Putin absent from Gorbachev’s funeral: is it a message to the West?

Putin absent from Gorbachev’s funeral: is it a message to the West?
Putin absent from Gorbachev’s funeral: is it a message to the West?
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Vladimir Putin paid tribute today to the body of Mikhail Gorbachev but will not participate in the farewell ceremony to be held in Moscow on September 3 “with elements of a state funeral”. The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told the Russian agency Interfax, citing previous commitments by the president, including a planned trip to the enclave of Kaliningrad. “We know that the main ceremony will take place on September 3, as well as the funeral. But the president’s commitments will not allow him to be present, ”said Peskov.

A choice that beyond the official motivations did not go unnoticed, as well as the Kremlin’s no to officially celebrate a state funeral for what was the last leader of the USSR.

The visit to the funeral home

On September 1, Vladimir Putin paid tribute to the body of Mikhail Gorbachev in a funeral home set up at the Central Hospital Clinic in Moscow. Putin is seen in a video released by the Ria Novosti agency lay a bouquet of red flowers next to the open coffin and spend a few moments in meditation. Putin then makes the sign of the cross and bows to the body before leaving the room.

Gorbachev, the world weeps for him, Moscow does not: it is yellow on state funerals

Absence from the funeral

Many have wondered why Putin chose not to attend Gorbachev’s funeral on September 3. Reasons that have their roots in a relationship made up of lights and shadows between the two leaders. But also derive from deeper and more symbolic reasons: if Gorbachev was in fact the main author of theapproach to the West with the start of the Perestroika and the end of the Soviet empire, Putin instead took an opposite political direction with the war in Ukraine. Insmma the Russian president it closed that chapter that Gorbachev had started and a historical phase opposite to the previous one opened. In this sense, his absence at the funeral is also a message: “No step backwards in the break with the West ».

The relationship between Gorbachev and Putin

The relationship between Gorbachev and Putin is marked by lights and shadows. The former Soviet leader had publicly supported some of Putin’s choices – including the annexation of Crimea in 2014 – but he had also launched some criticism of the president. Furthermore, he had not commented on the war in Ukraine. According to Dmitry Muratovreporter Nobel Peace Prize, Gorbachev was critical of the war in Ukraine and in March he declared: “Yesterday I visited Gorbachev in the hospital, he just turned 91 and he is not well, but he confirmed to me that we must do everything possible to stop the threat of nuclear war“.

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To understand Gorbachev’s idea of ​​the Russian president, one can quote another sentence: “Putin? He saved Russia, but now he seems to me sick of presumption. Everyone tells me that it no longer matters, because he is already God or, at least, God’s deputy on earth, even if I don’t know what for .. “she said during the presentation of a book by him in 2014.

A a comment that the Russian president must not have liked, which, however, has always been careful not to attempt a direct confrontation. Indeed for the 90th anniversary of the former leader of the Communist Party he wrote greetings laden with formal appreciation, saying that Gorbachev: “belongs by right to the constellation of notable, distinguished and eminent statesmen of modern times who have exercised a significant influence on the course of history”. However, the choice not to attend his funeral seems to go beyond words.


The article is in Italian

Tags: Putin absent Gorbachevs funeral message West

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