Top 10 weirdest messages from Putin in 2022

No doubt, it has been a crazy year. In February, Russia invaded Ukraine. Thousands of people have died, including children. Millions had to flee. Those who stay are fighting with cold and darkness. There is something carnivalesque about this parade of obscene, idiotic cruelty displayed by Russians. The mask of civilisation has fallen, and all hatred, envy and resentment, which have been accumulating since the end of the Cold War, are proudly marching in the daylight. No words can match the insanity of what is happening, but I decided to look back at the most weird and shocking things Putin has said or endorsed in 2022. Here are the gems, sorted by Alice’s principle, “It’s getting curioser and curioser”.


A rubber bum is not everything

On September 1, Putin gave an open lesson “Talking of What Matters” in front of gifted schoolchildren. In itself, it was a ridiculous thing to do because these children are smarter than Putin, but one part was particularly impressive and has generated many memes:

Having a strong work ethic is actually a talent in its own right, this is not just, I beg your pardon, a rubber bum. Forcing yourself to work and to do so productively, correctly arranging everything that needs to be done – all this requires talent.

The official translation uses a more innocent word ‘backside’. But the word popa, which was uttered, is best translated as ‘bum’. Putin also giggled mischievously when he pronounced it. The collective Internet is still wondering why a rubber bum is “What Matters” to Putin when he talks to schoolchildren.

Putin talking about rubber bums in an open lesson.


Russia is the only guarantor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity

This gem was heard at the Valdai International Discussion Club meeting on October 27:

I just had a thought that, in fairness, Russia, which created today’s Ukraine, could have been the only real and serious guarantor of Ukraine’s statehood, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

Indeed, Russia not only created Ukraine (the Universe and everything), but has proven many times that it can be a serious guarantor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. First in 2014, when it annexed Crimea. Then by supporting the separatists in Donbass for eight years. And now, after ten months of the bloody war, this should be obvious to everyone!


With Russia forever!

On September 30, four Ukrainian regions were formally annexed by Russia after the fake referendums. During the ceremony Putin said,

I want the Kiev authorities and their true handlers in the West to hear me now, and I want everyone to remember this: the people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye have become our citizens, forever.

A few hours after this announcement, Russian forces withdrew from the town Lyman in the Donetsk region. On November 11, Kherson was liberated. Forever was quite short.


No place for torturers and Nazis!

Number 7 was said during the Victory parade on Red Square on May 9.

I am addressing our Armed Forces and Donbass militia. You are fighting for our Motherland, its future, so that nobody forgets the lessons of World War II, so that there is no place in the world for torturers, death squads and Nazis.

Apparently, what Russians have been doing in their torture chambers is not torture. Like the Inquisition, they work hard to save Ukrainian souls from corruption. This is an expression of love.


We are not planning to nuke the world, but…

Putin and his minions keep saying that Russia can use nuclear weapons only for self-defence. The problem is, we don’t know what in their minds counts as self-defence. No wonder many are worried. Especially if Putin says something like this:

The United States is the only country in the world that has used nuclear weapons twice, destroying the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. And they created a precedent.

According to a dictionary, a precedent is an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances. That’s a strange word to use if you don’t plan to nuke anyone.


Mariupol is a City of Military Glory

Another weird message appeared on November 15:

The President signed the Executive Order On Conferring the Honorary Title of City of Military Glory on Mariupol. Under this Executive Order, the honorary title of the Russian Federation, City of Military Glory, has been conferred on the city of Mariupol for the valour, endurance and wide spread heroism displayed by the defenders of the city in their struggle for the freedom and independence of their Fatherland.

This is actually perfectly reasonable. Mariupol truly deserves this title for its valour and endurance during the siege. The Ukrainian troops who defended Mariupol for 86 days, almost without food, drinking water and medication, are superheroes.


Ukrainian officers, lay down arms!

After Putin ordered to start the invasion on February 24, he addressed the military personnel of the Ukrainian Armed Forces with the following words:

Comrade officers, 

Your fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not fight the Nazi occupiers and did not defend our common Motherland to allow today’s neo-Nazis to seize power in Ukraine. You swore the oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people and not to the junta, the people’s adversary which is plundering Ukraine and humiliating the Ukrainian people.

I urge you to refuse to carry out their criminal orders. I urge you to immediately lay down arms and go home. I will explain what this means: the military personnel of the Ukrainian army who do this will be able to freely leave the zone of hostilities and return to their families.

Putin had been misinformed so badly that he truly believed that Ukrainians would meet the Russian troops with bread, salt and folk dances. This is one of the most epic miscalculations in war history. Putin didn’t follow the ancient advice, “Know your enemy and know yourself”. The result is obvious.


Who started it?

In December, we could enjoy a remarkable video, in which Putin was standing with a glass in his hand in a posh Kremlin interior. He looked and sounded drunk. This came as a shock to many. Has the strong man finally succumbed to the primordial Russian sin? But the message was very weird, too:

There is a lot of noise right now about our strikes against the energy infrastructure of the neighbouring country. Yes, we are doing it, but who started it? Who struck the Crimean bridge? Who blew up the power lines of the Kursk nuclear power station? Who is not providing water to Donetsk?

Yes, indeed, Vladimir. Who started all this? This is a tough question. No idea.


Death for Motherland is better than death from vodka

On November 25, Putin met with mothers of participants of the “special military operation”. Rumour has it the women had been carefully handpicked to avoid any inconvenient questions. Trying to console mothers who have lost their children, Putin said that it’s much better to die for Motherland than from vodka:

The question is how we lived. With some people, it is unclear whether they live or not. It is unclear why they die – because of vodka or something else. When they are gone it is hard to say whether they lived or not – their lives passed without notice. But your son did live – do you understand? He achieved his goal. This means that he did not leave life for nothing. Do you understand? His life was important. He lived it, achieving the result for which he was striving.

This is extremely cynical, but correct. For many young Russian men, especially far away from Moscow and St. Petersburg, the only options in life are the gutter and the trench. What Putin does not say is that it is his corrupt regime that stole the young people’s future.


Nine to mortal men doomed to die

The weirdest message in 2022 is non-verbal. In the end of December, Putin welcomed the CIS heads of state at an informal summit in St. Petersburg. He presented his satellites from the former USSR republics with rings made of what looks like white and yellow gold. Each ring’s design incorporated the CIS emblem and the words “Happy New Year 2023”.

The weird thing is that the number of rings is nine. In Tolkien’s universe, Sauron forged Nine rings and gave them to men in order to corrupt and enslave them. The mortals became afterwards his greatest and most terrible servants, known as the Nazgûl. Since Putin also got a ring, he is the Witch-king, the Lord of the Nazgûl. This fits nicely the popular representation of Russia as Mordor, and the Russian Army as Orcs. It also raises some intriguing questions. If Putin is only the Witch-king, who is the actual Sauron? And it is true that only a woman can destroy Putin, like Éowyn in Lord of the Rings?

Putin’s rings of power.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s