Political cartoon by Oleksiy Kustovskyi. "Russian World: Propaganda, Religion, Sport, War, Terror"
After the publication of the second report by the independent committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) under the direction of Richard McLaren, it became clear that Russia had held a really hybrid Olympics in Sochi. Holding the games on the territory of Vladimir Putin’s empire allowed Russia’s sports and health departments to conduct a special operation in close cooperation with Russia’s Federal Security Service to replace the doping tests of Russian participants. Furthermore, we’re not talking about individuals but a real system. Obviously, everyone knew about the use of doping. Russia’s vaunted sport is when criminals compete with liars for undeserved medals and inflated records.
After the hybrid Olympics, Putin began a hybrid war with Ukraine, as he had promised his agents in Ukraine.
From the moral point of view, this is practically the same as doping. Troops invade that are not there. They shell Ukrainian cities and then blame the Ukrainian army. The people who follow the rules of international law regarding Crimea or the Donbas are declared criminals and repressed, and those who violate the law — criminals, thugs, sadists, murders — are called heroes, as was the case with the thugs “Motorola” and “Givi.” Truly an inverted world!
But Putin’s greatest success is not “hybrid Olympics” and not “hybrid war” but hybrid Russia. Putin is not the only one to understand that Russian athletes won at the Olympics because of doping. Now millions of citizens of the Russian Federation know it as well. And Putin is not the only one to know that military force was used to occupy foreign territories in Crimea and the Donbas. Millions of citizens of the Russian Federation knew it. But they preferred to lie because they thought that all means are suitable for victory — whether athletic or military.
Russia’s hybridity is that most of the citizens of the country are convinced that it is necessary and expedient to lie to achieve their goals. In Russia almost everyone lies — passers-by in the street during interviews, journalists on television, politicians in parliament and government, priests in churches. Patriarch Kirill lies. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lies. President Vladimir Putin lies. And when lying becomes total, the people who speak the truth really do appear to be crazy.
This was the situation in the Soviet Union. Everyone, everywhere lied. During party and union meetings. On the TV screen. During official speeches. Communists lie, non-party people lied, Komsomol members and Pioneers lied. Even young children lied. They had been taught from the first grade what could be said and what could not. People lied about the occupation of Czechoslovakia. Or the war in Afghanistan. Or the destroyed South Korean Boeing. About Chornobyl. About history. About religion. About science. About everything.
But the most interesting thing is that this total lie did not save the Soviet Union. And it will not save Putin’s hybrid Russia either. Lies provide a very shaky foundation for a strong building.