Russian Prime Minister and United Russia chairman Dmitry Medvedev assailed with criticism “a rather narrow group of people” in the Internet that form in the society a distorted agenda.
“It is evident that direct communication with people cannot be replaced with anything,” he told a meeting with his party members last week, but he called for not forgetting about the Internet – keeping a close watch on what is going on and be energetic, the Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily reported. Although the prime minister believes that the offline world is far from real life and problems. “Those who believe that the whole world is concentrated online, are strongly mistaken, we live offline,” he said. “Often we have a distorted picture applicable to the political life, when phantom things go to the forefront and it seems that the whole country thinks only of this. It is simply necessary to differentiate between the real agenda and the Internet agenda.”
Famous bloggers do not agree with the prime minister, while experts describe Medvedev’s statements as an excessively emotional reaction to the last web hit – Poteryanny Den (The Lost Day) film, where generals accuse the former president of tardiness in the first days of the war with Georgia, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported.
Experts in one voice assure that criticism of “a narrow group of people” has concrete addressees. The president of the Centre for Political Technologies, Igor Bunin, said Medvedev’s indignant words demonstrate his excessively emotional reaction to The Lost Day that became the latest sensation. The video includes mini-interviews of generals who rebuked then president Medvedev for dragging feet in offering resistance to Georgia in the 2008 war.
“This film was actively discussed in the Internet and even appeared on TV,” Bunin said. “But what the Internet has to do with it? The web is the means for carrying these or those events and comments to citizens.” “A person who could have remained at the presidential seat preferred castling and he is now attacked from all sides – he is strongly distressed over this.”
Bloggers themselves saw one more meaning in Medvedev’s words. Blogger Oleg Kozyrev supposed that “somewhere in the upper echelons, in particular, Medvedev feels tired somehow of the fact that reality contradicts his expectations.” “Today not the Kremlin forms the agenda – political, civil, evironmental and social, but citizens. Of course, the Internet became such an environment, where this agenda is made public and accepted by the country’s citizens, for instance through reposts.” Moreover, the web helps citizens to implement this agenda themselves. “For instance, this concerns the floods in Krymsk, fires and the fight against corruption.” Kozyrev believes that the authorities, in particular, Medvedev does not like this competition. “Probably, it is not pleasant for them that there are themes that people consider more important and that there are leaders who through the web become more famous.”