Putin the Terrible compares himself to Peter the Great
Orthodox consider the Russian Tsar the 'Westernist' Antichrist. The Russian president on the outcome of the war against Ukraine: in 10 years time we will have a better standard of living. The people wait with resigned submission.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on 9 June compared himself to Tsar Peter the Great, during a meeting with young scholars and entrepreneurs at the Vdnk Fair in Moscow, continues to arouse comment and debate, promising that "in 10 years Russia will live much better". The perplexity comes both from the figure of the 'Westernized' emperor, who is usually remembered in negative tones, and from the optimism about future prosperity, when the effects of Western sanctions on the skin of citizens are beginning to be felt.
In the course of time, Putin had compared himself, or had done so for him by numerous prompters and ideologues, with the first prince Vladimir 'the baptiser'. Or with Aleksandr Nevsky, who had saved Rus' from the Germans and made a deal with the Mongols. There was no shortage of comparisons with Ivan the Terrible who had defeated the Tatars, with the more authoritarian 19th century tsars such as Nicholas I and Alexander III, and finally with Stalin, the victor over Nazism. Peter is considered the Antichrist by the Orthodox and the most intransigent nationalists, for having wanted to 'open a window on Europe'. the one that today Putin himself is closing again, as well as for having introduced the capital vices of smoking and vodka, imported by the immoral West, which only wants the ruin of the holy Russian people.
In reality, the reasons for appropriating the legacy of the last Tsar of Russian blood (the successors were descendants of crossbreeds with European imperial courts) are not trivial. Peter remained on the throne for 44 years, from 1682 to 1726, second only to Ivan's 54, and Putin with his '10-year promise' has made it clear that he has every intention of wanting to reach 2032, the designated year of the end of his last constitutional term, also surpassing the 30-year reign.
Moreover, Peter had to fight for most of his term, first with internal opponents and then with Swedes, Poles, Turks and any kind of adversary that could even tarnish the imperial grandeur of St. Petersburg, Putin's own hometown.
The president was pleased to be with the young people at the site of the great exhibitions of the Soviet era, the Vdnk, the acronym for the 'Fair of the Conquests of the People's Economy', which in the years of 'Yeltsin westernization' had been 'turned into a dump' by consumerist invasions from abroad. It was precisely the sanctions that freed most of the exhibition and commercial spaces from the foreign firms that left, and the Vdnk today represents the new Russian ideal of 'economic and moral purity'.
Putin's good humour suggested that he was beginning to feel satisfied with the outcome of the 'special military operation', in which the borders of the Donbass are almost completely secured and the long-awaited proclamation of victory is approaching, which would bring a sigh of relief not only to the invading Russians and their many supporters around the world. He set out his leadership theory as follows: 'In order to be able to claim any leadership, even not global, but at least in something, every country, every people, every ethnos must guarantee its sovereignty, because here there are no half measures: either you are sovereign, or you are a colony'.
Putin avoided naming names 'so as not to offend anyone', but insisted on the need to free ourselves from colonial oppressions 'in this current fierce geopolitical struggle', which after all also comes to us from the past, when 'we were forced to retreat, but then we regained our strength, we concentrated, and we moved forward!' Thanks to the comparison with Peter, who was indeed able to learn from mistakes and humiliations, Putin's Russia has 'regained its strength' in the past two decades to once again assert itself over the 'colonisers'.
Praising the Russian scientists and industrialists, who 'provided us with hypersonic weapons', today Russia will rise up from all the weaknesses of the past, and will finally be able to live off its own prosperity, refusing all meddling. The Russian people wait with resigned submission, hoping that at least all will not be lost, because according to Putin 'the whole world blames us for the problems, but we have nothing to do with it'.