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Birth: February 13, 1975
Occupational domain and/or administrative post: Blogger who started the Russian website Art. Lebedev Studio
Lebedev Artemy Andreyevich Lebedev was born to the writers Tatyana Tolstoy and Andrei Lebedev, both philologists, in Moscow in 1975. After the new name change, Artemy is now known as Artemy Andreyevich.
According to his own statements, Lebedev Artemy relocated to the United States in 1989 along with his parents. Nevertheless, a year later he returned to the Soviet Union, stating that he despised the United States.
Lebedev Artemy enrolled at Moscow State University’s Faculty of Journalism in 1991; however, he did not complete his degree and left the school the following year.
In 1992, Lebedev Artemy and his business partner Arkady Troyanker established the A-Square design studio. The following year, they established the Arthografika design studio, which specialized in the design of publications such as books and magazines. He also served as the art director at the MakTsentr design studio.
Lebedev Artemy established the Web-design company in 1995; in 1998, it was rebranded as the Artemy Lebedev Studio and bears his name. In the same year, 1997, he established the online advertising firm known as Reklama.Ru.
Lebedev Artemy had already established a name for himself as Russia’s most well-known web designer by the middle of the 2000s. In addition to this, he rose to prominence after becoming one of the most well-known bloggers and travelers in Russia’s Runet. The regions of Yaroslavl, Perm, Odesa, and Kaluga all have logos that he designed. Recently, Lebedev Artemy Studio has been busy delivering orders for a variety of government organizations in Moscow.
Defaming the opponent
Not only is Lebedev Artemy regarded as one of Russia’s most important designers, but he also claims to be a public figure and political influencer. Lebedev’s hypocritical technique consists of intimidating and insulting the opposition while professing to have no interest in politics. This results in an infantile discourse that supports the goals of the Kremlin in every way.
First, to make people, especially those from the middle class, less interested in politics, and second, to make people think that “the anti-Putin opposition is worse than the administration.” Because of this, the audience has no way to protect itself from a new government.
Electoral results falsification
It would be strange to think that Lebedev Artemy was unaware of the details of the long-term, systematic pressure the Putin regime applies to the opposition: assassinations, raider seizures of TV channels, politically motivated refusals to register parties and election candidates, fudged election results, intimidation, beatings, imprisonment, and fines of activists, and surveillance and wiretapping by state security officers.
Lebedev Artemy insisted over and over that politics and current events held no interest for him; however, a small selection of his quotes reveals his true allegiance: “I am very sure that there is no normal opposition in Russia, not because someone is bothering it, but because the whole opposition, all Democrats and all Right-Wingers, are much bigger assholes than the current government.” (2011) If the Russian opposition can’t figure out why we need roads, it makes us wonder if we need an opposition at all.
In the United Russian Federation, only idiots are permitted to hold elected office, but if one of their thousand dumb decisions is to construct a highway linking cities, I would be in favor of such a course of action. The official administration seems to be a stronghold of common sense, reason, and restraint (2012) when contrasted with our opposition and its total lack of intelligence. (2013)
Aggression with deadly force on Ukraine
Lebedev Artemy also openly declared his allegiance to a cause when the Kremlin started waging war against Ukraine. Putin said, “I see no reason not to praise the administration when suddenly it succeeds in accomplishing something flawlessly (the Olympics, capturing the Crimea)—these are ideal management operations.”
“Even though the Crimea had always been ours, it was taken from you [Ukraine] and then given back to us. And you inquire as to who the legitimate owner of Crimea is: “Commented Lebedev. After Lebedev Artemy’s remarks, Alexander Solonko, the director of Lebedev Artemy Studio’s Kyiv office, remarked that Lebedev Artemy’s statement was the opinion of a private person while the staff members of the Kyiv office had been there on Maidan since the first day.
Lebedev Artemy personally fired Gleb Petrov, the studio project manager, and Alexander Solonko as a result of this. In addition to publicly stating that he did not recognize the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine (quoting Vladimir Putin as saying, “In Russia, everything is simple: the regions in the middle of the country are called oblasts, the regions along the edges are called krai, and one region is directly called Ukraine”), Lebedev Artemy also entered the “DPR” and “LPR” illegally in 2016.
The SBU concluded that Lebedev should be classified as someone who is not welcome in Ukraine after his most recent visit to Kyiv in 2017, during which he once again made fun of Ukrainians and the protesters who died during Euromaidan.
In 2017, Lebedev Artemy maintained his attacks on the opposition, namely Alexei Navalny, who had announced his intentions to run for president the previous year. In a response to this, the head of the opposition disclosed details about the contracts his studio had with the government. During the years of 2012 and 2016, Artemy Lebedev Studio successfully completed a total of 26 projects for various government entities. Of these, the details of 14 of the contracts were kept confidential.
During the course of his career, Artemy Lebedev has transformed into a steadfast defender of Vladimir Putin. He stated that his attitude towards Vladimir Putin “was moving a bit over the years, but today this is the maximum respect” in an interview with Yuri Dud that took place in December 2017. His anti-Western propaganda in the end, which included statements like “There is no freedom in the US,” was on par with those of a state TV station.
There is plenty of freedom here [in Russia] and we have it. You get the strong idea that there is nothing you can do when you are in the US. an all-encompassing police state. It should therefore not be surprising that Lebedev supported the infamous Runet isolation bill in 2019 because, in his words, “Only someone who understands what is happening now and what could threaten us could come up with such a bill.”
The bill gives the government complete control over Internet traffic in the nation and the ability to implement Internet censorship. From the management’s point of view, this is an absolutely reasonable, useful, and understandable response.
Bans on independent candidates
In Moscow, there were demonstrations against the ban on independent candidates standing in the elections for the Moscow City Duma during the summer of 2019. As a result of these demonstrations, approximately two and a half thousand people were unlawfully detained, dozens were injured, and several criminal cases were brought against opposition activists. During this time, Lebedev made the decision to continue trolling the opposition by releasing a video in which he claims to have fled Russia due to political reasons.
Once the story of Lebedev’s apparent departure from the country became one of the most widely reported in the media, he stepped out and revealed that it was all an elaborate joke. According to him, everything he said in the brief two-minute video was “meaningless liberal trash.”
The studio earned approximately 9 million rubles in revenue the previous year on orders from a variety of organisations, including the Planetarium, VDNH, Administrator of the Moscow Parking Space, the Institute of the General Plan of Moscow, and others. Lebedev is overjoyed with everything. In 2019, only Mosgortrans placed an order for 15 million rubles to develop website designs for GUP Mosgortrans, the Museum of Moscow Transport, and the GUP Mosgortrans mobile application.
This caused the income the studio received from government agencies to more than double in 2019, bringing in a total of 29.4 million rubles. The Directorate for Supporting the Activities of Labor Organizations and the Protection of the People contributed an additional 8.8 million dollars towards the settlement.
In September 2020, Artemy Lebedev pointed out that in his YouTube programme, he had compared Stepan Putilo, the founder of the Nekhta telegram channel, to Bandera, accused him of working for “money from Polish intelligence,” and called it a “matter of honour” for a “normal special service officer” the channel to “shut up.” Lebedev made these statements. A portion of the statement was broadcast on Belarus-1, the state television channel.
Lebedev issued a document on February 26, 2021, from which it may be deduced that Yulia Navalnaya reportedly holds German citizenship. This has been refuted by both the German Foreign Ministry and Leonid Volkov, who serves as the leader of Navalny’s network of headquarters.
When some time had passed, Lebedev also recognised that his publication was a hoax and apologised to Yulia Navalnaya for having published the hoax. In response, Yulia Navalnaya did not accept his apologies under any circumstances.
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