Not only did Putin want to project that people were supporting him, but he also wanted to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the annexation of Crimea. But there were a few problems with this scenario which threw off all kinds of Nuremberg vibes.
"To liberate people from this suffering, from the genocide, is the main inspiring motive of the military operation we started in Donbas and in Ukraine"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 18, 2022
First, quoting the Bible while attacking and killing civilians shows a lot of cognitive dissonance.
But beyond that, there was a problem during the speech that had people wondering what was going on. Right in the middle of Putin speaking, the video suddenly cut away to a band playing for a few seconds, and then it cut back to Putin.
Putin was speaking in front of a stadium of 100k paid supporters at Moscow's giant Luzhniki Stadium, when the feed cut out and started playing a concert by Oleg Gazmanov…
Really, really weird.
Was his speech pre-recorded? pic.twitter.com/ED799Glsyo
— Jonny Tickle (@jonnytickle) March 18, 2022
It isn’t clear why, and it sparked conspiracy theories that either he wasn’t there and it was pre-recorded, or that resistance did it. The Kremlin claimed there was a “glitch.” Well, that’s one way of putting it.
But beyond the glitch, there was a bigger problem with the picture. The BBC spoke with some of the people who attended. Many were public sector employees who said they’d been pressured to attend by their employers. Some said they had been forced to attend. Others were students who were told that they would get the day off if they attended a ‘concert,’ and didn’t know what the event was about.
Thirty minutes into the event, and here’s the flood of people leaving. I guess they didn’t want to hear @M_Simonyan, the RT propagandist who made one of the opening speeches. https://t.co/nnKI9oGbHa pic.twitter.com/fM5OvVzUYV
— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) March 18, 2022