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What is the role of Medvedev in Kremlin propaganda?

What is the role of Medvedev in Kremlin propaganda?

The Center for Countering Disinformation at the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine analyzes the strengthening of the journalistic activities of the ex-president of Russia D. Medvedev.

Having intensified his publicity a few months before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the newly appeared “blogger” has already made many high-profile statements. In particular, the other day he gave an interview to the French TV channel LCI, which was rebroadcasted without correction, so that European viewers could understand the essence of the worldview of the Russian political elite.

According to D. Medvedev, although the third world war has not yet started, but “if you compare it with the Bible and remember the words of John the Theologian from the Apocalypse”, and “the first angel blew his trumpet, and hail and fire broke out”, then “at least the first angel blew his trumpet”. He also reminded the Europeans: “we should not forget that Russia has a thousand-year history, is a permanent member of the Security Council and has the largest nuclear potential in the world.”

He believes that the war in Ukraine is aimed at saving the world from a tragic end and that the Ukrainian government itself is to blame for the deaths of Ukrainian citizens, because it deploys troops in the wrong place and they resist Russia for some reason. Moreover, one of the claims of the ex-president of the Russian Federation to Ukraine is the Kremlin’s distrust of V. Zelenskyy personally.

The justification for the invasion from Mr Medvedev looks like this: “no one heard us at all, but it was as if we were talking with a deaf person or we were leaning against the wall… we say that the population there is suffering – they shoot guns and rockets at their population in Donbas – no, that’s all normal means as if nothing happened”.

There are other interesting quotes, characteristic of the diplomatic slang of the highest officials of the Russian Federation, which reflect the dominant point of view in the Kremlin, for example:

● “President Macron said that NATO’s brain is dead… he is a good doctor and it is hard for me to disagree with him”;

● “to refer to Francis Fukuyama, liberal democracy is not the end point of human development. And you and I are convinced of this: if it was just like that, it would have long ago reigned in all countries and, so to speak, created prosperity”;

● “I serve my country and I don’t care about these sanctions, I am convinced that President Putin and my comrades have the same position – we are citizens of Russia and we serve Russia.”

The convenience of the “blogging activity” of Russian high-ranking officials is that, unlike official diplomacy, you can express any point of view on social networks and immediately “recant” from it.

For example, at the beginning of August, Mr. Medvedev wrote a post with the following theses: “Kazakhstan is an artificial state”, “through Odesa we will come to liberate Transnistria”, “we will unite Abkhazia, both Ossetia and Georgia as part of Russia”, etc. True, within ten minutes of this post, which has since been deleted, an explanation of an unauthorized hack of the social network page appeared, but its screenshots still went viral.

In particular, it said that “after the liberation of all the territories of Little Russia from the nationalist gangs that preach the Ukrainianism invented by them, Russia will once again become united, powerful and invincible, as it was a thousand years ago.” Or “we will go on the next campaign to renew the borders of our homeland, which, as you know, do not end anywhere and “the lands taken from us will return under the sole hand of Moscow.”

D. Medvedev’s repeated public assurances that he conducts correspondence in all social networks personally, rather means that a group of specially trained specialists is engaged in this. It is unlikely that this post was an excess of the performer, since they could not assign a young intern to such persons.

All network profiles of famous Russian politicians are maintained by professionals who adhere to given ideological narratives. After all, even at the end of last year, Russian experts considered D. Medvedev as one of Putin’s successors, on a par with Shoigu and Patrushev.

It is more likely that through such VIP bloggers, specialists in information and psychological special operations monitor the audience’s reactions and spread the necessary propagandist narratives.

Previously, uncomfortable narratives were voiced by the late V. Zhirinovskiy, and now D. Medvedev is trying on his role. Therefore, his statement should not be taken as ordinary bravado at all – it is the promotion of the official ideology approved by Putin.

It is through such “personal points of view of significant figures” that the feeling of “common expert opinion” is formed.

From time to time, Mr. Medvedev reminds us of his existence with Ukrainian-hating statements. Narratives on the pages of D. Medvedev in social networks resonate with other chauvinistic statements of the political elite of the Kremlin regarding neighboring countries. It is obvious that Putin uses him as a “cesspool” and a “spook”.

In October 2021, on his behalf, he distributed an article that reflected Putin’s mood at the time. In it, Mr Medvedev stated that Russia is not going to negotiate with any leader of Ukraine who will defend its national interests and territorial integrity.

In his opinion, the Ukrainian government was illegitimate because it represented the interests of world elites, not the Ukrainian people. He said, “There is no point in dealing with vassals – we need to deal with the overlord.”

At the beginning of July, Mr Medvedev said that the Kremlin would respond with a nuclear strike for attempts to try Russians for war crimes in Ukraine. And on the anniversary of Russia’s destruction of the Malaysian Boeing in the sky over the Ukrainian Donbass, Mr Medvedev once again threatened Ukraine with “doomsday” in the event of an attempt to de-occupy Crimea. After the attack on the military airfield in Saksky district of Crimea, this post was promptly deleted from social networks.

Subsequently, the Deputy Head of the Security Council of the Russian Federation D. Medvedev spread disinformation in the form of a map with a “plan for the division” of Ukraine between neighboring states. This map, allegedly created by “Western analysts”, divided the territory of Ukraine between its neighbors. The redrawing of the borders and the “impact analysis” actually incited the violation of international law with the proposal to revise the borders.

The signal from the press secretary is the Kremlin’s official position, and D. Medvedev’s statement is a signal from Putin. That is, he simply reports that Putin, who is uncomfortable saying it himself, has already decided, since the “leader” expresses a “historic strategy” and the servants voice his political plans and demonstrate his true views.

A symbolic reflection of Putin’s worldview is the statement of D. Medvedev: “at last, they began to deal with Russia in a real way, as with the Soviet Union.” “If you are not counted, then things are bad. As in childhood, when neighbors came to fight in your yard. If you got scared and ran away, you won’t be called anywhere again. And if you hit first, the chances of defending your position become significantly higher. That’s right. This is what great Russia should be like”.

  • 31 August, 2022

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