Svetlana Linnik was born into a military family in Kronstadt, a town administered by Leningrad. Medvedeva was the youngest daughter child in her family.
Medvedeva was active in extracurricular activities in school, and took an active part in school-held KVNs, spectacles, performances and other events. Medvedeva met her future husband in Middle School #305, in Kupchino, near Leningrad.
In 1987, Medvedeva began studying at the Saint Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance. In her first year at the university, Medvedeva switched to taking evening courses and started working full-time. The Medvedevs married in 1993, after they had completed their studies. In 1995, Medvedeva gave birth to their son, Ilya, and stopped working. In the same year, Medvedeva was baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church.
After the couple moved to Moscow, Medvedeva directed several Russian-Italian initiatives, Sister cities Milan – Saint Petersburg and Venice – Saint Petersburg, which intended to develop tourism between these cities. In 2006, Medvedeva initiated the annual Russian Art Festival in Bari, Italy.
Medvedeva became First Lady when her husband, Dmitry Medvedev, took over as President following his victory in Russian Presidential elections on 7 May 2008. In the same year, Medvedeva headed the initiative for the institution of Family Day in Russia. Medvedeva has already caused something of a media frenzy, even though she shies away from photographers and rarely gives interviews. Medvedeva currently chairs the management council of multitier program Spiritual and moral culture of younger generation of Russia created with blessing of Alexy II of Moscow. In an interview, Medvedeva detailed her views on the interaction between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Government of Russia in promoting family policies. Medvedeva has taken up the pro-life cause in Russia's efforts to restrict abortion in 2011.
Medvedeva is one of the leading figures of restricting the freedom of religion in Russia."forum18".
On 20 August 2010, Medvedeva visited the National Gallery and the History Museum of Armenia, along with visiting the Armenian First Lady, Rita Sargsyan. Together they admired the works of various painters, including Ivan Aivazovsky, Vardges Surenyants, Gevorg Bashinjaghyan, and Panos Terlemezyan. Following the exhibition, the Armenian First Lady showed her a 5500-year-old shoe, which was discovered in 2008 in the Vayots Dzor Province.
Medvedeva is a pro-life activist, and has been pushing for restrictions on abortion.
Medvedeva speaks fluent French.