RussiaOctober 6 2022, 13:39 pm

Putin’s Annexation Speech Once Again Mirrors Rightwing US Culture Wars

In his recent speech announc­ing the annex­a­tion of four Ukrain­ian republics, Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin once again returned to rightwing themes that also dom­i­nate the so-called “cul­ture wars” in the US. Accord­ing to one US media report:

Octo­ber 1. 2022 Putin in his long and ram­bling speech at the cer­e­mo­ny, held on the mas­sive stage in Moscow’s Red Square oppo­site the Kremlin’s walls, took aim at the West with par­tic­u­lar empha­sis on West­ern val­ues and culture(s). “West­ern coun­tries have been repeat­ing for cen­turies that they bring free­dom and democ­ra­cy to oth­er peo­ples. Every­thing is exact­ly the oppo­site: instead of democ­ra­cy – sup­pres­sion and exploita­tion; instead of free­dom – enslave­ment and vio­lence.,” Putin said. Lat­er dur­ing the speech Putin decried the LGBTQ+ com­mu­ni­ty and West­ern nations that allow equi­ty and equality/human rights: “In fact, they spit on the nat­ur­al right of bil­lions of peo­ple, most of human­i­ty, to free­dom and jus­tice, to deter­mine their own future on their own. Now they have com­plete­ly moved to a rad­i­cal denial of moral norms, reli­gion, and fam­i­ly. Let’s answer some very sim­ple ques­tions for our­selves. I now want to return to what I said, I want to address all the cit­i­zens of the coun­try – not only to those col­leagues who are in the hall – to all the cit­i­zens of Rus­sia: do we want to have, here, in our coun­try, in Rus­sia, par­ent num­ber one, num­ber two, num­ber three instead of mom and dad – have they gone made out there? Do we real­ly want per­ver­sions that lead to degra­da­tion and extinc­tion to be imposed on chil­dren in our schools from the pri­ma­ry grades? To be drummed into them that there are var­i­ous sup­posed gen­ders besides women and men, and to be offered a sex change oper­a­tion? Do we want all this for our coun­try and our chil­dren? For us, all this is unac­cept­able, we have a dif­fer­ent future, our own future?” The Russ­ian Pres­i­dent then implied direct­ly that the U. S. and its NATO allies assist­ing Ukraine were try­ing to erase Russ­ian culture …

The notion that gen­der ide­ol­o­gy is being imposed on US school­child­ren is also a rightwing “hot but­ton” issue of late.

In Jan­u­ary 2022, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed on a some­what over­looked speech by Vladimir Putin last Octo­ber, described by a Russ­ian aca­d­e­m­ic as the “first major and strong call for rein­vent­ing Russ­ian ide­ol­o­gy for Rus­sia and the world.” An Israeli NGO con­clud­ed that the speech could be viewed as an ide­o­log­i­cal man­i­festo that tried to put Rus­sia back in the cen­ter of the world’s polit­i­cal map. We not­ed at the time that Putin was close­ly mir­ror­ing rightwing themes com­mon among the US rightwing such as the idea that “social progress” advo­cates are adopt­ing Marx­ist ideas in their fight against racial dis­crim­i­na­tion. Oth­er Russ­ian influ­ence oper­a­tions cov­ered by the GIOR that echo Putin’s asser­tions include:

  • A report from Novem­ber 2020 on a Russ­ian-backed media OpEd claim­ing that Demo­c­ra­t­ic “Elites” are equal­ly cul­pa­ble as Trump in dis­sem­i­nat­ing con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries because “these elites have them­selves been ped­dling equal­ly irra­tional views about cat­a­stroph­ic cli­mate change, crit­i­cal race the­o­ry, and iden­ti­ty politics”
  • A report from July last year that actors linked to Russ­ian dis­in­for­ma­tion oper­a­tions were tar­get­ing Amer­i­can far-right audi­ences on alter­na­tive online plat­forms employ­ing some of these same themes
  • A report from July last year on Russ­ian-backed media alleg­ing that US fam­i­lies were seek­ing to immi­grate to Rus­sia to escape the US school curriculum


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