Putin's fascination with fake history and symbolism may go deeper than we know

In a recent essay calledWhat’s Going on In Putin’s Mind,” she says there is a toxic fascination in Russia, starting at the very top, with alternative histories of the entire world, theories which paint Russians as the real masters of the universe and ancient civilizations like Greece and Rome as mere inventions of phony scholars. Fake history, essenzialmente, trumping even fake news.

This world view is largely based on volumes of something calledThe New Chronology,” which is the brainchild mainly of two Russian authors, an academic and a mathematician respectivelyAnatoly Fomenko and Gleb Nosovsky. One of the key premises is that dark forces tampered with all the history books in libraries across the globe at a certain point in time, wiping out or changing real versions of events and resetting dates.

According to Kostioukovitch, it is one of the many mystical, fantastical theories Il presidente russo Vladimir Putin and his inner circle are peddling, and they have managed to sweep not insignificant parts of the population along with them, manipulating masses towards the conclusion that it is high time to make amends—not just for losing the Cold War-but for long-standing injustice against Russians. For the Kremlin, this works very well for the moment.

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They created the idea that any action can be supported by a pretext,” Kostioukovitch told Fox News earlier this month. “It must have a historical context. It sounds idealistic, but idealistic is good for the Russian people and the masses. They love this historical pretext.She goes on, “this is fake history. But it is what Russian people love deeply. Because the idea is that everything in the world can be faked.

Such a position would give carte blanche to question or disobey anything and everything that is unpleasant, la teoria va. Kostioukovich, ovviamente, is not privy to Putin’s reading list. She is , tuttavia, convinced that il Cremlino is gripped by such revisionism from the language used by its top lieutenants, mouthpieces and the leader himself.

Russian President Vladimir Putin uses state-run media to spread the Kremlin’s message.

Russian President Vladimir Putin uses state-run media to spread the Kremlin’s message. (ALEXEI NIKOLSKY/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images, File)

I have read with great attention his (Putin's) discorsi,” lei dice. “I have seen the lexicon, the expressions he quotes, and I have seen the names and ideas he drops, and he supposes everybody knows, but not everybody knows. To know all this trash, you must read these kinds of books be part of some sort of sect of re-enactors of history and this is dangerous for us all.Kostioukovitch says the sheer volume of readers of theNew Chronologyhas gathered over years is also striking.

This deep, if deluded, dive back in time serves to reinforce the recent rants from the Kremlin about the necessity of protecting the long-sufferingRussian Worldand putting an end to rising Russophobia propagated by the West.

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Kostioukovitch also delves into the symbols being used for this campaign against Ukraine and the West at large. La lettera “Zplastered over tanks but now codified as something to be added in many official contexts and communiques has never been explained. Il “Zcan be seen on anything from buildings now to bumper stickers. The less used but still prominent “V” is another symbol of this so-called existential struggle. Neither are letters in the Russian alphabet. It is thus, one of the war’s great mysteries.

A soldier of Russian Rosguardia (guardia Nazionale) with an attached letter Z, which has become a symbol of the Russian military, stands guard during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade which will take place at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square on May 9 celebrare 77 years after the victory in World War II in St. Pietroburgo, Russia, martedì, aprile 26, 2022.

A soldier of Russian Rosguardia (guardia Nazionale) with an attached letter Z, which has become a symbol of the Russian military, stands guard during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade which will take place at Dvortsovaya (Palace) Square on May 9 celebrare 77 years after the victory in World War II in St. Pietroburgo, Russia, martedì, aprile 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

By leaving this inexplicable, nebulous unresolved air over everything,” Kostioukovitch offers, “perhaps the regime is hoping to further weaken people’s cognitive and logical capabilities, continually remarking that they are not required to understand. Only to obey and intuit.Kostioukovitch sees theZas a sort of reverse half of the Nazi swastika—which she finds as such a strange choice of symbol for a war against supposed Nazis in Ukraine.

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tuttavia, she believes this symbolism comes from a twisted fascination among certain segments of the Russian power base with SS soldiers from seconda guerra mondiale which have been portrayed in all their clean-shaven, polished-boot precision in many Soviet films. She suggestsZcould even represent theZentreNazi strike force that conquered Ukraine. Kostioukovitch says there may even be aromanticizing” di “that aesthetic,” e “that destructive energy, that unstoppable force mixed with elegance and unholy evil.

La settimana scorsa, per inciso, Kostioukovitch, who now lives in Italy but whose work over the years has linked her closely with Russia, renounced her Russian citizenship. It is something easier said than done, according to the author. One does not just rip up their passport—it is a long bureaucratic process that in her case was held up over three cents due on a tax bill according to her, laughing at the apparent absurdity of being held hostage over a few kopeks.

Ukrainian soldiers install the state flag on Snake island, in the Black Sea July 7, 2022. The Ukrainian military returned the flag of Ukraine to island, which had been under the control of Russian troops for some time.

Ukrainian soldiers install the state flag on Snake island, in the Black Sea July 7, 2022. The Ukrainian military returned the flag of Ukraine to island, which had been under the control of Russian troops for some time. (Ukrainian Defence Ministry Press Office via AP)

Kostioukovitch, who says that she and many Russians in exile are doing whatever they can to try to help Ukrainian refugees, push back against this war and fight for democracy in Russia, brushes off her gesture, calling it nothing compared to what the likes of jailed dissidents Alexei Navalny, and most recently Ilya Yashin have sacrificed to protest the policies of their government.

They will be symbols,” lei dice. “They will be heroes. They will be the future leaders of Russia. Not those who are in Europa.”

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