This article belongs to Pax Russica series 

 

Putin was, as usual, ill-mannered and rude…

At his annual press conference in December 2015, Vladimir Putin used boorish language when referring to Turkish government. Asked about a third-party involvement in the current Russian-Turkish relations deteriorated by the shootdown of Russian Su-24, Putin remarked “…if someone in the Turkish government decided to lick the Americans in a certain place, well I don`t know then, was that the right decision or not?”

 

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It was not the first time for Putin to employ unethical speech in public. Previously, he had used a coarse Russian proverb when responding to a “What If” question: “What if my grandmother had certain sexual attributes? Then she would be my grandfather.” In another case in 2008 - during the August war between Russia and Georgia Putin threatened to overthrow Mikheil Saakashvili, the then-president of Georgia, and “hang him by the balls".

 

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The Russians have long chosen a bear as the symbol of their country. And they feel proud to remark Russia is clumsy as a bear. Therefore, behaving clumsily is attributed to straightforwardness of this bear. And the so-called mat1, strong obscene profanity, has been an integral and unavoidable part of the Russian language.

According to some experts, however, such rudeness and incivility were penetrated into Russian society in the name of proletarian simplicity to replace artificial bourgeois virtue after the October revolution.

For example, the pre-revolution Russian officer was considered an example of nobility in community, whereas a Soviet officer was usually associated with a dirty mouth full of insulting words.

 

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Yet history proves that not only sincerity and simplicity, but even anger and hatred could be expressed without narrow-mindedness. Moreover, the effect could then be more profound and long-lasting.

In contrast, populism is not an effective way in political etiquette, being a rebellion against maturity, ethics, and even intelligentsia.

The level of public sympathy towards populism is associated with the level of adequate political literacy of society.

 

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In case of Putin, he acts like a brat in the neighborhood.

A person, once positioning himself as a czar, went down to level of bratva2.

Putin`s rudeness is basically nothing but populism. And it is simply a sign of impotence… It is a sign of velikaya kultura velikogo lidera3

 

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But it is not about Putin and his language. Using that type of language is simply a mark of his own level. But what creates more concern is the sympathy of Russian public, including intelligentsia, towards Putin. It is so pity to see Russian intellectuals applause Putin for his words against Turkey – so pity to see degradation of Russian society. As many people could already notice, Putin`s main wealth and support is the Russian people. And they are degrading intensively and heavily.

 

 

Footnotes:  

1 Mat (Rus. Мат) - strong obscene profanity in Russian

2 Bratva (Rus. Братва) – Russian organized crime

3 Velikaya kultura velikogo lidera (Rus. Великая культура великого лидера) – Great ethics of great leader 

 

 

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