An analysis by Ulrich Reitz – The most important thing about Putin’s propaganda speech is what he didn’t say

An analysis by Ulrich Reitz: The most important thing about Putin’s propaganda speech is what he didn’t say

Putin’s speech in Red Square on “Victory Day” over Nazi Germany seemed oddly defensive. This is due to the fact that things are not going as well as he had hoped for the conquest warrior: Putin was denied a second day of victory, this time over an allegedly nazified Ukraine. Does this mean that World War III has been canceled?

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Three comments on Putin, on current occasion:

First:

Most striking is what the Russian aggressor in distress did NOT say in his “Victory Day” speech: Vladimir Putin did not announce “victory” over Ukraine because there was no “triumph” to announce either. This lie would then have been too obvious – in view of the ongoing fighting. So far, it hasn’t even been enough for a “victory” over Mariupol, even though Ukrainian President Valodymyr Zelenskyy says that the country lacks the military strength to recapture the strategically important city.

Putin would have liked to announce victory, alone: ​​his “glorious” army was too weak, too disorganized and too demotivated. And the Ukrainians are too strong, too organized and too motivated. Putin’s assumption that the Ukrainians would throw themselves on their backs happily and happily at the sight of the first olive-green representatives of the Russian “fraternal people” on their soil has long since proved to be an illusion.

Putin did not announce a general mobilization

Putin has also not announced a “general mobilization” feared by Western secret services. And he never made an official declaration of war, this too had been speculated. It is obvious to interpret this as a sign of weakness, but as a journalist you are on shaky ground here.

It could prove to be more significant that Putin no longer spoke of a claim to all of Ukraine. In general, he already avoided the word “Ukraine”. Has the Russian warrior reduced his war aim to the Donbass, to this part of eastern Ukraine? This too belongs in the Kremlin Astrology section. One should remain cautious and vigilant: Putin’s recourse to a Russian blood and soil ideology will in any case allow him to speak more hawkishly again tomorrow.

Putin refrained from making another threat about the Russian nuclear arsenal. Which underscores the fact that his speech this year was primarily directed inwards. He doesn’t need nuclear escalation to force his Russians into loyalty to him. Apparently he already has the support – unfortunately.

Secondly:

Putin declared the war of aggression, which violates international law because it had no cause, to be a preventive strike. This also serves to reassure his own people, to whom Putin has been telling this story for 15 years.

The Germans know this line of argument well from their own history. On September 1st, at the beginning of the war, Adolf Hitler announced: “Since 5:45 a.m. people have been shooting back.” The mass murderer justified the attack on Poland with the alleged Polish attack on the Gleiwitz transmitter in Silesia. SS henchmen had staged this attack.

Clumsy war propaganda in Putin’s speech

Putin’s claim that Ukraine was planning an attack on Russia that Moscow had to “preemptively” prevent is clumsy war propaganda that falls on fertile ground at home. Russia is the largest country on earth, and yet this geopolitical circumstance could not prevent that country from being invaded twice – the first time by Napoleon, the second time by Hitler.

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From this, Putin developed his story of a Russian “encirclement” by the West, with which he justified his armed conflict against Georgia almost 15 years ago, as well as in Moldova and then in Ukraine.

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Third:

As an enemy, Putin no longer put Ukraine in the shop window, but the West, represented by the Western Defense Alliance. The campaign against the alleged “brother people” can only be justified if the Ukrainians have meanwhile turned into “Nazis” – re-educated by the United States and the NATO member countries.

The effects of this alleged re-education process can currently be observed – in Sweden and Finland. Under the impression of the Russian threat, these two countries are in the process of giving up their self-image as neutral, non-aligned states.

The forthcoming northern expansion of NATO is a good example of how Putin has failed to achieve his own goals with his Ukraine war:

  • Russia has never made such a fool of itself in such a short time.
  • Never before has the previously politically divided Ukraine been so united, so much a “nation” as it is today.
  • Never has the West been so close together and, due less to the Europeans and more to the Americans, so attractive to new members seeking protection from Russian invaders.

Putin tried today to claim “Victory Day” for Russia. But that can only work if you believe him in equating Russia with the Soviet Union. That is why Ukrainian President Zelenskyi promptly objected to this kind of cultural “appropriation” of the victory over Nazi Germany. Selenskyi’s message: The Soviet Union no longer exists. And she’s not coming back either.

It was the appropriate, liberal response to Putin’s attempt to nostalgically conjure up what has long since disappeared.

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