by Arthur Rodivilov. Journalist.
The cult of Volodymyr Putin`s personality reached a new level after the annexation of Crimea and military conflict in Donbas. Now, besides the portraits in subways, T-shirts, cups and even false nails with his image, appeared more sophisticated forms and attempts to perpetuate Russian President.
Putin the Emperor
The bust of Volodymyr Putin in character of Roman emperor was erected “in acknowledgment of the annexation of Crimea.” On May 16, to the strains of Russian anthem the opening of the sculpture took place in private premises of cossack chieftain in the presence of a dozen people dressed in traditional сossack uniform.
Putin with denomination of “one-and-half-Franklin”
Orthodox Union of Cossacks “Irbis” announced the release of “national currency” of Cossacks on 4th of August. The Cossacks first time got paid in this currency: grosh, altyn and bashlia.
Moreover, the national currency of the Cossacks is much more expensive than Russian ruble. According to the website, one Cossack grosh can be exchanged for 100 rubles, 1 altyn is 1000 rubles, and 1 bashlia – 10,000 rubles respectively. On the banknote of 5 bashlias the President of Russia Vladimir Putin is portrayed. The bloggers joke that Russians assessed the “denomination” of its president as “one-and-half of Benjamin Franklin” which is portrayed on 100-dollar banknote.
Occasionally in media appears so-called stovepipping about that Nizhny Novgorod sectarian the icon of Putin secreted myrrh. Herewith, the myrrh apperars on the eve of momentous events. For example, the first message in Russian media about the miracle appeared in 2012 before the presidential election.
Reuters, who got interviewed presvytera Fotiniia, whose secular name is Svitlana Frolova, said that Nizhny Novgorod sect is an extreme illustration of the “cult of personality” created around Putin. Later, in Russian media was reported that the “mother” cranked fraud with an icon in order to collect more money from the parishioners.
“Thanks” to Putin
On Putin’s birthday in October 2014 in seven cities in Russia appeared graffiti letters located thousands of kilometers away from each other, which formed the word “thank you.” Art flashmob was prepared by the youth educational project “Network.”
Within a few weeks after the occupation, Crimean cities were “filled” with graffiti depicting the head of Russia: President in kimono, Vladimir Vladimirovich in sunglasses, Putin on the back of firework, fortress, the Swallow’s Nest, Russian flag, etc. Over a month in Simferopol, Yalta, Kerch and Sudak arised 22 paintings of Vladimir Putin.
Love to Putin is expressed far beyond Russia. One of the users of social networks put on the web the account of soldier Maxim Mazhnikov from Sevastopol, who allegedly photographed in Syria the poster featuring Assad and Putin.
Meanwhile, outside Russia, Putin is also popular, but not as a goodie. Let`s see how the other post-Soviet countries relate to Russian president.
In May, in the city center of Riga, in the courtyard of the former KGB appeared an installation – a statue of the crucified Vladimir Putin, in which everyone could hammer a nail.
Organizers of the exhibition “Dissident” received death threats and been physically affected. One of the installations of the artist under the pseudonym SOME1 was partially destroyed. Due to this, the exhibition did not work on “Night of Museums”.
At the Latvian Ministry of Culture journalists were confirmed that the freedom of artistic expression in the country is protected by the Constitution, it is one of the foundations of democracy, and the agency can not influence the content of exhibition.
The appearance of controversial objet d`art in Riga was the subject of discussion, at the diplomatic level inclusively. Thus, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its outrage about the “crucified Putin” and sent a note to the Latvian colleagues. In turn, in Riga said that the figure of “the crucified Putin” is the art object, and evaluation of it should be made by “professionals and art critics.”
Putin and the Bullfinch
On Independence Day of Ukraine, August 24, in front of the Regional Administration in the center of Zaporozhzhia, appeared the first monument to the Internet meme – Putin-faced creature which sadly hugs the dead bullfinch on Revolution Heroes Square
To the sculpture attached the plaque with an inscription archaized as Old Slavonic writing: “This monument was erected as a sign of “Russian World” mourning about Russian-speaking bullfinches, foully murdered by Judeo-Banderists.
The idea belongs to the Zaporozhzhia businessman Maxim Drozdenko.
“This is a monument to internet meme of tortured Russian Bullfinches by Judeo-Banderists. Meme was born from a speech on Russian Rogov television that in the 106th school of Zaporizhzhia, the teacher told the students to feed tits because they are” yellow-blue “and kill the bullfinches because they are colored as a Russian flag,” said Drozdenko in an interview to 112.ua.
Putin devouring Crimea
Odesa artist Sviatoslav Lavrusenko last year made another graffiti on the beach. At this time, as he had promised, he depicted Vladimir Putin, devouring the Crimea.
“I think, Putin will get indigestion, if he does not stop,” artist says. “Leave room for wishes, come and write [on the graffiti] … Lies must not get stuck in our heads, we must soberly see the truth!” Lavrusenko appealed to the inhabitants of Odessa through his FaceBook page.
The memorial from the “Right Sector”
One of the first sites devoted to Putin – postmortem – was established in Rivne region at the entrance to the city Kostopol.
The action was initiated by the local cell of “Right Sector”. Activists say they wanted to show their attitude to the leaders of Russia and noted that they would not let him on their land. Local prosecutors opened a case on “hooliganism” on the activists, but as it turned out, activist did nothing illegal, so the cases were closed.
Coordinator of the “Right Sector” in Kostopol Mykhailo Stepchuk told 112.ua, that the initiative to create a monument evolved from the local businessmen who make the tombstones, while it turned out that the excess material from a local quarry was left.
“You know, we wanted to show what kind of a friend is Putin. He wants to improve relations with us, and at the same time the war goes on in the East of Ukraine,” Mykhailo said.
The monument stood for a few days and was soon destroyed by vandals.
The cult of Putin’s personality, indeed, can not wholly result from Russian propaganda.
Attempts to immortalize their leader can be caused by different factors – not only personal, but also even the common, psychologist Andriy Chumak says.
All Putin’s political potential was based on direct interaction with the people.
“The cult of personality gives faith and hope, support and happiness, confidence and joy, because people simply do not see that in other things. This is exactly the same as religion. People are not taught to believe in themselves, but to believe in someone instead ” Chumak notes.
The phenomenon of the cult of personality is always up with attempts to destroy it, as it can be seen in Ukraine and other former Soviet countries. The reasons for that are obvious. The disappointment, contempt, aggression, negative – that drives people trying to deal with the cult of personality. According to the psychologist, it is a protection of one`s inner world, hopes or illusions. Therefore, the more contempt for Russian leader “modern dissidents” will have, the more perverse attempts to perpetuate him they will face.