Russian President Caught In Twitter Flap

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Oops! Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wasn’t sheepish Wednesday when his official Twitter account re-tweeted a message critical of his political opponents.

The tweet, translated, read:

It has become clear that if a person writes the expression ‘party of swindlers and thieves’ in their blog then they are a stupid sheep getting f****d in the mouth 🙂

The Kremlin blames a rogue staffer for the blunder, The Wall Street Journal reports. “Overnight, an inappropriate retweet of one item appeared in the Twitter acount of Dmitry Medvedev,” the Kremlin said in a statement. “The results of an investigation showed that at the time of a planned password change, an employee responsible for technical maintenance of the account committed unauthorized interference in the @MedvedevRussia feed. The guilty will be punished.”

Hmm… If we learned anything over the summer (read: Weiner, Anthony), it’s that blaming an errant internet post on hackers or rogue staffers rarely ends well. But perhaps it’s a small comfort to know that no matter who were are, no matter our position of power, we can still use the internet in pretty dumb ways. As the Journal and others report, the tweet appears to mock a Kremlin whistleblower, Alexei Navalny.

The WSJ reports:

The retweet  from the account of tech-savvy Medvedev poked fun at a slogan used by Kremlin whistleblower Alexei Navalny, who called the ruling United Russia the “party of crooks and thieves.” The original tweet came from Konstantin Rykov, an outgoing Duma deputy and renowned Internet personality…

The Kremlin is under fire for what protesters in Russia are calling a rigged election. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev is calling for a new vote. “The country’s leaders must admit there were numerous falsifications and rigging and the results do not reflect the people’s will,” he said, according to the BBC. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested since Sunday’s elections.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He's a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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