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Medvedev to Russian People: We Need to Learn to Rest Better!


With the global economy in a tailspin and Russia engaged in a new cold war with Ukraine over natural gas shipments, Russian President Medvedev took the slopes in his first vlog post of the new year to encourage Russians to ‘rest better.’ His previous videos have focused on more hard hitting issues like the economy and his recent trip to Latin America, where he reported on forming or rebuilding relations with ‘important’ Latin American countries like Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba (he says in that video that he considers Cuba a long time ‘traditional partner’ and Fidel Castro to be a key Latin American political figure). But his most recent post has all the hallmarks of a bad after school special (although he pulls it off better than a pumped up Ronald Reagan).

After Medvedev’s speech stressing the importance of being a fit nation as it prepares to host the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi (just a stone’s throw from the disputed territory of Abkhazia) he turns and impressively shreds up the slopes, stopping to chat with an ‘impromptu’ assemblage of comrades who ask what he thinks of Russia’s skiing opportunities. Medvedev replies, “I like it, practically like Europe,” but later corrects himself “Just as good as abroad!” (This is the only part of the video left untranslated).

Even thought this video struck me as too much like propaganda, in general it’s good to see Medvedev making use of the Internet and connecting directly with his domestic as well as an international audience, and, as Winter Casey notes, his vlog also now allows comments. He’s generally considered much more tech savvy than Putin, dropping references to Odnoklassniki, the extremely popular Russian version of, and has pushed back against efforts to regulate the Internet more closely. Let’s hope he continues to push for a more open, interactive Russian Internet, and to encourage computer literacy among Russians, including bureaucrats, who he reportedly told to learn how to use the Internet, or find a new job.

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3 Responses to “Medvedev to Russian People: We Need to Learn to Rest Better!”

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