The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has celebrated 70 years this October 7th immersed in a conflict with Ukraine that, according to the wrong calculations of the Kremlin and its propaganda should have lasted only a few days. After more than seven months in which the world feels atomic fear again, congratulations from the Western community were not expected in Moscow. Putin, who spends the day in St. Petersburg at a meeting of former Soviet countries, receives praise only from his own.
Gone are the days when the head of the Kremlin received Western leaders in Moscow, such as on May 9, 2005, when more than 50 world leaders visited the Red Square on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the victory in World War II. and Putin shared a seat with George W. Bush, Angela Merkel, Jacques Chirac or Yunichiro Koizumi, among many others.
Russian Patriarch Cyril says it was God who “put Putin in power”
Nor is this a day for celebrations like the one Putin had in 2013, when he was in Bali (Indonesia) at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, and shared glasses of vodka and birthday cake with Chinese President Xi. Jinping, and then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The military campaign in Ukraine is once again building a wall between the West and Moscow, and the latest events in the conflict are fueling fears of a nuclear apocalypse as in the worst times of the cold war.
Even leaders closer to Putin, such as those in China and India, have expressed concern about the course of the fighting. And very close partners, such as Kazakhstan, refuse to recognize the recent annexation of four Ukrainian territories. Its president, Kassim Khomart-Tokáyev, even told Putin directly at the Saint Petersburg Economic Forum last June that he did not recognize the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republics (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR), as Putin did days before send its troops to Ukraine in February.
Message without congratulations
Germany takes the opportunity to wish that Putin reconsider his intervention in Ukraine
The Russian president has begun “to be seen as a desperate leader who is not capable of normal interaction with the outside world,” political scientist Tatiana Stanóvaya wrote in an article for the think tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
In Germany they have remembered the birthday. But it was to ask him to reconsider his intervention in the Ukraine. “It would be desirable that the Russian president would reconsider and end this violation of international law,” said the deputy spokesman for the German Executive, Wolfgang Büchner.
Despite everything, Putin, who has been in power for 22 years (4 as prime minister), does have someone to congratulate him.
His most loyal and senior Russian officials have praised him as the savior of modern Russia. The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church has even said in his congratulations that it was God “who put him in power.” And he praised Putin for “transforming the image of Russia, strengthening its sovereignty and defensive capabilities, defending national interests.”
“By celebrating the 70th anniversary of our president, we show the whole world how much we appreciate him,” says Kadyrov.
The religious leader offered a prayer for the head of the Kremlin, in which he asked God to grant him “health and long life,” and to free him “from the resistance of visible and invisible enemies.”
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Caucasus republic of Chechnya, promised “great events” to celebrate Putin’s birthday.
“By celebrating the 70th anniversary of our president, we show the whole world how much we appreciate him,” he wrote on Telegram last Monday. Among the events he announced were a horse race and the opening of a judo training center in honor of Putin, a well-known fan of the sport.
Greetings from Pyongyang
An international congratulations comes from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, more isolated from the West than the head of the Kremlin
Also on this occasion, Putin has not gone on an excursion to the beautiful Siberian landscapes with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigú, one of the closest to the Russian leader. This October 7 is for him a day of work. He has a meeting with the leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; ex-Soviet) precisely in his hometown, St. Petersburg.
The leaders have known each other “for more than a decade” and will surely “wish Putin a good birthday,” Kremlin spokesman Dimitri Peskov told Tass news agency on Thursday.
In addition, a local artist, Alexei Serguienko, exhibits this day a portrait of the Russian president, “Putin with a puppy”, a two-meter by two-meter painting in which the Russian leader is seen cradling a dog. “I have portrayed Putin as a hero of simple human stories,” the author told Spbdnevnik.
Among the international community, the one who has remembered Putin’s birthday is another leader whose relations with the West are even worse than those of the head of the Kremlin: the North Korean Kim Jong-un.
In the message he sent, published by the North Korean state agency KCNA and picked up by Efe, he praised Putin’s “remarkable successes” in “fulfilling the ambitious strategic goal of building a powerful Russia.” According to him, this has made him a leader “strongly respected and supported by broad masses,” Kim said.
In a reference to Ukraine, he assures that “Russia is firmly defending the dignity of the State and its fundamental interests from the challenges and threats of the United States and its servile forces. This reality would be inconceivable without your exceptional leadership and firm will,” he tells him. Kim to Putin.