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President meets students of the Moscow State University’s Journalism Department

January 26, 2012, 12:19 UTC+3
During the meeting on Wednesday Medvedev made several political statements
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MOSCOW, January 26 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday visited once again the Journalism Department of the Moscow State University and answered questions from students, who had been offended because of a meeting at their department with other youth on October 20. Within two hours Medvedev gave answers to 29 questions, including those about the past elections, about the case of Khodorkovsky and revolution.

The head of the state had a meeting with future reporters back in October of the past year and aroused big discussions, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta writes. The students themselves also discussed the meeting actively, including those students who could not fit in the room, though the meeting’s organisers had brought students from other universities and youth movements. “My earlier visit has aroused different emotions, thus my choice was to greet exactly you on the Students’ Day,” the president said explaining his second visit to the journalism department. This time, the president did not fail to meet the students’ expectations, but even was above them in acuteness.

The Vedomosti says that the October visit “turned out to be a big scandal.” That time, only activists of pro-Kremlin movements had been invited to the meeting, while seven students of the journalism department were detained roughly by the presidential security, the newspaper writes. This time, the department itself had been organising the meeting and “chose participants and questions.” The newspaper writes that most students, who had been detained by FSO /Federal Security Service/, this time refused to go to the meeting.

During the meeting on Wednesday, the newspaper continues, Medvedev made several political statements. For example, that Russia is not facing growth of a revolutionary situation. He did not rule out that he may run for another term and mentioned that those, who participated in the Bolotnaya Square rally, wanted him to do so in 2012 already. Students commented to the newspaper results of the discussion: one of the participants did not like that the president was answering acute questions in general terms.

“Medvedev’s positive perception of the situation in the country, even if there are any improvements, is far from reality,” the student said. Another student appreciated detailed discussion of Khodorkovsky’s case: the president made it clear that he is not going to pardon him, nor can he cut the term.

The Novye Izvestia publish “a most brave question,” as Medvedev called it: “Are you ready to die like Saddam Hussein?”

The student, who asked the question, explained he wanted to know if the president is ready to face a court of the society. “I am not afraid of anything, otherwise I would not have been able to work as president,” Medvedev replied. “If you are expecting a straight answer, then yes, for my ideals, of course, I am ready to die,” the newspaper quotes the president as replying.

“The atmosphere was friendly, and I do not thing that the question had been staged,” a fifth-year student Rodion Drobyshev told the newspaper. “I am sort of disappointed, I was expecting more acute questions and more persistent students, who would not be satisfied with simple answers, which are published in media,” Diana Bologova added. “It was politics of round corners.”

Having expressed his thoughts about how this country “exhausted the limit of revolutions,” Medvedev announced that “a year ago already, he had a feeling that our political systems needs some fresh air,” the RBS daily reports. The president chose not to reveal why “some fresh air” had not been added to the political system a year earlier, but confessed: ““If you are expecting a straight answer, then yes, for my ideals, of course, I am ready to die. And they are not only the Constitution, but things like family, like children and the rest.”

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