Navalnyj's death and the triumph of propaganda
by Stefano Caprio

The eagerness to insert himself into global power struggles is not just a personal propensity of Putin's, but somehow a typical characteristic of Russian nature, which needs to find self-confirmation elsewhere, so as not to loose itself among the forests and steppes of its boundless territory.


The second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine is celebrated by Vladimir Putin with the most radical and definitive propaganda move, that of wiping out all forms of opposition. With the death in a lager of Aleksej Naval'nyj, the only real opponent of the last twenty years, the month of the election campaign for the fifth re-election on 17 March was inaugurated, from which the only non-aligned candidate, Boris NadeĹždin, was also conveniently eliminated.

Both removals were widely expected and unnecessary for the success of the dictatorship's triumph, largely established since the tsar's second-third re-election, but they appear decidedly useful for the only Victory that interests the collective Putin, that of the Great War of the Russian World.

The World Election War 2024 had already become apparent on 13 January in Taiwan, scoring a point against mainland China's historical enemies. On 7 February, Azerbaijan instead opened the series of farcical re-elections of tyrants, with Ilham Aliev's fifth term in office at 92% of the vote, a ritual explicitly linked to victory on the ground, the reconquest of Nagorno Karabakh at the expense of Armenians.

Following this, on 25 February, we now have the discounted re-election of Aleksandr Lukašenko in Belarus, who, to be on the safe side, has had all the assets of his opponents from four years ago, now in prison or abroad, seized, auctioning off their homes, just in case anyone thinks of going back.

The two post-neo-Soviet leaders are, after all, only the valets who open the curtains of the royal box of Tsar Putin, who will reach the quarter-century mark without even having to face adversaries, not even on the surface, given that poor Nadezhdin has had his signatures on the registrations contested, as written in unworthy handwriting, and accompanied by even more shameful predictions, as if he wanted to take 20% of the votes and reduce the plebiscite consensus to the Kremlin's godfather.

On 1 March, the Assembly of Experts, Iran's parliament, will be 'renewed', again to add a laudatory chorus to the Putin re-election on 17 March, for which great popular festivities and proclamations of universal victory are expected.

Between April and May, it will be Narendra Modi's turn to collect the bulk of the votes of almost a billion voters in India, in the 'largest democracy in the world' increasingly similar to the regimes of its large Eurasian neighbours.

In June it will be the turn of four hundred million Europeans for the renewal of the parliament in Brussels, and it will be one of the moments in which to begin to draw the sums of the great war, leading up to the final battle of the Anglosaksy between November and December, with the clash of the American 'patriarchs' Biden and Trump, and the probable early elections in England.

On the outcome of the big elections will also depend to a large extent the evolution of the war scenarios, in Ukraine and Israel above all, depending on the prevalence of more or less pacifist alignments and the orientation on which sides to support or condemn.

The Kremlin is therefore not just watching from afar, but considers these formal calls for democracy as real calls for mobilisation, in an increasingly hybrid and multifaceted war on a universal level.

An example comes from Indonesia, where artificial intelligence was used to clean up the image of candidates, and mobilise deceased politicians to send messages to voters. In recent days, the French watchdog agency Viginum, specialised in defending against foreign digital interference, has highlighted a network of almost two hundred Russian websites engaged in propaganda of the Kremlin's theses in the West, called Portal Kombat, structured and coordinated to target the Internet audience in Europe and the US, and in all the countries that support Ukraine.

Putin does not only want to conquer Ukraine, or Moldova, which may soon be invaded in its turn, but he intends to dominate ('save') the whole world.

Ukrainian intelligence then gathered information about the beginning of an active phase of Russia's cyber-warfare that has allegedly already begun, named Perun after the greatest pagan deity of ancient Rus', whose idol was thrown into the Dnepr by Prince Vladimir as a symbolic gesture of the Baptism of 988. In this way, Russia reaffirms its 'holy battle' for the true faith, rejecting the false values of the idolatrous West.

This campaign involves the involvement of foreign journalists, media personalities and bloggers to support, in all latitudes and in all applications, the reasons for the aggression against Ukraine and Russia's salvific mission in the world.

The resounding start of the Perun was the interview granted by Vladimir Putin to the American Tucker Carlson, in which not surprisingly the Russian president went on to recall the exploits of the leaders of Rus' since the century before the Baptism of Kiev, starting with Oleg 'the seer' who attributed to Kiev the title of 'mother of Russian cities', and because he was a seer, he knew that this honour was destined to reach as far as Moscow.

Putin himself later confided that he was 'disappointed' by Carlson's excessive condescension, who asked him almost no questions about anything, let alone objections.

One has to make sure that one believes in the existence of a world 'real debate', so as not to fall into ridicule as in the case of the interview, in which the servile submission of the American highlighted the clumsiness of the leader, who got caught up in the eagerness to identify the characters of ancient history with his current enemies, the Ukrainian 'neo-Nazis' who started the 'civil war' in 2014, so much so that he regrets not having started the invasion earlier to restore the original unity.

The paradox is that Putin even went so far as to sympathise with Hitler, blaming the Poles for the start of the Second World War to which the Nazi leader was allegedly 'forced', just as Stalin 'had to correct' Lenin's grave mistake, presented as 'the inventor of Ukraine'.

The eagerness to insert himself into power struggles all over the world, after all, is certainly not just a personal propensity of Putin's, but somehow a typical character of Russian nature, always in need of finding elsewhere the confirmation of its own existence, so as not to disperse among the forests and steppes of its boundless territory.

Peter the Great intended to make Russia the 'real Europe', proclaiming himself king of Sweden and Poland, and spying as a young man on the sessions of the House of Lords in London, at the invitation of William III of Orange.

In the mid-19th century, Tsar Nicholas I, called 'the gendarme of Europe', did everything in his power to defend the principle of autocracy even among his enemies, such as Ottoman Turkey, or the 'great Latin heretic', the Pope of Rome Gregory XVI, whom the Tsar visited privately at the Quirinal Palace in 1846, asking him not to give in to liberal suggestions.

One of the Russians most passionate about foreign elections was the great writer Lev Tolstoy, representative of Russia's liberal and pacifist soul, but no less involved in the great games of War and Peace.

At the end of the 19th century, the supreme Russian novelist continually expressed his wish for America to choose 'the right president', and US Republicans were very concerned about the great influence Count Tolstoy could have on the American electorate, publishing articles against his exhortations, which were considered 'moral degradations'.

The future president Theodor Roosevelt, who in 1886 was New York's chief of police, always walked around with a copy of Anna Karenina to reread during stakeouts and operations, writing in a letter to his wife that Tolstoy 'never comments on the actions of his characters, whether they are good or bad... it is a manner of narration without morality, if not directly immoral'.

The whole of America avidly read Tolstoy's novels, each of his books became a best-seller and provoked heated discussions. At the time, the 'women's question' was being discussed, and Russians and Americans were scandalised by the excessive openness in European countries, while Tolstoy was in the vanguard of the demands for new rights, so much so that he was officially excommunicated in his homeland, and in the USA the publication of Sonata a Kreuzer was banned according to an 1873 law condemning 'indecent, perverse or lustful' books. 

Even Resurrection, Tolstoy's most anti-clerical novel, was admitted with severe cuts by the American censors, "according to the principles of bourgeois morality", as warned in the preface, arousing strong protests from the author.

American readers showered the writer with letters, anticipating the avalanches of social commentary of today, and groups of visitors and pilgrims from America came to the Jasnaja Poljana estate.

Tolstoy was the most 'Americanophile' character in Russian history, and he certainly turned in his grave upon hearing his great-great-grandson, the current Russian deputy Petr Tolstoy, call his daughter's period of study in America his 'terrible sin' and a kind of 'global guilt', in a total reversal of the 'eternal war of values' front.

Also visiting the count in 1903 was William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic candidate defeated in 1896 by Republican William McKinley.

Bryan was a famous populist orator, known as the 'Great Common Man' to whom Donald Trump himself is compared today, and in 1900 he again tried to win an election by opposing paper notes 'in the hands of the banks' to defend the 'gold standard', but lost again despite large rallies in which he posed the crucifix 'for the defence of the people'.

More than one hundred and twenty years later, Russia, America and Europe are once again at loggerheads, searching for gold and lost values. The outrage over the assassination of Naval'nyj compels all leaders, parties and factions of public opinion in all countries to take sides, making Russia the only global homeland in which to decide what future we want to build.

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