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Dirt in social networks as elites' equidistance instrument

February 21, 2013, 12:04 UTC+3

Compromising materials on the team of RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have been posted on the Internet

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Russia’s State Duma lower house of parliament is currently going through the MPs’ landslide surrender of their mandates. According to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, a hundred of bloggers are engaged in the search for compromising materials on parliamentarians and senior officials. Another scandal is developing simultaneously: compromising materials on the team of RF Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev have been posted on the Internet. According to experts and sources in the Kremlin, RF President Vladimir Putin is using the situation to create a system of equidistance of the elites - in order to make them more manageable. And the bloggers say that the authorities have to adapt to the new information reality, ignoring which is already impossible.

The Internet public, believes Director General of the Centre for Political Information Alexei Mukhin, quoted by the newspaper, is playing a useful role helping the country’s leadership, “which is purging the bodies of government with the help of the non-system opposition. Thank them very much!” Mukhin believes that the actions of the supreme power will “evoke only applause, and not criticism. There is nothing to be ashamed of here.”

It is interesting that another political intrigue – an opposite one, is developing in the shadow of the scandal with MP Pekhtin that has been going on for a week, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper writes. Alexander Budberg, an adviser to the VTB president, the husband of Natalia Timakova – spokeswoman for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, has resigned. He said that he has resigned voluntarily. The bank says that the decision was made by the VTB management and refers to the scandal linked with the information from a hacked server of Budberg’s PR company Omnes Imperium, posted on the Internet. Judging by the text, Budberg allegedly helped finance representatives of the opposition and the liberal media: Alexei Navalny, Vladislav Naganov, Anton Nosik, Ilya Yashin, Oleg Kashin, Yevgeniya Chirikova, Kseniya Sobchak, the Dozhd TV channel, the web portal and Bolshoi Gorod (Big City) magazine.

In an interview with the newspaper Ilya Yashin admitted that he knows nothing about the fact that he is allegedly paid by Budberg. “What, Budberg paid me?! There’s nothing to comment on.” At the same time, in the view of the politician, this story testifies to the general weakening of Medvedev’s positions: “He has almost no people in the corridors of power on whom he could rely. He has been left almost alone. It is known that Timakova and Budberg are Medvedev’s closest advisers, and Budberg’s removal from the VTB post is an attempt to further weaken the prime minister. Apparently, this is linked with some conflicts in the corridors of power.”

Blogger Oleg Kozyrev stresses: a new reality that the government cannot ignore has come to Russia: “The main instrument in the fight against corruption, that is, information of the society, is at present the domain of not only the police, but also of any person. The Internet has given us this situation, and certainly, the legislation of those countries that allow people to monitor the work of their officials. Today, responsible citizens thanks to the World Wide Web, transparency of the world and borders have the possibility to investigate corruption schemes and shadow activities of officials even abroad. Times have changed: competition is emerging among the government agencies and independent investigators - the citizens.




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