Then in December 2011, an unprecedented wave of anti-government protests roiled Russia. The world was eager to know what Medvedev thought of them, but learned nothing from Twitter. His sole English post from the turbulent month: "Hello (at)euHvR, on my way to Brussels. Looking forward to fruitful discussions with Russia's largest trading partner." His Russian posts were no more revealing, including one congratulating the Zenit St. Petersburg football team.
Two days after protests broke out against fraud-tainted parliamentary elections, a Medvedev tweet characterized rising opposition star Alexei Navalny as a sheep committing a sexual act with a human. Medvedev tersely followed that up, providing a link to a Kremlin statement explaining that the offensive posting was a retweet from a tough-talking ruling party ideologue. An unnamed member of the president's technical staff was blamed for the unauthorized tweet.
THE END APPROACHES
In February, already a lame-duck, Medvedev appeared gripped by a spell of nostalgia, using Twitter to post some favorite photos: him fishing on a sunny day; a winter landscape snapped from a train window; a view of Buenos Aires from a rain-spattered hotel window. And, looking back on his foray into the world of social media, a picture of him at Twitter headquarters: "Here's how it all began. ... Today I have 1,000,000 readers. Thanks for communicating with me."