April 28, 2005 by AK
Putin’s address redux
I think I should add two points after a chat at Foreign Dispatches.
— “Geopolitical” is a staple of Russian political discourse, hence it has nearly lost meaning and come to denote something big and important, of global dimensions perhaps. When the sky falls down on you, it’s a pain of global dimensions, too.
— Putin was speaking specifically to a Russian audience and as a Russian — the Russian, so to say. Therefore, add “to us Russians” to every claim he makes. How else should it be? Of course the fall of the USSR was no disaster to the Poles, but why should the Russian president talk about anything but the Russian perspective in a speech to the Russian people? I thought it should be obvious.
Conclusion — my reading is this: “The day the USSR was no more the sky came down upon our heads — us Russians, and many other former Soviets.”
As for me, I cheered, being young and all that. But it was no cause for celebration.
UPDATE. Andy Young put it very nicely:
Oh well. If I were you, I’d forget all about this speech. I’m sure Putin already has. Pay attention to what he actually does over the next 12 months, and draw your conclusions based on his actions, not his words.
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