Marking Vladimir Putin’s birthday has become something of a tradition at Harry’s Place.
In 2014 we featured an “art” exhibit depicting the “Twelve Labors of Putin,” based on the 12 labors of Hercules, and painfully adorable children singing “Happy Birthday, President of Russia.”
In 2015 there was a mass tribute to Putin in Grozny, Chechnya, worthy of Kim Jong Un’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
There were probably many other noteworthy events to mark Putin’s 64th birthday this year, but if anything is a sign of Russia’s swing toward neo-Stalinism, this is it:
Russian MPs start their day by congratulating Putin on his birthday & decide to send him 450 roses (one from each MP) pic.twitter.com/dP7FhtOlny
— Steve Rosenberg (@BBCSteveR) October 7, 2016
I can’t help recalling Solzhenitsyn’s chilling description of a Soviet Communist party conference in the 1930s where those in attendance were called on to applaud Comrade Stalin and literally couldn’t stop until someone risked his freedom or life to do so.
I hope that whoever was the first to stop clapping for Putin didn’t suffer consequences.
Update: And who could be more deserving of the first Hugo Chavez Peace Prize than the man whose warplanes are bombing hospitals and aid convoys, and massacring civilians in Aleppo?