RIA Novosti journalists working for the Kremlin published video footage of a “determined schoolboy” who simply reached out and asked Putin to shake his hand, so he could then shake his father’s hand.
Only RIA Novosti corrected the footage, and in fact, everything was not exactly as presented. In fact, schoolboy Alexander Smolin from the Ryazan region said that the children had to be quarantined before the meeting with the head of Russia. For this reason, he could not arrange a present for his father’s birthday, so he asked V. Putin to shake his hand.
“September 2nd is my dad’s birthday, but I couldn’t get a present because of the quarantine. My dad has a lot of respect for you, so I would like you to shake my hand and I can give that shake to my dad,” said the boy.
V. Putin, sitting in front of the children, also touched on the topic of the so-called “special operation” – that is exactly what the Russian authorities insist on calling it war in Ukraine and pressures children to do so, even developing a plan to publish a “correct history textbook” with chapters on “the special military operation and the merits of its heroes.”
During a lesson for schoolchildren, V. Putin said that there is aggression in Ukraine by those who accuse Russia, but in reality everything is said to be the other way around. RIA Novosti names the chapter on the “goals of the special operation” as perhaps the most important part of the Russian president’s speech, in which he quotes the president himself: “No one understands and knows that after the coup d’état in Ukraine in 2014, the residents of Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea (…) did not want to recognize its results”.
According to V. Putin, the mission of the Russian soldiers and the “Donbas rebels” is to end the war and defend the people and Russia. It is clear that V. Putin did not mention the fact that Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 to the schoolchildren. Instead, he called to support the Russian soldiers: “This is very important. Supporting young people is especially important. Because those men and boys fighting there risk their health, some die. They must know that they are giving their lives for Russia and for the people living in Donbas.”
While teaching his lesson, V. Putin decided to criticize the way history is taught in Ukraine. He told the students that the day before, Minister of Education Sergej Kravtsov allegedly told how history is taught to children in Ukraine: “Forgive me, but I didn’t hold my tongue. Students do not even know that such a Crimean bridge exists. They thought it was a lie. They did not know at all that Ukraine and Russia were once the same country – the Soviet Union. That’s how they are taught. Even adults probably don’t know that Ukraine wasn’t even a state before the Soviet Union came into being.”
In V. Putin’s meeting with schoolchildren, there was time for more than just serious topics.
At one point, the Russian president decided that a joke could be made during the lesson and gave one of his “great quotes”. V. Putin very vividly stated to the children that hard work is a separate talent and not just a “rubber butt” (whatever exactly such a comparison might mean). And, to make sure it wasn’t too little, more thoughts for reflection came to light: “It’s a talent to force yourself to work, and to do it productively, to organize your work correctly.” That and discipline can bring great results.”
What exactly V. Putin meant by the phrase “rubber butt” is unclear. According to The Insider, it’s possible that he’s a fan of the Russian band Distemper and just decided to quote their song “Rubber Subin”, just in a milder form.
A closer look at the song’s lyrics reveals why it might appeal to the Russian president: it also sings about the desire to bring “all of Europe to its knees” and emphasizes the lyrical hero’s spiteful desire to “damage the borders.”
“The Insider” named the singing of the Russian Federation anthem as one of the most memorable episodes of V. Putin’s lesson: the participants who endured the quarantine could only get close to the president for this special occasion.
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