Crimea and Biden: Russia at war with the whole world
Putin’s remarks about the US president are a clear sign that the Russians are happy to be back to the war atmosphere of Soviet times. Mutual accusations are an acknowledgement of each other’s “strong man” status. Russia is celebrated as the only people with the truth against the degradations of the West and the world. Putin strangely appears motionless.
Moscow (AsiaNews) – The day after 18 March, a national holiday established to mark the annexation of Crimea in 2014, people and politicians did not talk nor argue, a bit because they have to digest the excesses of alcohol of the day before, a bit because yesterday Russia's message to the world reached its peak with Vladimir Putin's response to US President Joe Biden's attack.
Indeed, there could be no better demonstration of the ideological and political significance of yesterday's event about Crimea as a way to consecrate once again Russia as the only nation that holds the truth against the degradations of the West and of the whole world.
The relaxed, boyish and ironic tone with which Putin responded to Biden, in a linkup to the Crimean and Sevastopol audiences, is a clear sign that the Russians are happy with the return to the 19th-century war climate, right on the day of the “Holy War of Crimea”.
The promise of new US sanctions over the use of prohibited chemical weapons, Navalny’s poisoning, interference in the US election and cyberattacks, along with the “killer” charge against the president, ring like medals of valour, and together show the impotence of Russia’s opponents, who “no longer know what to invent against us.”
Putin mentioned playground fights in which kids tell each other “it takes one to know one”, referring to insults and swear words. With a smug on his face, the “tsar” seemed to imply that it was a kind of game between the two, a publicity stunt to make them talk about each other, again “masters of the world” like in the good old Soviet times.
This is basically Putin's true ideology: to give Russia the feeling of greatness of its past glory, and the clashes with the Americans are proving his point.
The exchange of jabs between the two presidents has been interpreted not so much as mutual accusations, but as a form of mutual “projection”.
As psychologist Ekaterina Sigitova writes on the meduza website, there is mutual recognition that both are strong men, starting with the nuance of the word killer, which can also mean “tough guy,” not like murderer, which indicates an unequivocal condemnation.
In his speech to Crimeans, Putin added that “when we look at other people, and even other peoples and nations, it is as if we are looking in the mirror.”
Several commentators in Russia point out that even Biden's words, that Putin and Russia “will pay a price” shows the impotence of the enemy, which after seven years of sanctions and hostility has not yet managed to get the desired goal.
Putin's response begins by repeatedly wishing the US leader “good health”, thus responding to rumours about his own health, and winking at the mental weaknesses of the older adversary.
Putin then turns the tables on the Americans’ historical-philosophical accusations of criminal actions, citing “the genocide of the Indians, thanks to which America itself was conquered”, and the “long and tremendous period of slavery that still accompanies the conscience of Americans; where else would the Black Lives Matter movement come from? Even today, African-Americans face injustice and harassment.”
The president went on to emphasise the attitude of Americans to dominate the world through violence, citing as an example the atomic bombs against Japan “that made no military sense.”
Concluding his “Crimean” speech, Putin finally revealed that “even if they think that we are like them, we are different; we have another genetic, moral and cultural code. But we know how to defend our interests . . . and they will have to take that into account!”
The image of “Putin the Terrible” is back, full of threats and a sense of his own superiority, in a more smug tone, showing his age (throughout the broadcast he remained motionless with his hands folded on the edge of the table, without moving). He finally pledged that “next time I'll call him [Biden] if he's willing to talk sincerely and directly about the things that interest us.”