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Spotlight on Medvedev’s Style

med280208.jpg Several stories in the US press today have focused on Dmitry Medvedev. The Wall Street Journal has compiled a series of extracts translated from Medvedev’s campaign appearance in Nizhny Novgorod, together with soundbites from past interviews and speeches. These include a comment made at the World Economic Forum in January 2007 which exemplifies the thus far very balanced approach we have seen from Medvedev that has caused journalists to cautiously view him as a potentially reasonable and neutralizing voice for Russia. “We are not trying to make anyone love Russia, but we will also not allow anyone to do Russia harm. What we want is respect towards Russia’s people and our country as a whole, but we will obtain this respect through responsible behavior and through our achievements, and not through force.

Another set of excerpts has been compiled at the New York Times. The paper also features a slideshow of Medvedev’s recent trip to a Russian Infantry Division. Another New York Times article, subsequently picked up by the Chicago Tribune, tries to get underneath the outward impression created by Medvedev’s balanced style. The author suggests that he is “creating his own public identity according to a choreographed script,” and focusing on the difference in style between Putin and Medvedev. He ventures that Medvedev has struck a “campy pose” for the press. Many analysts, he notes, are quick to differentiate between style and content. “That’s public relations. That’s not strategic shift,” one is quoted as saying.PHOTO: James Hill for The New York Times