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Is Tucker Writing Putin's Speeches Now, Or ...
Some kind of spring break study abroad program or something?
Here's another story of a high-profile Russian citizen speaking out against Russia's evil war against Ukraine, and then fleeing the country: Prima ballerina Olga Smirnova, lately of the famed Bolshoi Ballet, is leaving to go join the Dutch National Ballet.
Why? Axios bull et points her quotes, because that's the only way Axios is allowed to write:
"I am against war with all the fibers of my soul. It is not only about every other Russian perhaps having relatives or friends living in Ukraine, or about my grandfather being Ukrainian and me being quarter Ukrainian," she wrote in a Telegram message earlier this month, per the press release.
"I never thought I would be ashamed of Russia, I have always been proud of talented Russian people, of our cultural and athletic achievements. But now I feel that a line has been drawn that separates the before and the after," she added.
We can't imagine there's a single thing Russians could be proud of about their country right now. At least nothing that's true.
And Vladimir Putin, oh boy, he is clearly feeling tiny-balled and threatened by that fact. We've noticed that a lot of the high-profile people speaking out right now are immediately fleeing the country. Clearly they know what Putin's like when he feels threatened.
Putin gave a speech on Wednesday. It wasn't as much about the true glories of his war, but rather about how mad he is at Russians who expose him as a liar. Putin said the Ukrainian government led by Jewish man Volodymyr Zelenskyy is "Nazi," but really focused his ire on his own people, saying, "Russian people will always be able to tell the true patriots from bastards and traitors."
The New York Times has more:
President Vladimir V. Putin on Wednesday referred to pro-Western Russians as “scum and traitors” who needed to be removed from society, describing the war in Ukraine as part of an existential clash with the United States and setting the stage for an ever fiercer crackdown at home and even more aggression abroad.
Oh, he's mad. The Times says he railed against the "political beau monde" of Europe and the US, and called Russians who supported it "slave-like." He told the Russian people that it is Russia that is fighting for its sovereignty here.
Here's a full quote where Putin uses the phrase "necessary self-purification of society," which is pretty wild coming from a guy who's calling other people Nazis:
“The Russian people will always be able to distinguish true patriots from scum and traitors and simply spit them out like a fly that accidentally flew into their mouths,” Mr. Putin said. “I am convinced that such a natural and necessary self-purification of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to respond to any challenges.”
Yeah, so that's not good. An expert quoted in the times called Putin's speech "an informal and indirect sanctioning of mass repression" and called it "very scary."
But it's remarkable how weak and cornered he sounds. Those overwrought tough guy words might be causing spontaneous prostate orgasms from Mar-a-Lago to the Fox News studios, we don't know, but they don't strike us as the words of a guy who's actually certain he's winning. The Times says even pro-Kremlin commentators in Russia are saying out loud that Putin's war is a lot harder than they thought, quoting one, Sergey Markov, who said, "It was expected that 30 to 50 percent of the Ukrainian Armed Forced would switch over to Russia's side. No one is switching over." What an embarrassing miscalculation.
Here's something else, though.
It seems some of the ass-to-mouth propaganda dispersal we're all watching happen between Putin and American conservative mouthpieces might be going both ways. As in, the Kremlin is still responsible for the overall thrust, but Putin is maybe getting style tips from the Americans. Media Matters noticed that his speech condemning the Russians he considers traitors sounded at times downright Tucker-y . Which would make sense, as Russian state-run media is playing a lot of Tucker these days!
For example, Putin said the West is trying to "cancel" Russia. Oh yes, he said the West is canceling "Russian music, culture and literature." So that's fun.
At one point Putin bitched and moaned about "foie gras, oysters, or so-called gender freedoms.” Good lord, did Putin beat up a gay guy in a bathroom and is he going to tell us all about it a whole buncha times?
Putin denounces a pro-Western "fifth column" who supposedly love villas in Miami, foie gras, and "so-called gender freedoms". Even if this war ends soon, it looks like repression in Russia will only get much, much worse.pic.twitter.com/iSKZR1RHAR
— Peter Liakhov (@Peter Liakhov) 1647450066
Putin said of alleged Russian traitors that they “would sell their own mother, just to have permission to sit at the entranceway of this higher caste," referring to Russians who want to be like the Westerns. Media Matters notes that this is a pretty funny appeal to populism from a guy who may well be the wealthiest person in the world, and that it has some serious echoes of Frozen Chicken Fauntleroy, who's always doing this clownass fake populism shit, and who's been lately framing his Kremlin apologetics as a matter of wealthy elites forcing a war on regular hardworking (white) Americans.
So all of that's kind of wild.
But it's also extremely dangerous. The Times reports that, in the true fashion of a guy who's actually winning a war, Putin's new crackdowns against his own people started shortly after his speech:
The authorities announced a criminal case against a popular lifestyle blogger, Veronika Belotserkovskaya, for antiwar Instagram posts that “discredited the state authorities and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.” The government blocked access to the website of BBC News and promised that this was “only the beginning of the response to the information war unleashed by the West against Russia.”
Yep. People who are winning wars definitely prioritize criminal cases against lifestyle bloggers and their Instagram posts. Sure thing.
It's only going to get worse from here on out, for Ukrainians and for Russians. None of this had to happen.
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