I’m really beginning to enjoy Dmitry Medvedev’s no-nonsense approach to assessing Russia’s weaknesses and to telling people off.
He certainly doesn’t mince words, but what I particularly like is that he doesn’t restrict his criticism to safe, relatively unimportant targets. Take, for example, his lambasting of Russia’s prosecutors following the shambolic trial of Anna Politkovskaya’s alleged (and cleared) murderers.
“Prosecutors and law-enforcement officers who conduct preliminary investigations should learn to work with the existence of the institution of the jury.
It is time to learn to do this, and not discuss how good it was back when this institution did not exist.”
Combined with his recent pronouncement that Russia is rubbish at e-government, Medvedev is a refreshing change.
Having said that, it’s a dangerous time for Russia’s President to be talking down his own country – say something like this often enough in a time of economic turbulence and people are not only going to agree – they’re going to start insisting that words are turned into concrete improvements.
Medvedev had better be sure that he can do more than just criticise and advocate for change – he needs to be able to deliver that change.
What a great irony. It’s as if Medvedev is fondly recalling a time in which the mere rebuke from a leader would prompt change. His own use of the bully pulpit seems, in comparison, rather ineffective.