Opinion | Meet Vladimir Medinsky, Putin’s Ghostwriter

However who’s he?

Mr. Medinsky was born within the Cherkasy area of Ukraine in 1970. However he isn’t Ukrainian in any respect. His father was a army man and his childhood was spent touring throughout the Soviet Union, from garrison to garrison. On this peripatetic surroundings, based on shut acquaintances, Mr. Medinsky was introduced up with very conservative values and as a honest patriot of the Soviet Union. Training was necessary too — his mom was a schoolteacher — and, in time, led him to the Moscow Institute of Worldwide Relations. A mannequin pupil, he excelled within the Faculty of Journalism and was a member of Komsomol, the Communist Social gathering’s youth group.

However by the point he graduated, the Soviet Union had collapsed. Mr. Medinsky had no problem adjusting. In 1992, with a gaggle of classmates, he created his personal promoting firm, Ya Company. Its purchasers have been largely monetary corporations and tobacco corporations. He quickly grew to become a P.R. man for the tobacco foyer — a bit just like the unscrupulous most important character in Christopher Buckley’s 1994 ebook “Thank You for Smoking.” Even so, he didn’t neglect his research, persevering with to work towards a doctorate.

That’s once I met Mr. Medinsky, once I was as an undergraduate on the institute within the late ’90s. He was 10 years older than me, aloof, and had simply began to show public relations. It was a brand new and really trendy self-discipline, and lots of of my classmates, who wished to change into “P.R. folks,” dreamed of studying from him. One thing of a star on campus, Mr. Medinsky was thought-about a profitable businessman and willingly supported college students, taking one of the best of them for internships at his firm.

In 2000, Mr. Putin grew to become president of Russia, taking up from Boris Yeltsin. As any P.R. man ought to, Mr. Medinsky tailored to the change in ambiance, parlaying a job within the civil service right into a political profession. By 2004, he was a member of parliament for Mr. Putin’s United Russia occasion. Regardless of accusations that he continued as an elected official to foyer for tobacco corporations and casinos, Mr. Medinsky was a person on the rise.

It helped that he began buying and selling in patriotism. In 2007, this former tobacco lobbyist started to put in writing books about historical past — or, somewhat, he started to create historic P.R. In a collection of books referred to as “Myths About Russia,” he got down to debunk Russian stereotypes and to place new tales of their place. There have been volumes on “Russian drunkenness, laziness and cruelty,” “Russian theft, soul and persistence” and “Russian democracy, dust and imprisonment.”