In a long press conference in which he repeated the Kremlin’s general narrative about the Ukrainian War and the conflict with the West led by the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov drew attention to a semantic detail of his speech this Wednesday (18) .
Questioned by journalists at the traditional event in Moscow in which he takes stock of the previous year about what would be the words that defined 2022 for him, the doyen of world diplomacy said that war was the most tragic and victory, the most encouraging.
On February 26 of last year, two days after the start of hostilities, the Russian government determined to the country’s media that the use of the terms war or invasion was prohibited, in favor of the anodyne special military operation.
On March 4, two laws criminalized criticism of Vladimir Putin’s actions or the Armed Forces, potentially leading to 15 years in jail and leading to the closure of dozens of remaining independent vehicles in the country.
The reading of the legal diploma is discretionary. Government allies have already used the term on TV news and have not been punished. Although the Kremlin only uses the official term, Putin himself slipped up in a speech at the end of 2022 and used the word war, but Lavrov’s thoughtful speech shows the limits of strategy.
Furthermore, the chancellor’s speech repeated themes he touches on weekly. Lavrov blamed the US for pushing the West into forcing conflict with the Ukrainians, said the relationship between Moscow and Washington “will not be like before”, dismissed a peace plan without Western participation as “meaningless”.
In a way that will attract controversy, he again used parallels of the current situation with the fight against Nazism. Lavrov said that the West behaves like “Napoleon and Hitler”, in reference to the French emperor and the German dictator who invaded Russia, and that he saw the solution of the “Russian question” with war.
“Jewish question” was the euphemism of the Nazi top brass for dealing with the extermination of Europe’s Jewish population in World War II (1939-45). Last year, Lavrov angered the government of Israel, the Jewish state made possible by the tragedy of the Holocaust, by saying that “Hitler had Jewish blood.” Tel Aviv, which has good relations with Moscow, supports Kiev.
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