De Odio

Lately Dmitry Anatolievich Medvedev, elder statesman of Russian politicum, has taken to issuing short encyclicals, a sort of urbi et orbi, that are really quite interesting because they let us look into the mindset currently shared by a large majority of Russians starting at the highest levels. Since this mindset clashes with the dominant narrative perforce endlessly repeated by all public figures in the West, it is deemed unacceptable and is steadfastly ignored. Is that a safe thing to do? Somehow I doubt it! Those who insist on operating with incomplete and faulty information make bad decisions and create bad outcomes for themselves. But it gets worse: while wallowing in the putrid bath of predicaments of their own making, they will discover that they have earned the Russians’ hate and that the Russians have been planning to take revenge on them.

Medvedev’s words are like a subzero arctic gale blowing toward you from the boundless frozen tundra of Russian thought. While playing tag team with Putin—trading places as president and head of government—Medvedev positioned himself as a liberal pro-Westerner. We will never know how much of that was real (his opinions may have evolved over time as he was presented with new information) and how much of it was feigned (his task was to portray Russia as weak, helpless and dependent all the while it was furiously rebuilding and rearming itself). But this much we know for certain: he is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a pro-Western liberal any more.

His latest encyclical is presented below. The translation is my own.

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