Putin shocked and surprised pretty much everyone in Russia by launching a regime change war on Ukraine. Two days before that, he went on Russian TV and gave a menacing grievance speech — in which he attacked America but also went after the Bolsheviks, blaming the disintegration of the Soviet Union and today’s crisis in Ukraine squarely on Lenin.
Evgenia and I discuss his speech and talk about how it fits into the mushy national identity that Putin’s elite has been trying to cobble together for Russia.
A couple of notes.
Here is the English transcript of Putin’s grievance speech that I was able to scrape off the Kremlin.ru website, which is offline as we post this ep — a victim of an ongoing cyberwar? And here’s a dubbed video version of the speech, courtesy of C-SPAN. I haven’t been able to find a full translated version of the second, shorter address that he gave right before the invasion, but there is an auto-translate closed captions option for those that are interested in the video here.