JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin, Pushkin and the decline of the Russian empire” – Financial Times

Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin file image, adapted from image at loc.gov

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“Behind Ukraine’s rejection of Russia’s revered poet is a much bigger story of imperial decay.”

“… For Ukrainians … engaged in an existential struggle for their independence against Russia’s war of recolonisation, Pushkin is a symbol of the Russian imperialism that has long denied Ukraine’s right to a separate national existence. Pushkin was a great poet, but also a poet of Russian imperialism, just as … Kipling was a great poet, but … of British imperialism. … As Russian forces bombarded Ukraine last year, an officially distributed video showed … Sergei Lavrov reciting lines from Pushkin’s ‘To the Slanderers of Russia’ … fulminating against western supporters of Slavs rebelling against Russia. Cutaways to photos of … Biden and a G7 summit made the message plain. When Russian forces occupied Kherson, billboards featuring Pushkin were deployed in a propaganda campaign that proclaimed Russia was ‘here for ever’ …”

Click here for: “Putin, Pushkin and the decline of the Russian empire” – Financial Times/ Timothy Garton Ash