The drone attack on Moscow caught Vladimir Putin and thus also the Kremlin propaganda by surprise. While the Kremlin ruler delivered a stuttering history lesson, his chief propagandist fumed with malicious comments.
On Tuesday morning, residents of the posh Moscow suburb of Rublevka were woken up by an unusual roar. Drones flew directly over their heads and the roofs of their villas – with a wingspan of up to three meters. In disbelief, Russia’s billionaires turned their gazes to the sky.
Rublevka is the noblest spot in Vladimir Putin’s vast empire. They all live here: oligarchs, functionaries, stars. The Kremlin chief’s family also has several estates here, as do his close friends Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who are said to be his personal wallets.
Between eight and 32 drones (the numbers vary widely depending on the source) are said to have targeted Moscow, with at least five of them hitting a target. Several drones hit the top floors of skyscrapers, one drone swooped down into the gardens of Rublevka. None of the drones had explosives loaded. The impacts only caused property damage. While Muscovites are reacting to the drone attacks with sheer disbelief, the rest of the country is looking at the residents of the Russian capital with a certain glee.
Kremlin propagandist reading the riot act to compatriots
Chief propagandist Vladimir Solovyov also noticed this gloating. In the comments on his show “Solowjow Live” it rained caustic remarks, which caused a small meltdown in Putin’s favorite agitator. “Why are you writing such crap?” He wanted to know from his viewers. “Do you like that the attack is aimed at Moscow? Are you starting to applaud the Nazi Ukrainians as well?” he snarled, repeating the ubiquitous, fabricated Kremlin propaganda myth that Putin was fighting Nazis in Ukraine.
“Why are you so happy? Oh, Rublevka! Don’t any Russian people live on Rublevka? Aren’t they our compatriots? Oh, Moscow! Do all Muscovites live off smoothies and falafels?” he asked his audience, alluding to the hipster -Life that residents of the Russian capital are notorious for in the rest of the country.
“Who do you think you are?! Or are we no longer a united country, no longer a united people!” Solovyov boomed. “Don’t change your tone! Come to yourselves! Otherwise you’ll be working more in the interests of Ukrainian secret service agents than in the interests of your homeland,” he warned the gleeful commentators, the accusation of treason always within reach.
“You didn’t become a star! So shove your egos up your ass!” he threw at his viewers.
Solovyov apparently took the glee in the comments personally. After all, he counts himself among the rich and famous in Russia – and likes to live among them.
The arrogance of Muscovites
At the same time, the ridicule directed at the residents of Rublevka and the capital city is by no means surprising. The Russian population’s relationship to their own elites is characterized by distrust, resentment and even disgust. The Rublevka millionaires, for their part, make no secret of their abhorrence of ordinary people. High fences protect their villas from the “scum” or “have-nots”, as they call their own compatriots.
Muscovites also have the ugly habit of looking down on the residents of the rest of the country. There are two worlds in Russia: Moscow and everything else. Even the resident of a moldy one-room apartment on the outskirts of the metropolis feels superior to his compatriots who were not lucky enough to have been born in Moscow. In view of this relationship, the sympathy for the capitals is now limited – let alone for the millionaires of Rublevka.
What is Vladimir Putin doing?
However, the drone attacks are extremely dangerous for the Kremlin. For Putin does not want to see the Muscovites angry against him at any price. For this reason, almost no one in the capital was conscripted into the army when mobilization was announced in the country. Whoever controls Moscow controls Russia.
But what did Putin do while the debris was being collected by drones all over Moscow? He met up with a couple of entrepreneurs and sniffed at some treats that were presented to him. In this context, the Kremlin chief deigned to say a few words about the drone attacks.
“Can you assess what happened and what measures need to be taken to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen again, and how we should react to it,” was the question asked of Putin. Instead of providing answers, Putin started a presentation of his pseudo-history.
“After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was inevitable that there would be some kind of competition between Russia and Ukraine,” Putin said. He stuttered for several minutes, talking about an “anti-Russia” in Ukraine and complaining that he had been betrayed. ()
The drone attacks would be an act of revenge on the part of Kiev and would serve the goal of “intimidating Russia,” Putin finally declared, before talking again about the Russian air base in Syria.
After the panning, however, the Kremlin boss managed to return to the topic of the question. “They want to provoke us to act like a mirror,” he said, looking down – as if no one had ever seen a Russian drone in Ukraine.
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I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.