The Only Russian Official Angrier Than Putin at How Things Are Going in Ukraine
Hes at the negotiating table.
By Rebecca Adeline Johnston
March 08, 202212:36 PM
Russian presidential aide and head of the Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky after the Russian-Ukrainian talks in Belarus Brest region on Monday. Maxim Guchek/Belta/AFP via Getty Images
If there is one person in Russia who is more unhappy than Vladimir Putin to watch Russian troops underperform as they struggle to encircle Kyiv, it is likely Vladimir Medinsky. Unfortunately, that is also the person Putin chose to lead the Russian delegation in talks with Ukraine.
Many have rightly insisted that Russia and Ukraine must arrive at a diplomatic solution to end this war. But Medinsky has already sought to use these talks to justify further hostilities. Russian shelling shattered hopes this past weekend for a humanitarian corridor, which had been the only real diplomatic victory of the previous weeks worth of negotiations. Speaking before the third round of talks on Monday morning, Medinsky blamed Ukraine for the breakdown of the corridors and claimed without evidence that Ukrainian nationalists using Ukrainians as human shields were at fault for civilian deaths over the weekend. (These deaths are widely attributed to a Russian military strike.)
Medinsky, an aide to Putin on history and humanities policy since 2020, is widely known in Russia as an ultraconservative nationalist firebrand and military history enthusiast. Over his eight years as Russias minister of culture, between 2012 and 2020, he made regular headlines for lambasting Russian filmmakers whose main message is that Russia is shit, accusing Poland of information warfare, postponing the Russian release of major Hollywood films like Paddington 2 in order to give Russian movies a boost at the box office, and being credibly accused of plagiarizing both of his dissertations. A government overhaul in 2020 cost him that post, and Medinsky has spent the past two years in his position as an adviser to Putin editing new history textbooks and lecturing on YouTube. The Russian government has many people much more qualified to negotiate a peace deal with Ukraine, let alone to do so under a heightened nuclear alert.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was blunt from the start about his lack of expectations for these talks. Choosing Medinsky to lead this delegation was a clear signal that Putin is likely not serious about reaching a negotiated peace. But sending Medinsky also sends an additional, very specific message: that Putin is doubling down on his inaccurate historical justification for this war, a narrative that claims Ukraine has no right to exist within its internationally recognized borders.
( Excellent, it totally nails this disgusting stooge. )
Gives me hope for the good people of Russia when you see their filmmakers threatening the state with truth:
Russia is shit,
Bombing civilians. Cluster bombs.
Doesn't get much shittier than that.
So, he delayed the release in Russia of Paddington 2? The very same film in which Volodymir Zelensky voiced Paddington Bear? Interesting!