Russia’s Kommersant Vlast Journal made an unofficial list of Russia’s biggest yes-people in 2008. The list includes most flattering remarks, which Russian politicians made about Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev. The journal already published such a list before, in 2007 – the chairman of the Russian Central electoral Committee, Vladimir Churov was named the biggest yes-man with his rhetoric question – “Can Putin be ever not right?” This year’s list mostly includes flattering remarks about Vladimir Putin, but was slightly extended with appraisals of Dmitry Medvedev. Politicians, human rights activists, culture activists and journalists – they all flatter Putin, the Prime Minister and Medvedev, the President.
Ten best yes-people in 2008
1. “Your democratism has no limits!” – St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko said October 7 during the celebration of Putin’s birthday.
2. “I thank God for Putin and I respect Yeltsin for two things which he did in his life. The first one of them is the moment when he placed his Communist Party card on the table. The second one is the fact that he brought Putin to power,” Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov said November 25 at his press conference in Kiev.
3. “Vladimir Vladimirovich, it’s very good that you were born!” writer Daniil Granin said October 7 at Putin’s birthday.
4. “After the victory of the Russian national team at the World Hockey Championship, Russian officials have a right to ask their Western colleagues: “Don’t you understand that Putin was doing everything right?” State Duma deputy Sergei Markov said May 19 in an interview with Rosbalt news agency.
5. “If one asks our opposition what they don’t like about Putin and Medvedev they will say something like this: “They are both made of gold, it is true, but this gold is not enough,” a senior official spokesman for United Russia party, Oleg Morozov said June 30 in an interview with Itogi magazine.
6. “We were listening to Vladimir Putin’s suggestions with a lot of attention and respect,” Ekaterinburg Mayor Arkady Chernetsky said February 3 at a local meeting to support Medvedev as a presidential candidate.
7. “We see you as a person who represents a strategic phenomenon per se,” the head of the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions, Alexander Zapesotsky said October 7 when celebrating Putin’s birthday.
8. “Putin is a giant!” the chairman of board of directors of Financial Corporation Sistema, Vladimir Yevtushenkov said October 2 in an interview with the Vedomosti newspaper.
9. “The life and deeds of Vladimir Putin make an expressive proof of the saying – “It’s not a place that adorns a person. It’s a person that adorns a place.” No matter where he worked, whether it would be a public position or not, his talent, energy and determination have always resulted in success,” the Federation Council chairman Sergei Mironov said October 7 during his official visit to the Irkutsk region.
10. “President Putin has always commanded respect and admiration with me. The people have become kinder – this is an attribute of Putin’s policies,” legal expert of the Lipetsk region, Svetlana Semenova said May 7 in an interview with the Lipetsk Newspaper.
Other flattering remarks about Putin that did not make it in the top ten list.
“To achieve Putin’s level, Medvedev, at least, will need to make all the heroic deeds that Putin has done during eight years of his presidency,” deputy Sergei Markov said in an interview with Gazeta.ru website.
“Every party of the world would like to have a leader like Putin, intelligent, educated and effective,” the chairman of the State Duma Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, Vladislav Tretyak said April 15 prior to the beginning of the United Russia congress.