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Svetlana Medvedev no babushka (New Russian First Lady)
Globe and Mail ^ | March 7, 2008 | Jane Armstrong

Posted on 03/07/2008 4:37:04 AM PST by Loyalist

Renowned for her penchant for parties, Russia's first-lady-in-waiting is toning down her socialite image, concentrating on church and charity work as her husband prepares to move into his Kremlin office.

Svetlana Medvedev, 42, wife of president-elect Dmitry Medvedev, has been a fixture on Moscow's social circuit and at fashion shows and has a reputation as a deft organizer of charity functions at home and abroad, especially in France and Italy. She's also friends with Russia's top fashion designers, pop stars and movie directors.

Her exuberant personality and fondness for fine clothing have drawn some comparisons with Raisa Gorbachev, the stylish late wife of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Ms. Gorbachev broke the Soviet mould for leaders' wives by accompanying her husband everywhere.

But most Russians, unused to a front-and-centre first lady, never warmed to Ms. Gorbachev. They also felt uncomfortable with Mr. Gorbachev's obvious devotion to his wife, which, in the Russian patriarchal culture, diminished his image as a strong leader.

Perhaps because of the comparison, Ms. Medvedev has toned down her socialite image in the past few months, appearing more frequently in business attire and taking pains to emphasize her volunteer and church work. She heads a youth education project, set up by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexei 11, designed to provide opportunities and spiritual growth to young Russians.

"If she starts something, you can be certain she will do it well," Father Kiprian Yashchenko told the Moscow Times recently. In November, the church presented her with a medal for her efforts.

Still, if there is a high-profile film or fashion event, it's a good bet Ms. Medvedev will be there.

Last month, she nabbed a front-row seat at the Russian equivalent of the Oscars, arriving at the event in a black mink coat with two bodyguards. She and renowned filmmaker Nikita Mikhalkov kissed and hugged when they spotted one another.

Blond and toothy with a wide smile, Ms. Medvedev has other other high-profile friends, including Russian fashion designer Valentin Yudashkin and pop singer Alla Pugacheva.

She's also on a first-name basis with many of Milan's fashion elite after spending the past two years supervising a city twinning project between St. Petersburg and Milan.

"She is stylish and has a certain cultural level," Mario Botelli, president of the Italian Fashion Chamber, told an Italian newspaper. "She is in love with our country and its history."

Despite Ms. Medvedev's love of the high life, it appears the Medvedevs have a solid, even traditional, relationship.

By all accounts - and Russian accounts are carefully doled out by Kremlin image-makers - Mr. and Ms. Medvedev were childhood sweethearts from their first days at School 305 in St. Petersburg.

By his early teenage years, Mr. Medvedev, now 42, was smitten by the blond beauty and they married in 1989. In an interview earlier this year, he told a reporter how he felt: "I lost interest in lessons. It was much more interesting to walk with my future wife than to sit with my textbooks."

In a subsequent interview, Mr. Medvedev made it clear that despite his devotion to his wife, theirs is a traditional Russian marriage in which the husband is at the family helm. Ms. Medvedev graduated from a St. Petersburg economic institute, but after their son Ilia's birth in 1996, Mr. Medvedev said he insisted she stay at home.

"It is the normal logic of a man who wants to have a strong and reliable support at his back," he said. "I explained [to her] that for the family, in my view, it would be better if the wife stays at home." She agreed.

But that doesn't mean she has stayed in the house. Last summer, Ms. Medvedev was the main attraction at the couple's 25th high-school reunion in St. Petersburg, which she helped organize. She wore a stylish white suit; her husband donned a T-shirt. She also organized a Russian art festival in Cannes.

Ms. Medvedev is said to have encouraged her husband, who began his career as a law teacher, to leave academia for politics and business. More recently, she encouraged him to get into better shape. He now swims every day and practises yoga.

Ms. Medvedev's image also sharply differs from that of current first lady, Lyudmila Putin, a former flight attendant, who is rarely seen at public events. In an authorized biography of President Vladimir Putin, she said her husband set out two rules in their marriage: "A woman must do everything in the household," she said. The second: "One should not praise a woman; otherwise you will spoil her."


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: medvedev


1 posted on 03/07/2008 4:37:04 AM PST by Loyalist
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To: Loyalist

You sure you didn’t pull these from a Russian bride catalog?

;)


2 posted on 03/07/2008 4:39:33 AM PST by Slapshot68
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To: Loyalist
gee I'm sure she'll bring a real depth and compassion for the human condition to the razor-wired walls of the kremlin.

Incredible chest, however.

3 posted on 03/07/2008 4:39:39 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (dehumanize: the model prescribes the required behavior. disincentives ensure compliance.)
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To: the invisib1e hand

She looks Russian, for sure. Glad she doesn’t sport one of those awful Russian leather jackets they seem to favor...


4 posted on 03/07/2008 4:44:11 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (ENERGY CRISIS made in Washington D. C.)
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To: Loyalist

I’d hit it. Twice.


5 posted on 03/07/2008 4:44:22 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

LOL!


6 posted on 03/07/2008 4:44:49 AM PST by Dog
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To: the invisib1e hand

“Evening Wear.....Very Nice.”


7 posted on 03/07/2008 4:44:52 AM PST by dfwgator (11+7+15=3 Heismans)
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To: Thrownatbirth
Check out that second photo. You don't stand a chance. It would be like the first encounter between the Marines and the aliens in Alien. Game over, man.
8 posted on 03/07/2008 4:47:50 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: dfwgator

Funniest commercial ever.

Infuriated the Russkies, however.


9 posted on 03/07/2008 4:49:23 AM PST by Skooz (Any nation that would elect Hillary Clinton as its president has forfeited its right to exist.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

I’d hit it twice...grab a beer and a sammich and hit it a third time. Then I’d ask if she has any sisters.... :)


10 posted on 03/07/2008 4:50:14 AM PST by Skip Ripley
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To: 1rudeboy
Nah, I was stationed at the consulate in Leningrad in the 70's. The Soviets plied me with KGB broads. :-)

At 42, Svetlana seems to have nicely avoided the dreaded "Ed McMahon syndrome" that normally hits Russian women her age.
11 posted on 03/07/2008 4:58:27 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

Sounds good! Were you allowed to sample the local talent?


12 posted on 03/07/2008 5:07:51 AM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: MSF BU

Only at the Intourist hotel and I had to be in uniform. I was pretty sure we were being videotaped, so I decided to make my country proud.


13 posted on 03/07/2008 5:21:06 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Thrownatbirth
I went home with a waitress,
The way I always do.
How was I to know,
She was with the Russians too?
--RIP Warren Zevon, "Lawyers, Guns, and Money"

14 posted on 03/07/2008 5:22:13 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Thrownatbirth

“At 42, Svetlana seems to have nicely avoided the dreaded “Ed McMahon syndrome” that normally hits Russian women her age.”

Nope, she’s definitely a keeper.


15 posted on 03/07/2008 5:24:20 AM PST by Slapshot68
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To: Loyalist
It appears that unlike many of Russia's 'notables'; Svetlana has not known the desperation of a hunger strike.
16 posted on 03/07/2008 5:27:16 AM PST by cricket (Damn Political Correctness; before it irretrievably, damns us all. . .)
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To: Loyalist

Boobskis!

}:-)4


17 posted on 03/07/2008 5:34:53 AM PST by Moose4 (Hey GOP...don't move toward the middle. Move the middle toward us.)
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To: 1rudeboy
How was I to know, She was with the Russians too?

You start seeing double after one Czech beer. My State Dept. lackey warned me about agents slipping you mickeys.
18 posted on 03/07/2008 5:39:57 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

In Lithuania, they save money on the pharmeceuticals by simply inviting you “home,” and having their “boyfriends” beat you up and take your wallet. Now that I think about it, that technique is universal . . . it’s just that the women are so darn gorgeous you lose your mind.


19 posted on 03/07/2008 5:42:47 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

The Soviets usually kept a lid on that, so I was pretty safe. That, and I stuck out like a sore thumb in my blue crackerjack suit. In the streets, I usually had an entourage of school kids trying out their English or Great Patriotic war vets who wanted to buy me a drink. It was very cool.


20 posted on 03/07/2008 6:09:17 AM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Loyalist

She looks nice. Now let’s see his mistresses pics.


21 posted on 03/07/2008 6:15:40 AM PST by Centurion2000 (su - | echo "All your " | chown -740 us ./base | kill -9 | cd / | rm -r | echo "belong to us")
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To: dfwgator

lmao!!!


22 posted on 03/07/2008 6:16:36 AM PST by MadelineZapeezda ( MUST SEE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkgHkxIfgBc)
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To: 1rudeboy

Great tune by a great artist.


23 posted on 03/07/2008 6:18:24 AM PST by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Thrownatbirth

The WWII Russian guys liked you?


24 posted on 03/07/2008 8:35:06 AM PST by MSF BU (++)
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To: the invisib1e hand
If you want to be scared read some English language blogs of average Russians. They worship Putin, and by extension his puppet, in a way the Tzars and Stalinists could only dream of.
25 posted on 03/07/2008 9:01:00 AM PST by SlapHappyPappy
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To: Loyalist

She looks healthy.


26 posted on 03/07/2008 9:03:20 AM PST by Alouette (Vicious Babushka)
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To: Thrownatbirth

Did you know Lonetree?


27 posted on 03/07/2008 9:06:33 AM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: Thrownatbirth

“I’d hit it. Twice.”

Ugh... Looks like she has been hit.. several times.. with an ugly stick. Have you no standards?


28 posted on 03/07/2008 9:15:27 AM PST by monday
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To: Centurion2000; stylecouncilor

LOL


29 posted on 03/07/2008 10:10:38 AM PST by windcliff
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To: monday
Have you no standards?

Only the highest. As long as she has a pulse and it's not guy, a child or someone's grandmother.
30 posted on 03/07/2008 12:29:13 PM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

There are plenty of decent grandmothers out there (GMILF, as it were...)


31 posted on 03/07/2008 12:32:57 PM PST by Hegewisch Dupa
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To: Thrownatbirth

>At 42, Svetlana seems to have nicely avoided the dreaded “Ed McMahon syndrome” that normally hits Russian women her age.<

Good News!
Ed is very slim now, in his eighties!
Something to look forward to!


32 posted on 03/07/2008 12:34:49 PM PST by G Larry (HILLARY CARE = DYING IN LINE!)
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To: Loyalist
Are all the men on this thread insane? Take your eyes off her boobs and look at that mug. She kind of has a Chelsea Clinton jowly moonfaced look.


33 posted on 03/07/2008 12:38:22 PM PST by Lizavetta
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To: MSF BU
The WWII Russian guys liked you?

Are you kidding? They were teary-eyed in love with me and my buddy (two-man rule in hostile ports). The Soviets threw out the red carpet for us when they invited our Navy to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War. The old farts said my uniform reminded them of the sailors from US convoys, or what was left of them, that resupplied Leningrad after the Siege was broken. I was pretty humbled by that.
34 posted on 03/07/2008 12:48:11 PM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Thrownatbirth

are those pictures still available on the internet?


35 posted on 03/07/2008 12:53:56 PM PST by Taffini (Mr. Pippin and Mr. Waffles do not approve)
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To: Lizavetta
Take your eyes off her boobs

Does not compute . . . .

36 posted on 03/07/2008 12:55:43 PM PST by colorado tanker
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To: Loyalist

Can you imagine Slick licking his chops thinking of showing her around town while the spouses have meetings?


37 posted on 03/07/2008 12:58:24 PM PST by Vinnie (You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Jihads You)
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To: Loyalist

She doesn’t have typical russian teeth, she must get them done on Milan when she’s there buying clothes.


38 posted on 03/07/2008 1:08:03 PM PST by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: Lizavetta

http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library/exhibits/khrushchev/k1.html

For a look at Kruschev’s wife.


39 posted on 03/07/2008 1:13:13 PM PST by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
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To: colorado tanker
Come on, I know you can do it.

Place your hand over the boob part of your computer screen and look up....up...no, don't remove your hand and go back to ogling. Look up....and behold a 40 year old Chelsea.

40 posted on 03/07/2008 1:14:09 PM PST by Lizavetta
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To: Taffini

Algore was supposedly shoveling shit in Tennessee and the MSM ignored us for stories about the two Soviet ships in Boston for VE Day festivities.


41 posted on 03/07/2008 1:26:18 PM PST by Thrownatbirth (.....Iraq Invasion fan since '91.)
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To: Skooz; dfwgator
“Evening Wear.....Very Nice.”

Thanks for jogging my memory. Hilarious.

42 posted on 03/07/2008 1:47:08 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (dehumanize: the model prescribes the required behavior. disincentives ensure compliance.)
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To: SlapHappyPappy
If you want to be scared read some English language blogs of average Russians. They worship Putin, and by extension his puppet, in a way the Tzars and Stalinists could only dream of.

If Goebbels could have invented blogs, he would have. Don't believe everything you read.

43 posted on 03/08/2008 6:47:11 AM PST by the invisib1e hand (dehumanize: the model prescribes the required behavior. disincentives ensure compliance.)
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To: Loyalist

Baby got rack.


44 posted on 03/08/2008 6:50:36 AM PST by csvset
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To: Loyalist

She has those. I like those.


45 posted on 03/08/2008 7:04:28 AM PST by SW6906 (6 things you can't have too much of: sex, money, firewood, horsepower, guns and ammunition.)
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