"Only Russians know how to die": Putin's allies argue over Ukraine war
Created: 12/23/2022, 5:10 am
By: Christian Stör
Russian actor Dmitry Pevtsov apparently knows how Russians die - preferably sweetly and honorably (archive photo from December 7, 2021).
© Pavel Kashaev via www.imago-images.de
On the Kremlin's state TV, death is glorified as a Russian superpower.
Contradiction is nipped in the bud.
Moscow – War is being waged on all fronts in the Ukraine conflict.
In particular, the Russian state television has been busy for months with little else than spreading propaganda.
Most recently, "Putin's voice" Vladimir Solovyov once again threatened the West with nuclear disaster.
But there are alternatives.
Occasionally, a tangible argument about the Ukraine war ignites on Russian state TV.
Such was the case this week, when host Andrei Norkin discussed the right level of patriotism with his guests.
The reason for this was a statement by the well-known actor and Duma member Dmitry Pevtsov, who quoted the novella Taras Bulba by the Russian-speaking writer Nikolai Gogol in a television program in early December, referring to a passage that seems to indicate that nobody knows how to die with honor like a Russian,
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In any case, Pewzow was enthusiastic and glorified death on the battlefield as a Russian superpower: the decisive factor is not that you die, but how and for what.
Although the Russian losses in the Ukraine war are sad and frightening, "no country in the world has so many saints".
That is "probably our strength" and sets Russia apart from the rest of the world.
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Moderator Norkin defended Pevtsov, arguing that it is important to be proud of Russian heritage.
“We don't live and die like other people.
We are different.
We have different principles and values.”
Ballet choreographer Dmitri Tomilin agreed, recalling the phrase by the Roman poet Horace that it is sweet and honorable to die for one's country ("Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori").
It's not at all about death as such, said Tomilin, because dying in the splendor of glory is something beautiful, no, it's about dying for the fatherland: "It's about a death for your country, for Russia.
You must love Russia.”
Mockery for contradiction on Russian state TV
At this point, opposition politician Boris Nadezhdin intervened in the debate.
The former State Duma deputy argued that this noble death rhetoric only hurts Russia.
All this grandeur has led to Russia relapsing into imperialism and chauvinism.
Throughout his career he has tried to oppose this ideology.
"We hear again speeches that only Russia is spiritual, only Russia has camaraderie, only Russians know how to die," said Nadezhdin, before giving the discussion group some advice: "Relax for a moment."
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Apparently no one relaxed.
In any case, Nadeshdin was then asked by the other guests to please remain calm.
And when he once again tried to explain that other nations valued the same thing as Russians, he was repeatedly mocked.
At the bad end, moderator Norkin went one better and casually explained that one had to be lenient with Nadezhdin, since he was "a Jew from [Uzbek] Bukhara".