Monday, 15 June 2015

Russia and the Significance of Statues.

It appears that while Russia has given up being unashamedly Communist (and therefore the natural enemy of the rest of Europe) and has produced lots of millionaires who buy European football clubs, portions of London and so on, it hasn’t quite fallen in line with the modern European ethos yet.

They’re planning to erect a statue, you see, a very big one – somewhere around 85ft according to the story I just read – of their patron saint Vladimir.

(Thinks: Patron saint? But isn’t Russia institutionally atheist? Apparently not. ‘Under the Communists, religion was banned,’ said one Russian. ‘Now it’s compulsory.’ It’s apparently all to do with the Communist Party needing votes now that they’ve embraced the concept of democracy. Strange, but true.)

But back to the statue. It seems to be causing some disquiet among the more intelligent section of the Russian public, especially in Moscow where the statue is to be sited. Why? Well, first let’s say what it isn’t about. It isn’t about:

a. The fact that he’s called Vladimir. (Vladimir ring any bells?)

b. The fact that he was a warlord. (War? Expansionism? Why is NATO gathering its forces in Eastern Europe?)

c. The fact that he successfully besieged his own brother in Kiev. (Kiev? Ukraine? Whoops?)

No, it isn’t about any of those things. It’s about the fact that it will impede the view of the university, and the ground on which it’s due to be erected might not be stable enough to keep it upright. Ah, right.

‘Is that the real reason for the more intelligent section of the Russian public having reservations?’ asked the journalist who wrote the piece.

‘There are some things you just can’t say,’ replied one of the more intelligent section of the Russian public.


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