Dmitry Medvedev - victim of hackers or new adept of USSR 2.0 project?

Op-Ed 2 August 2022
Dmitry Medvedev - victim of hackers or new adept of USSR 2.0 project?

It has long been no secret to anyone that the military-political leadership of modern Russia perceives the entire post-Soviet space (with the exception of the Baltic states) as a zone of its influence. Or at least it would like to.

Despite the fact that the idea of restoring the USSR, given the conventional name of USSR 2.0 in the expert community, has shades of complete inferiority and utopia, nevertheless, certain towers of the Kremlin, with the approval of the military leadership of Russia, continue to actively promote it, adopting part of Vladimir Putin's famous phrase that "those people who do not regret about the collapse of the USSR have no heart."

It is noteworthy that the scheme of reanimation of the new union is based not on Moscow's open desire to restore the empire but on such slogans as "the republics lived better in Soviet times", "oh, what a friendship of nations we had back then", "we won the Great Patriotic War, and we survived hunger together and launched satellites together". But since the republics of the former Soviet Union, with the exception of Belarus, did not want to rejoin the "one and mighty," Moscow took concrete steps to "gather the lands." I am referring to the events of spring 2014 when Crimea was occupied and the annexation of eastern Ukraine began. This, to be expected, caused a stir among Russian patriots, at the same time, pushing far into the background the whole bunch of social and economic problems that abound in today's Russia.


Here we should make a small digression. After the dashing 90s and the establishment of Vladimir Putin and his friends and acquaintances from St. Petersburg in key positions in politics, economics, and law enforcement agencies, the expert community has long believed that two wings - the siloviki and the liberals - are invariably fighting for influence in the president's decision-making. Some of them, they say, demand tougher measures in everything - from foreign policy to the economy, while the others want to continue the democratic reforms started in the 1990s. Today, however, this fine line between these wings has been erased, and even the liberals around Putin have already joined the ranks of "land-gatherers." No, not Russian lands. Alien lands. They have become adepts of the USSR 2.0 project. This is also indicated by the scandal, caused by the text on "VKontakte" of the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, ex-Prime Minister and -President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev, which threatened Russia's neighbors with war. Thus, Medvedev wrote that after the seizure of Ukraine, Russia "will go on the next campaign to restore the borders of our motherland, which is, as you know, endless."

"No one should be left in any doubt that the fatal mistake that occurred in the early nineties will be corrected, there will never be any parades of sovereignty, and all the nations that once inhabited the great and mighty Soviet Union will once again live together in friendship and mutual understanding. And the Russian authorities will spare no effort or means to this end. And we have already begun to move along this path. After the liberation of Kyiv and all the territories of Little Russia from the gangs of nationalists, who preached the Ukrainianism invented by them, Russia will again become united, mighty, and invincible, as it was a thousand years ago in the times of the Old Russian state. After that, under the united hand of Moscow, led by the Slavic people, we will go on the next campaign to restore the borders of our homeland, which is, as you know, endless. All the lands taken from us were soaked in the blood of our ancestors, conquered in numerous battles over the centuries. And we are not going to cede them to anyone," Medvedev wrote.

For example, he argues, "before Georgia's annexation it did not exist at all."

"In 1801 the territory of present-day Georgia consisted of five sovereign political entities: Kartli and Kakheti with its capital in Tiflis, Imeretia with its capital in Kutaisi, the two principalities of Megrelia and Kakheti with its capital on the Black Sea coast, the principality of Svaneti in the mountainous regions. That is, Georgia was created in its current borders only within the Russian Empire. Georgia was reaching out to Russia because it understood that Russia was its only ally in a rather hostile environment of Muslim countries" wrote the deputy head of the Security Council of Russia.

And now, according to him, "the same story is repeated, North and South Ossetia, Abkhazia and the remaining territory of Georgia can only be united within a single state with Russia."

"Another example of history, the beginning of the XVII century - Russians founded the first settlements in the wild lands of Northern Kazakhstan. For three centuries the process of Russian colonization of this territory continued, with particular impetus from the opening of the Siberian railroad and the Stolypin agrarian reform. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, 62.5 per cent of the population of northern Kazakhstan were Slavs. Kazakhstan is an artificial state, former Russian territories such as Guriev city, Semipalatinsk, and even Almaty, until 1924 it was called Verny city. In this century, the Kazakh authorities began to implement initiatives to resettle various ethnic groups within the republic, which can be qualified as genocide against the Russians. And we do not intend to turn a blind eye to this. Until the Russians come there, there will be no order," Medvedev claims.

It is noteworthy that Medvedev's post was deleted sometime later, but many media outlets and bloggers had already copied and published it. Then Medvedev's aide said that the post he published on the social network "VKontakte" about Georgia and Kazakhstan was written not by the former prime minister, but by those who hacked his account. He added that the last message published by Medvedev was about the Navy and that those who wrote the message allegedly on behalf of the former prime minister will be dealt with by the administration of the social network and relevant persons.

However, experienced bloggers and IT experts are in no hurry to believe this excuse. The fact is that this is indeed Dmitry Anatolyevich's officially verified "VKontakte" page. As one of the main actors in Russian politics, all of Medvedev's means of communication - his telephones, including the line to Putin, and his social network accounts are securely protected by the relevant agencies, whose units are required to prevent unauthorized access to all electronic systems related to the deputy head of the Security Council.

And then it turns out that the Russian security services have screwed up and tomorrow those who "hacked" the account today may write anything on the pages of other main figures of Russian politics. Although, maybe everything is more simple - Dmitry Anatolyevich in fact decided to keep up with the all-Russian trends and joined the ranks of those who advocate for "brotherly and international assistance" to post-Soviet countries in their "return" to Mother Russia. Even if it is against their wishes, and certainly against the common sense and real possibilities of Moscow.