During the Russian Internet Week conference in late October, Aleksei Chadayev, head of United Russia's Central Executive Committee, stated that members of the Russian government should be forbidden -- by law -- from blogging.
To reinforce his point, Chadayev cited the classic Russian novel "The Brothers Karamazov": "Power rests on three pillars -- wonder, mystery, and authority." Chadayev added that
having a blog shows that the people in power "are simple folk, like everyone else."
But what about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev -- or, as he is known by the "simple people," @KremlinRussia
-- who has been campaigning for legislators and regional governors to get on the Internet since he started using Twitter last June?
After his spring trip to Silicon Valley (from whence he sent his first tweet) to his recent welcome of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger via Twitter, Medvedev has stressed, in no uncertain terms, that the Internet is both the new campaign trail and forum.
In Medvedev's stead, governors and deputies across Russia have started Live Journal-ing (the most popular blogging platform in Russia) or blogging on their own personal sites.
Blogger Andrei Zamula
has taken the time to click through the blogs of local leaders from Russia's central region -- the majority of whom have blogs, and the remainder "plan to begin blogging soon."
So what's the party line? Is blogging the next political wave in Russia? Or is the Internet-dot-ru divided into the haves and the "refuse to haves"?
-- Ashley Cleek