Director of the Institute of World Politics
Recent resonant statements by Russian politicians are turning the aggressor country into a global source of absurdity. By and large, this completes the process of demythologizing “Great Russia,” but in Moscow no one cares.
Russia’s ruthless and shameless “strategic communications” allowed Sergei Lavrov to declare that “the most desperate anti-Semites are usually Jews”. It was difficult to find the worst time for this than the beginning of May, when humanity celebrates the anniversary of the victory over Nazism, and the Jewish state – the anniversary of its formation. Instead of basically respecting his Middle Eastern partner, Lavrov decided to make the situation absurd: first his subordinates from the Foreign Ministry accused the Israeli government of “supporting the neo-Nazi regime in Kyiv” and then Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Israeli mercenaries were fighting alongside neo-Nazis.
It should be reminded that Sergei Lavrov has been the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry for 18 years. Although this diplomat is inferior to the record of staying in the main office on Smolenskaya Square, which belongs to Andrei Gromyk, he has made a significant contribution to honing the image of “Mr. No”. Lavrov has shown considerable enthusiasm since 2014, when he began to justify Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in various ways.
Putin’s apology for Lavrov’s anti-Semitic attack on Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett should not be seen as a triumph of common sense. The reason is simple – the wave of anti-Semitism in Russian society has been skillfully and thoughtfully raised and formal apologies worth nothing. In fact, over the past 10 weeks, Russia has consistently destroyed the world’s perception of itself as a predictable and civilized state.
Therefore, it is not surprising that Russia is carrying out informational pumping over Vladimir Putin’s speech on May 9, creating a kind of parallel reality. Fear remains Russia’s main argument in the international arena, only the tools of intimidation are changing. Victory Day over Nazism in the Soviet paradigm, which Russia has developed through the St. George’s Ribbon and the Immortal Regiment, has a special place in the Kremlin’s political calendar. Especially now, after the systemic failures of the Russian military in the war against Ukraine. However, Putin is not a military man, he is a former intelligence officer and this fact is key to understanding his modus operandi.
The announcement of a general mobilization of the Russians will mean the de facto recognition of the failure of “special military operation”, the success of which is constantly claimed by Russian propagandists. The declaration of war on Ukraine is actually recognition of it as a state, which seems extremely politically unprofitable for the Kremlin. Therefore, the most probable is Putin’s continued allusions to possible horrors for the whole world, manipulation with different meanings and covert manipulation. This will mean, among other things, the continuation of the decline of Russia’s authority in the world. Russia, of course, will not stop, it will be stopped only by Ukrainian defenders with the help of the West.