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Medvedev Opens Blog for Comments
President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday opened his video blog up for comments from visitors, promising to read the monitored remarks "with great interest."
Medvedev, who has made his Internet savvy part of his public image, addressed the state of the country's physical education and sports programs in his fifth video address, which was posted on the Kremlin's web site Monday.
At the end of the four-minute video, Medvedev told viewers he opened the blog to comments following numerous requests from visitors and that he hopes the opportunity will allow them "to say everything you want to."
"I will read them with great interest," said Medvedev in the video, which was filmed Jan. 9 at his Krasnaya Polyana residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
Medvedev, filmed with snowy mountains behind him, wore a black jacket the presidential seal on the left breast and brown fur lining on the hood.
One of the first comments to appear was from a visitor who identified himself as "bukowski" -- an apparent reference to Soviet-era dissident and Kremlin critic Vladimir Bukovsky -- praising the president's "cool" coat and asking what label it is.
Another asked if Medvedev was enjoying his new MacBook laptop computer, while another asked if he had already asked U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to be his friend on a social-networking site.
The president decided to provide the commenting opportunity for his readers following their multiple requests, he said in Monday's video post. There were a total of 85 comments on the blog as of 5 p.m. Among other issues, visitors expressed their thoughts on the global financial crisis, on Russia's cooperation with Latin American countries and how to improve sports in the country.
The comments must be approved by a moderator before being published.
While many thanked Medvedev for providing an interactive format, not all heaped praise on the president.
One visitor expressed pity for Medvedev due to his "tired" appearance and "baggy eyes." Others complained they could not afford to go skiing like Medvedev, who said in the video that he had spent his winter holidays skiing at Krasnaya Polyana.