“Nothing was normal”: the “disconcerting” welcome to the New Year in Vladimir Putin’s Russia

  • Steve Rosenberg
  • BBC News, Moscow

Putin surrounded by troops

image source, Getty Images

Caption,

This year’s speech was more attended than in previous years, where only the president appeared.

The clock on the Kremlin’s Spassky Tower strikes midnight.

The Russian national anthem plays.

Next, Channel 1 TV kicks off 2023 with a pop song: “I’m Russian and I’ll go all the way… I’m Russian, to spite the world.”

Then in the list of the most popular (patriotic) tracks you hear: “I was born in the Soviet Union, they made me in the USSR!”.

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