WATERTOWN, Mass. (A.W.)—A news item alleging that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is Armenian, posted on June 18 on the website of De Weekkrant in Dutch, has finally made it to Armenian hands and was being forwarded all over the Armenian cyberspace on Dec. 24.
The news item, titled “Dmitry Medvedev is een Armenier” (Dmitry Medvedev is Armenian), alleges that the Russian President told a journalist from the newswire RIA Novosti (Russian Information Agency Novosti) that both his parents were Armenians from Adana!
Below is a rough translation of the article making the rounds in the Armenian cyberspace:
“This afternoon, during the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) press conference a Russian journalist from RIA Novosti asked Russian President Dmitry Medvedev whether he has Jewish ancestry. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev replied that the rumors about his Jewish ancestry are false. He added that his ancestors came from Adana (Western Armenia, in Turkey now) and he was born in Russia. He added, “I want everyone to know that I am Armenian. My mother’s last name was Naxshikyan. My father’s name was Bagratyan. I had to change my name to become the head of the Russian secret service (KGB) in France during the cold war… I am 100% Armenian…”
The story has little, if any, credence. Medvedev who was born in 1965, lived and studied in Russia for most of his life. He received his Law Degree in 1987 from Leningrad State University. Three years later, he received his Ph.D. from the same university… and then the Cold War was over. Published biographies of Medvedev do not make any reference to his Armenian ancestry either.
The original version of the De Weekkrant article is available at: http://www.deweekkrant.nl/artikel/2009/juni/18/dmitry_medvedev_is_een_armenier/