Dhe reaction of the Russian leadership to the death of the British queen has changed so abruptly that it can be assumed that the lamentation is less about the dead than about their own losses.
In the beginning there were warm words. Into President Vladimir Putin's The telegram of condolence states that "Her Highness has rightly enjoyed the love and respect of her subjects and authority on the world stage." Putin wished Charles III. "Courage and steadfastness in the face of this grave, irretrievable loss" and asked the new king, the royal family and "the whole people of Great Britain" to express his condolences.
Warmer words than for Gorbachev
It was striking how much more benevolent these words were than those spoken by Putin shortly before the death of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. Other members of Moscow's elite agreed, recalling the Queen's visit to Russia in 1994. Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, praised Elizabeth II, also based on my own impressions of a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2016, as a “model of deep intellectuality and the highest culture”. Politician Leonid Slutsky, who at a funeral service for Darya Dugina, who was killed near Moscow in August, used the formula of war jubilation “One country! A President! A victory!” – praised Elizabeth II as an “unchangeable symbol of the unity of the nation”.
Although Putin's spokesman said Dmitry Peskov, responding to a press inquiry that it was "not being considered" that the President would attend the funeral service for Elizabeth II next Monday in London. But that didn't end the series of polite formalities.
So Putin sent King Charles III. a separate congratulatory telegram on the occasion of the proclamation, wished him "success, strong health and all the best". The leadership seemed to take the bereavement as an opportunity to show themselves, the Russians and the West that they still belong, apart from other quarrels, especially with the "Anglo-Saxons", who Moscow consistently support hated Ukrainians.
The tone changed radically
The tone changed radically when it was announced earlier this week that because of the Ukraine war, neither Putin nor any other Russian representative will be invited to the Queen's funeral. The same applies to representatives of Belarus and Myanmar. Peskov was now asked whether Moscow was disappointed. Apart from the condolence telegram, Putin "had no other plans from the start," the spokesman said. The scarcity spoke of insult.
Accordingly, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova immediately found angry words for the non-invitation: "We see this British attempt to use the national tragedy, which has touched the hearts of millions of people around the world, for geopolitical purposes, to days of mourning to settle scores with our country as deeply immoral.”
Zakharova referred to young Elizabeth's membership in the Auxiliary Territorial Service, the women's section of the British Army, in the final months of World War II to explain, according to Moscow's account of the Ukraine war, that the "British elites" are now on the side of " Nazis and their Ukrainian accomplices” who were fought at the time.
Queen "didn't get involved politically"
While the spokeswoman for the foreign ministry at least praised the queen herself because she “did not interfere in politics as a matter of principle”, left of Russia State television even went so far as to personally defame Elizabeth II. The broadcast "60 Minutes" on the "Rossiya 1" channel showed black and white footage of a woman in a white suit on Thursdaywho throws something at poorly dressed children, which they pick up from the floor.
The presenter, Olga Skabeeva, claimed the footage showed young Elizabeth and said "Africans" would "not mourn" the Queen's death as they remembered "exploitation and slavery". "That's how Elisabeth fed children from one of the subjugated peoples of Africa," said Skabeeva, "like animals in a zoo. The video embodies the attitude of the West, especially Anglo-Saxons, towards the whole world, except towards themselves, of course.” In reality, the recordings were made more than a quarter of a century before Elizabeth was born; not in Africa, but in today's Vietnam, in what was then the French colony of Indochina; no English women can be seen, but French women, namely the wife and daughter of the then governor general, Paul Doumer (1857 to 1932); and they do not throw bread at the children, but coins.