Russia's state of the nation: Dmitry Medvedev still having troubles with Twitter
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has a Twitter problem, which we've highlighted many times.
So it was surprising to see Medvedev's annual state of the nation speech live-tweeted Tuesday on the official Kremlin feed, which had been shut down for several weeks until it sparked back to life Monday.
Although the shutdown of the Kremlin's official Twitter account didn't raise eyebrows in the Russian media, we asked The Times' man in Moscow, Sergei Loiko, what was going on, with a view to also finding out why Medvedev launched his own Twitter feed several weeks ago.
Maybe Medvedev took the Ticket's advice to improve on his previously stern and austere Twitter manner -- the Kremlin is a loyal Ticket follower on Twitter, after all.
Loiko contacted the Politburo, or whatever it is called nowadays, and was told: "The Kremlin Twitter blog is being restructured into two parts -- one is MedvedevRussia and it is already functioning, it is the president's personal Twitter blog. The other part of the former account is KremlinRussia, which will carry information about Kremlin news and events schedules. It will be launched very soon. All the other accounts which can carry similar words and can be found on Twitter are fakes."
So Medvedev intends to show a more personal side and leave official state business like arms races ...
... and economic modeling to the Kremlin's official feed. But Medvedev still seems to get a little confused.
On Monday, he tweeted:
I update @MedvedevRussiaE myself, but rarely -- there isn't enough time. You can find more news at @KremlinRussia_E
And his personal tweeting sometimes lapses into the authoritative banal style that characterized the Kremlin feed:
Held a meeting of the Commission for Modernisation. The discussion was animated. Thanks everyone who has shown interest. This is important.
The Kremlin feed, widely publicized after Medvedev's visit to Twitter’s California headquarters earlier this year, had more than 120,000 Twitter followers before its shutdown -- including Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Medvedev has added more than 50,000 followers since his personal feed's launch Nov. 13.
Medvedev could never be accused of having the gift for self-publicity possessed by Russia's once and future leader, Vladimir Putin, who watched Medvedev deliver his state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly and is known for taking off his shirt and posing for pictures while wrestling bears and the like.
But please, President Medvedev, lighten up once in a while, jeez. We loved when you posted pictures of you pumping iron with lame-duck Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. How about some more of that?
-- Craig Howie
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Credit: Dmitry Medvedev delivers the annual state of the nation address to the Russian Federal Assembly. Credit: Associated Press