26 of October, the British edition of The Independent published the article “Nadi Bird.” The Russian Military Revival is trying to return the army to the hearts of people. The author of the publication attempted to study the recent past and the current situation, as well as to predict possible further developments. Looking ahead, we can say that not all readers will agree with the conclusions of the British edition.
The journalist of the publication The Independent begins his article with a description of recent events. Shortly after the commencement of the military air operation in Syria, new products appeared in the Moscow Army “Russia Army” store. Buyers were able to purchase the latest T-shirts with pictures in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Previously, the store sold mostly goods with the logo of the Russian army. In its assortment there are clothes, bags and even mobile phone cases in the appropriate design. The store opened soon after the “annexation of the Crimea”, and now, in connection with the “new enterprise of President Vladimir Putin”, its range has been replenished with new products. According to the author of the article, such things are inappropriate in Russia now.
N. Bird believes that in connection with the events in the Crimea, Eastern Ukraine and Syria, the Russian army "is being revived at home." The recent actions of Russia in Syria seem to have led to the fact that foreign countries are ready to make concessions in relation to B. Assad and can recognize his right to participate in the presidential elections. At the same time, the Russian army, which will not participate in the ground operation, can now serve as the "reference point of ideology."
The author of the publication The Independent recalls a recent proposal submitted to the State Duma. One of the newest bills can be a confirmation of the assumptions about the new “support” for ideology. Deputy Alexey Didenko (LDPR party) made a proposal that should change the existing system of execution of sentences. It is proposed to use the army as a means of “re-educating” criminals who have not committed serious and violent crimes, as well as convicts for the first time.
According to the author of the proposal, the army is a more effective "educational institution" in comparison with the prison. This is a well-known fact, like the deputy, the army helps people. Even a criminal, having served in the army, will be able to change his outlook and become a normal person.
According to N. Bird, such proposals of the State Duma are unlikely to look amazing. The author calls the State Duma "Mr. Putin" a platform for outlandish things, inspired by popular trends. In addition, it is noted that the further fate of the bill is still not completely clear. He may not go through the required three readings, but is the result of a “push coming from the highest circles of the country's leadership.” The purpose of such a proposal is the normalization of the army and its "return to the heart of society."
The article cites the words of Professor of Higher School of Economics Sergey Medvedev. He argues that the Russian leadership has managed to link its actions, such as domestic policy toward the war in Ukraine or attitude to events in Syria, with the idea of some kind of global threat that Russia confronts.
Medvedev also added that, at present, the orange-black St. George ribbon has become a real symbol of Russia (the author adds that this ribbon became popular after the “annexation of the Crimea”). In addition, such a symbol of the country as the Kalashnikov assault rifle, which even exists in the form of stickers for cars, has become very popular.
“The militaristic fervor,” according to the author, is not limited only to politics. Recently, a military-oriented Patriot park has opened to the west of Moscow. In this place, children can “play on the tanks, hold weapon and look at military exercises. " Older visitors, in turn, may even enroll in military service. At the opening ceremony in June, V. Putin called the new park an important element of the system of military-patriotic work with young people. A year earlier, another park was opened in Nizhny Novgorod, designed for teenagers from 12 to 18 years, where they were taught the basics of military affairs and gave lessons on "how to love their country."
A new image of the Russian Army, popular and friendly for family institutions, began to take shape relatively recently - after the "annexation of the Crimea" and the start of the war in Ukraine. N. Bird notes that at this time the Russian state media began to form their own picture of the so-called. Maidana. From their point of view, the coup in Ukraine was carried out with the support of the United States, and the Russian armed forces are the only force capable of protecting the country from external threats. All this contributed to the rise of patriotic sentiment.
The situation was developed after the start of operations in Syria. The conflict in this country remains on the verge of becoming an indirect war between Russia and the West. Shortly after the start of air strikes against enemy targets, the Russian Ministry of Defense began publishing videos of the results of the sorties. Similar videos shocked even Kremlin critics.
Russian and Syrian state media, the author notes, believe that the operation of the Russian videoconferencing system in Syria leads to the expected results. In addition, Syrian President B. Asad met with Russian politicians and noted that elections could be held in the country after the end of the war. Answering the question about the position of the Syrian leadership, the deputy of the Russian State Duma Sergey Gavrilov said that B. Assad is ready for dialogue with all the forces that are interested in restoring Syria. In addition, he agrees to the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections, constitutional reform, etc.
Against the backdrop of growing international isolation, Moscow continues to increase the activity of the armed forces both in the country and abroad. For example, in 2008, plans were announced for the return of the army to the Arctic. Not so long ago, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced the construction of three new bases in the Far North and one similar facility in the Kuril Islands. All these plans clearly show that Russia intends to protect even remote areas of its territory.
His article Nadia Bird concludes with a quote from a recent speech by Vladimir Putin. Speaking in Sochi after meeting with Bashar Assad, the Russian president recalled one thing that half a century ago he learned from the streets of Leningrad. If a fight is inevitable - you should beat first. Probably, the author of this thesis decided to summarize the entire article and make a hint of further developments.
For the Russian reader, the Independent’s article looks at least ambiguous. It is quite expected that there are political clichés inherent in recent publications, such as the "annexation of the Crimea", "militaristic fervor", "international isolation", etc. De facto, such verbal constructions have become the standard of the press of foreign countries, which has to take into account the views of society and politicians, as well as the official position of governments.
Nevertheless, and taking into account this factor, the article looks ambiguous. The short material consistently mentions the growth of patriotic sentiment, the bill on sending convicts for minor crimes to the army, as well as the Patriot park in Kubinka and the Syrian operation. Indeed, all these things with certain reservations can be combined with the help of the “main thread” in the form of patriotism, however, such a logical structure is obtained complex and implicit.
The only thesis of the article, with which it is difficult to argue, is statements about the growth of patriotic sentiments in society. Since the beginning of last year, including in connection with the events of that time, Russians began to show greater patriotism, and also more interested in the army. The armed forces gradually regain their former respect and become just as important a part of society and the state as they were several decades ago.
The causes, consequences and features of such "transformations" can be the subject of a separate long-standing dispute. Nevertheless, the attitude towards the army is changing, as well as the growing patriotism of society. Apparently, not everyone is satisfied with such processes, which is why accusations of aggressiveness, “militaristic heat”, etc. are heard. But it can be assumed that all these negative factors are unlikely to affect the observed positive trends.
The following article: