MOSCOW (AP) — It was the end of an era, the kind of moment when a Twitter buff might unleash a barrage of 140-character spurts of sentiment, humor or self-aggrandizement.
But Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's one-time tweeter-in-chief, was characteristically modest and a little flat when his term as president came to an end Monday: "Thanks to everyone for their support over the past four years as President of Russia. Our dialogue will continue. There is much work ahead!," he tweeted an hour after Vladimir Putin was inaugurated as his replacement.
The underwhelming statement was the final point on a presidential arc that started with hopes for reform, briefly rose to cautious optimism, then diminished into disappointment.
When Medvedev opened a Twitter account in June 2010 while on a visit to Silicon Valley, it was seen as a sign he wanted to modernize Russia's economy and move away from the stiff, authoritarian ways of Putin.
But Medvedev's 527 tweets as president (398 in English) reveal a man whose initial enthusiasm dissipated and who distanced himself from the drama around him — as Putin showed he was still boss.
Here's a look at Medvedev's presidency through his tweets.
In his first days on Twitter, Medvedev appeared thrilled by the medium's potential and turned into something of a, well, twitterbox. "Haven't had a burger in a while. Lunch with Obama at Ray's Hell Burger," he tweeted on June 25, 2010. A day earlier it was American know-how rather than chow that had him excited: "Silicon Valley's greatest asset is communication. People discuss their work not trifles. Russia would benefit from this kind of environment."