Mikhail Zygar says Medvedev still wants presidency, revamped image to please Putin
In a new column for Der Spiegel, journalist Mikhail Zygar makes the case that Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev’s new hawkish persona and frequent attacks on Ukraine and the West are all part of an effort to shore up his chances of returning to the Russian presidency.
“He probably has vivid memories of the conversations he had with Putin as the two went fishing in Astrakhan. Putin promised Medvedev that he would become the president again. So he does have a chance. According to sources, at the beginning of this year, Putin hinted to Medvedev that the plan was still on the table — all Medvedev has to do is be a strong politician and meet the historical moment,” Zygar writes.
Since Russia launched its full-scale war in Ukraine, Medvedev has been sharply critical of Ukraine on social media, calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky a “clown” and Ukrainians themselves “bastards” and “degenerates” who “want death to us, Russia.”
According to Zygar’s sources, these tirades are composed by a large staff with the aim of portraying Medvedev as a war supporter. The same team was reportedly responsible for Medvedev’s recent post on VKontakte that called for Georgia to become a part of Russia and accused Kazakhstan of conducting genocide against Russians. The post was quickly deleted, but not before screenshots spread around the Internet. Medvedev’s official press service claimed that his account had been hacked.