Putin Pride. The parade of invincible Russia, redesigned by the tsar


The curtain falls on Covid-19, the one on Victory Day rises to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph against Nazi Germany, which took place 75 years ago. It is the parade of Vladimir Putin. Red flags are waving, green tanks are advancing, 13 thousand uniformed soldiers march on the streets of Moscow and under the camouflage helmets they are half blue: the faces of some of them are covered by a mask. Pale rays of the Russian sun are reflected on the medals of the veterans: for two weeks, in anticipation of the event, the over-ninety-year-olds were exiled and monitored in nursing homes in the sanatoriums of the capital, to shake the president’s hand in front of the cameras at the right time .

Buk missiles on the ground, T-90 in the sky. The 75 fighters flying over Moscow shade for a few seconds on full hospitals, where brave doctors remain in the ward. In the third country with the most infections in the world – almost 10,000 deaths and nearly 600,000 cases of infected – Putin, accused by new and historic opponents of lying about the real state of the situation, said that today the truth is being celebrated. Of history, of Russia.

No reverse, just a delay. On 9 May, the day when the Federation pours through its streets every year, taking photos of heroes and victims of what it calls “the Great Patriotic War” – and not World War II – the traditional parade was postponed for the pandemic to date, June 24, the same date that in 1945 the Soviet Union chose to celebrate the victory against the Germans for the first time. But the Kremlin is now interested in other dates: future. That of July 1st: when the ballot box of the referendum will open to approve the constitutional reforms; and that of 2036: the year in which Putin can still remain in power if the Russians decide to vote in favor of the changes.

The end of streaming. After June 14 – the day of inauguration of the imposing and massive Cathedral of the Armed Forces in Moscow – this is the first, large public appearance of the president who had continued to govern by bouncing from one monitor to another of his ministers from his summer residence . Like many Russians, absent from the appeal in Red Square, French President Macron and Chinese Xi are today. The omnipresents were present: the Belarusian head of state Lukashenko, the presidents of the former Soviet stans, Wei Fenghe, Chinese defense minister. Thirteen Russian cities have decided not to celebrate the event, Vladivostock, queen of Siberia, held it in a sepulchral silence, without spectators.

The lockdown ended on June 9, despite the fact that new patients are registered every day. “The situation is catastrophic in some Regions, they ask people to vote, they try to convince that it is not dangerous” says Anastasia Vasilevna, founder of the Alliance of doctors union, the first siren of the opposition in a white coat who criticized the management of the ’emergency.

Won the war 75 years ago, there is no victory for the one against the virus. Serghey Sobyanin, the dismayed mayor of the epicenter of the pandemic city, knows this well. He has repeatedly issued warnings and appeals to Muscovites in recent days: “the parade is better if you watch it on TV”. But the citizens on the street today will not count, only those at the polls on July 1st. Vows are hidden in the patriotism of the parade. Huge stylized posters in the Russian tricolor dominate and intimate: “July 1st: your choice”.

In honor of this day Putin writer has decided to publish, in Russian and English, a long article to overcome oblivion. “75 years have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War. Generations have grown over the years. The planet map has changed. The Soviet Union, which claimed an epic, overwhelming victory over Nazism and saved the whole world, has disappeared. Behind these words are the destinies of millions of people, their suffering, pain and loss. Behind these words there is also pride, truth and memory. I often ask myself: what will the generation of today do? It will defend the sovereignty of the country “.

Victory is a Russian business. Propaganda is an art of the Federation. It is the story they are part of, “in the world they helped save”, and it is imperative to remember it. Protecting “the truth about the Great Patriotic War” will be mandatory by law, even a paragraph of the amended text of the new Russian Constitution says so. What, despite the fact that the referendum has not yet taken place, the Russian bookstores are already exhibiting.

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