Americans have nothing on Vladimir Putin when it comes to perverting language. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (an act of “genius” twice accorded Putin by Donald Trump before the actual incursion), becomes entirely rational once you understand Putinspeak. Here are seven words to consider:
Peace—order imposed by force of arms. A society without obedience to a leader destined by God to interpret His wishes subjects itself to anarchy and sin. Only decisive military action can return a wayward son (and, if you must, daughter) to the fold of the Russian Orthodox Church and away from the aberrant influence of the West.
Peacekeepers—heroes, re above, who take part in military campaigns to bring other nations into harmony with their own.
Freedom—the lifting from each citizen of the heavy burden of thought, reason and debate. The unrestricted exchange of ideas only submits a society to evil influences, corrupts souls and debilitates the nation. A citizenry freed from contemplation and the tyranny of ideas finds itself better able to focus on the nation’s most important values—labor, discipline and the pursuit of national influence far beyond the country’s borders to everlasting the glory of its Enlightened Leader.
Aggression—the words and deeds of any nation in the Near Abroad (or further) pursuing its own interests and values, often expressed by choosing political leaders through free and fair elections. Dark forces manipulate Western-style political campaigns—witness the allegations of foreign interference in America’s last two presidential elections. A smaller nation once conquered can no more claim independence from benevolent rule by its larger conqueror than a younger brother (if you must, sister) can leave his family, turning his back on the father (if you must, mother) who sired him and taught him to serve the interests of the state.
Security—the expansion of a nation’s borders by covert (cyber) and overt (military) acts in the interest of preventing alien ideas from crossing into the Motherland (if you must, Fatherland) and spewing corruption everywhere.
Culture—the values to which a nation adheres that promote conformity, prevent decadence and punish immorality. Contrasting ideas distort the nature of the correct God, the correct Church and the correct relationships between men (people with penises) and women (you get the concept). State-controlled literature, theater, film, music, dance and art serve the best interests of a society enjoying all the benefits of freedom (see definition above).
Genocide—inviting religious/linguistic/ethnic minorities to occupy an equal place among the majority. These groups must pledge allegiance to a nation welcoming multiple cultures beneath the umbrella of a single democratic government honoring so-called human rights. Requesting minorities to find common ground with other citizens while also maintaining their own background fully equates to Nazi Germany slaughtering six million Jews. [Putin has declared that he is acting to prevent genocide against Russian-speakers and aiming for the “demilitarization and de-Nazification of Ukraine.”]
Vladimir Putin must be acknowledged for his highly refined scholarship unmasking obscure points of linguistics and a no-nonsense take on contemporary Russia’s role on the Eurasian continent. How else to reconstitute the broad grasp of the Tsarist Empire (from which my family fled) and the former Soviet Union?
Comprehend Putinspeak, and Russia’s seeking control over Ukraine becomes far more understandable—and totally lacking any pretext of legitimacy.
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