The mystery of Medvedev’s raunchy retweet

We’ve had a number of posts here on Dmitry Medvedev’s forays into social media. But the techy-savvy Russian president made an uncharacteristic Twitter error last night … or was it? Guardian correspondent and past FP contributor Miriam Elder has the recap of a bizarre story that swept through the Russian twittersphere last night:  "Today it ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images

We've had a number of posts here on Dmitry Medvedev's forays into social media. But the techy-savvy Russian president made an uncharacteristic Twitter error last night ... or was it? Guardian correspondent and past FP contributor Miriam Elder has the recap of a bizarre story that swept through the Russian twittersphere last night: 

"Today it became clear that a person who writes in their blog the words 'party of crooks and thieves' is a stupid, c*cksucking sheep :)," said the tweet, written by Konstantin Rykov, a media-savvy Duma deputy. It was a clear reference to [Alexei] Navalny, who coined the popular phrase "party of crooks and thieves", disparaging Putin's United Russia. A short clip of Navalny yelling the "cocksucking sheep" insult at a first protest against Putin's rule on Monday had already gone viral.

Medvedev's official Twitter account promptly retweeted Rykov's note, sending the Russian blogosphere into a frenzy. It was quickly deleted – but caches of the act spread far and wide.

We’ve had a number of posts here on Dmitry Medvedev’s forays into social media. But the techy-savvy Russian president made an uncharacteristic Twitter error last night … or was it? Guardian correspondent and past FP contributor Miriam Elder has the recap of a bizarre story that swept through the Russian twittersphere last night: 

"Today it became clear that a person who writes in their blog the words ‘party of crooks and thieves’ is a stupid, c*cksucking sheep :)," said the tweet, written by Konstantin Rykov, a media-savvy Duma deputy. It was a clear reference to [Alexei] Navalny, who coined the popular phrase "party of crooks and thieves", disparaging Putin’s United Russia. A short clip of Navalny yelling the "cocksucking sheep" insult at a first protest against Putin’s rule on Monday had already gone viral.

Medvedev’s official Twitter account promptly retweeted Rykov’s note, sending the Russian blogosphere into a frenzy. It was quickly deleted – but caches of the act spread far and wide.

The Kremlin was forced to admit the retweet . "Tonight an incorrect retweet of an entry appeared on Dmitry Medvedev’s Twitter account," the Kremlin press office said. "A check revealed that during a routine password change, an employee in charge of technical support for the account made an inadmissible interference in @MedvedevRussia’s feed. The guilty will be punished," it warned.

Navalny, one of FP’s top global thinkers this year, was sentenced to 15 days in jail for obstructing traffic after being arrested at yesterday’s demonstrations in Moscow.   

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Russia

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