energy pledges with the anxiety brought about by sanctions on Russian gas and oil,” Medvedev wrote, adding a smiling emoji for emphasis. did.
the critics long accused There have been other allegations about heavy drinking Medvedev, and his personal life. Whether he will be able to do so and whether he will be able to rise again in the Kremlin is another matter.
“I don’t think Medvedev is serious about having a chance at the presidency,” says Galeotti. “In Moscow’s Shadows” Podcast Often delving into Kremlin conspiracies. “I think he’s just desperate to hold on to some relevance.”
As any social media user knows, online provocation is one way to get attention, and Medvedev certainly seems to be an expert at that.
In a June post, he mentioned Ukraine’s demands Lend-Lease Energy Program It will last until the fall of 2023 to mitigate the impact of sanctions on Russian oil and gas. “But who told Medvedev that Ukraine would be on the world map in two years?”
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