MOSCOW, May 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he was not offended by web-users calling him 'Dimon,' a diminutive version of his name.
“To tell you the truth it does not offend me at all. There are things that I do not like. It is understandable. But it is absolutely normal and humanly when I am called Dimon on internet,” Medvedev said in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda.
Russians traditionally address their elders and superiors by their first name and patronymic.
“So what is wrong with Dimon? This is how I was called in my childhood. It is all trifle,” Medvedev added.
In March, Medvedev’s spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said in an interview with Golos Rossii (Voice of Russia) that web-users must not get too familiar with the prime minister. “He’s not Dimon to you - he’s the head of the government,” she said.
An hour after a transcript of her interview was published, #Dimon and #Don’tCryDimon began trending on Russian Twitter.
During his four-year stint as president until 2012, Medvedev sought to demonstrate his high-tech credentials by being seen to actively engage with social media. He is an active user of Facebook and Twitter, and has made the Skolkovo innovation complex, dubbed Russia’s “Silicon Valley,” something of a pet project.
But more often than not, Medvedev ended up becoming the object of irreverent jokes among the online community.