Vladimir Putin has unmasked a colossal statue of Prince Vladimir the Great. He ruled Keivan Rus between 980 and 1015. He is regarded in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia as the founder of Easter Slavic Orthodox civilization. His statue however, portrays him carrying a cross symbolizing his conversion to Christianity in 988. This controversial move by Putin is believed to further fan the flame of the rising tension between Russia and Ukraine.
The statue is made of bronze and soars to 17.5 meter of 56 feet beside the Kremlin walls. On Friday, Vladimir Putin was quoted saying that the Prince has been the unifier and defender of Russian lands with political foresight.
He was quoted further saying that the Russian’s duty is to work together and confront modern threats and challenges. Ukraine and Russia’s history has become a political battlefield since Putin seized Crimea and directed troops to battle a concealed war in Eastern Ukraine after the revolution in Kiev in 2014.
In the previous month, the city of Oryol also unveiled Russia’s first ever statue of Ivan the Terrible. He is the 16th century Tsar known for establishing Russia’s first secret police and killing thousand on doubts of disloyalty. The statue became the center of argument for liberals who view Ivan’s reign of terror and conservatives who admired the ruler for his successful military triumphs and introduction of the printing press.
Meanwhile, The Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is currently positioned in Crete after about 2 days of navigating from the Syrian coast. The Russian vessel left Russia last October 15. For the past weeks, the carrier has been a source of ridicule for western powers. Its capabilities in terms of battle are limited and can be easily outlast by other countries’ aircraft carriers. People are right now wondering about this move from Russia.
However, aircraft carriers possess tactical advantages and major influence. Similar to nuclear arms, they do not essentially have practical use yet echoes a military force that only limited countries possess. Positioning Admiral Kuznetsov to a far place symbolizes a country of global power’s strategic attention. It is the most concrete display of power projection.
Through these steps, Vladimir Putin is telling the world, most especially his countrymen, that Russia has once again super-power dreams. The cruise of Admiral Kusnetsov is a further testament that Vladimir Putin is willing to follow through his world-wide aspirations.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons