April 12, 2017 Special Dispatch No. 6872

Putin And Medvedev's Trip To The Arctic – Political Analyst Goltz: The PM Was Invited To Hear... 'A Strictly Confidential Message That It's Time To Be Going'

April 12, 2017
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 6872

On March 29, following the March 26 anti-corruption demonstrations, Russian President Vladimir Putin went to visit the Arctic along with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. According to political analyst Aleksandr Goltz, this trip to Arctic was needed to demonstrate Putin's support for Medvedev. However, Goltz also suggested that Medvedev was invited to go on a very cold trip "to hear not only public praise but also a strictly confidential message that it's time to be going."

Below are excerpts of Goltz's article, titled "He Is Not Dimon, He Is The Cleaner Of The Arctic,"[1] published in the Russian independent media outlet[2]

Putin and Medvedev visiting the Arctic (Source:

'This Field Trip In The Frost Was Needed So That Vladimir Putin Could Demonstrate His Support To His Most Loyal Of PMs'

"There is something good in Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev after all. No, I'm not talking about his Tuscany vineyards, even though I'm sure they are not bad at all. It is thanks to the constant care of the Russian prime minister that the Arctic is being cleaned day and night from the products of its heroic reclamation – primarily, hundreds of thousands of metal drums used for gasoline and diesel fuel storage. It was Medvedev who continued the cleaning project started in 2010 by Vladimir Putin. Obviously, the head of state did not lift the drums himself, but he sent the financial resources – over 2.5 billion rubles in total – regularly. Which is what brought him the public recognition on the part of Vladimir Putin: 'When I was the chairman of the government, we started it, and Dmitry Anatolyevich continued when he became prime minister.'

"This was said in strong wind with the temperature 30 degrees below zero. The head of state and the head of government visited Alexandra Land – the only island of the Franz Josef Land archipelago that is inhabited all year round. From a special watch tower, they feasted their eyes on the already clean territories and then inspected an ice cave, where the president personally carved out a piece of eternal ice. I suspect that this field trip in the frost was needed so that Vladimir Putin could demonstrate his support to his most loyal of prime ministers. And send a signal to the suddenly bold underlings.

"After all, now, right before our eyes, something never yet seen or long forgotten is taking place. Putin's courtiers, one after another, have suddenly started to publicly urge not to ignore the opinion of the people, expressed, dreadful to say, during an unapproved, i.e. illegal, event. Valentina Matviyenko, chair of the Federation Council and, one could say, the third person in the state, did not rebuff [Senator] Lyudmila Narusova when she called for a dialogue between the power and the outraged society. On the contrary, Matviyenko supported her: "'Of course, we cannot pretend that nothing is happening and hide our head in the sand... I support the motion to entrust the Committee on Constitutional Legislation, which you are a member of, with a task to formulate these ideas, and prepare proposals to create wide platforms for dialogue with different sections of society...'

Medvedev Was Invited To Go On A Very Cold Trip To Hear… Also A Strictly Confidential Message That It's Time To Be Going'

Medvedev taking a selfie. (Source:

"Moreover, on the same day Sergey Mironov, head of the Just Russia faction, spoke in the same vein. He publicly attacked Dmitry Medvedev, urging him to react to Navalny's investigation: 'It is worthwhile to respond clearly not to the man who initiated it all for mercenary political goals, but to the country's citizens.' Mironov went so far as to accuse Medvedev directly: 'You have created a foundation, so why not announce it publicly? Why do you need to wait for films like that and keep silent?'

"Mind you, this is what we hear from consistent anti-Maidan activists, from those who have repeated after Putin all these years that any people's protest is the result of a conspiracy by foreign intelligence services. These are the same people who enthusiastically presided over the adoption of monstrous draconian laws that made any organized protest impossible. Now they are suddenly speaking about the need for dialogue with those who participated in the demonstration that was illegal because of their efforts.

"Such somersaults are usually possible during the moments of a grave political crisis, on the eve of a revolution. It is then that the most cunning rats are trying to leave the state ship. I suspect that the crisis in Russia has not reached that stage yet. Then we have to admit that right now, before our eyes, a very complicated scheme is being played out, whose organizers are trying to discredit Medvedev as much as possible.

"Naturally, Medvedev has created every opportunity for such defamation of character. He leads a way of life characteristic for Putin's courtier. He enjoyed living in palaces practically gifted to him, because he had voluntarily agreed to work as Putin's placeholder for four years. Putin has not forgotten this service. It is very likely that he accompanied the prime minister to the cold Arctic in order to demonstrate his support. He had sent his retinue similar signals at first when they ostracized the former defense minister [Anatoliy] Serdyukov. But eventually Putin turned his back on him. I do not rule out that something similar may happen this time as well. Perhaps it is already happening. And Medvedev was invited to go on a very cold trip to hear not only public praise but also a strictly confidential message that it's time to be going..."


[1] The title contains a reference to the recent documentary "He is not Dimon to you," by Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 6826, New Navalny Investigation Accuses Medvedev Of Corruption, March 10, 2017; Special Dispatch No 6850, Navalny Leads Russia's Anti-Government-Corruption Protests, March 29, 2017; Special Dispatch No. 6853, Russia This Week – March 19 - 30, 2017, April 3, 2017; and Special Dispatch No. 6868, Russia's Anti-Corruption Protests – An Update, April 10, 2017.

[2], March 30, 2017.

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