The Russian president appears in public again and speaks plainly about Crimea. The imperial lie is now truly impossible to ignore.
Quite the old: Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 16. Image: reuters
At least as far as Crimea is concerned, Vladimir Putin has finally dropped the mask. Just in time for the 1-year anniversary of Crimea’s accession to Russia, a documentary film by Andrei Kondrashov entitled "Crimea. The Return to the Homeland" will be broadcast.
The trailer for it was presented a week ago. In it, the Russian president reveals that the decision to bring Crimea home was made in his study at around 7 a.m. on February 23 (i.e. immediately after Ukrainian ex-president Yanukovych fled Kiev). Basically, Putin admits that his previous vehement denial of any Russian involvement in the annexation of Crimea was a bold-faced lie. Putin obviously doesn’t even think it’s necessary to hide anymore. Why on earth is he doing this?
This purposefully placed bomb was commented on rather cautiously in the German media, while Putin’s absence for days was speculated about in detail. And that is the real scandal. Some, who have always known anyway, seem to be war-weary and resigned. The others, who position themselves as Putin-understanders, remain silent.
When Putin communicates with Europe, they use ciphers like "help the threatened Russians" or "don’t leave the people to the roller of the nationalists". In other words: "I reserve the right to invade.
Firmly in the saddle
Rarely in the recent history of Europe have things changed as quickly and as seriously as they have in the last year. It is quickly told by means of a handful of Putin’s statements. Mostly good for a surprise and well staged.
He is the one who determines the rules according to which the game is played. At best, Putin leaves the West the role of a commentator who has to decipher and interpret the messages sent. Only his commitment to the annexation of Crimea is no longer a signal, but plain language. Fuck you all! I am firmly in the saddle, and behind me my people.
The Crimea documentary is intended for his own people. According to the advertisement, Vladimir Putin will explain in it glorious episodes "of the Crimean spring, which have determined the course of the latest Russian history". They are part of the jingoistic ecstasy that has become the only reality for millions of Russians.
Just under two weeks ago, a 3-minute film entitled "I am the Russian occupier" appeared on the Internet and has since been clicked on five million times. It was produced by a scandal-ridden studio that has already made a name for itself with other provocative propaganda spots.
Upcoming victory jubilee
The multilingual professionally subtitled video reads, "I politely warn you for the last time. Do not provoke me! I make peace. I love peace. But I can fight better than anyone else! Respectfully, the Russian occupier". This sounds like a dress rehearsal for the actual upcoming anniversary of superlatives, the 70th Victory Day Parade on Red Square on May 9. It will probably crack so that the cups will clink in Berlin and Kiev.
Speaking of Kiev. Ukraine has been suspiciously quiet since Nemtsov’s murder. However, the war in Donbass continues to claim new victims. The Kremlin denies any involvement. But who can guarantee that new scenarios are not being written there? Donbass spring episode, then maybe Mariupol, Kharkiv, who knows for sure. In any case, there will hardly be a lack of new concessions from competent mouths. For Putin, the truth is only what is convenient at the moment. Anyone who does not see this now, at the latest, is lying to himself.