Russian propaganda produces two abstruse Christmas commercials that can hardly be surpassed in tastelessness. In it, the Kremlin makes fun of the West, which it sees on the brink of collapse. A moving video from Kyiv, on the other hand, encourages - and gives hope for difficult times.
Kremlin propaganda has been on everyone's lips at least since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the West, one wonders about the Russians who do not see through the lies of the Kremlin media and take them at face value. The bloody war of aggression against the Ukrainians is sold as a peace mission for the suffering population. And in Western Europe, too, according to the state media, ordinary citizens would suffer under the yoke of Russophobic governments. For example, a Russian woman living in Bavaria has to wear a winter jacket in her Munich apartment - the well-known propagandist complained about this in October in a slot on Russian television. She doesn't say a word about the fact that the outside temperature was 18 degrees that day.
Europe freezing without Russian gas is one of the favorite motifs of Russian propaganda in general. Just before Christmas she produced a few more pearls of absurdity and tackiness. A few days ago, the broadcaster RT, which is banned in Germany, published a Christmas spot intended to show the near future of Europe.
You can see a European family of three celebrating Christmas in 2021 - before the war and the resulting sanctions against Russia. It's a beautiful celebration, the apartment is decorated with many bright garlands. The daughter gets a hamster with a red bow from her parents.
A year later - 2022 - the apartment is no longer illuminated. The hamster has to run in a wheel to generate electricity for the garlands. The family warms up under a blanket. Apparently there is still harmony among the family members.
In 2023 the mood finally changes. The wind whistles through broken windows, the family wears hats, scarves and winter jackets in the apartment. The mother serves a watery soup. While eating, the father chokes and pulls something out of his mouth - it's the hamster's red ribbon. His wife puts her index finger in front of her mouth and points to her daughter: she shouldn't know that it's her pet she's eating. Finally, the channel's message to Europeans appears on the screen: "Merry anti-Russian Christmas."
If you didn't choke while watching this video, you should see another spot, made by the same production company and shared on social media. It shows the room of a child growing up in a family with parents of the same sex. The boy wears a pink dress, books with (fictional) titles like "Straight into Gay" or "LGBTQ. Modern Studies" are on a shelf next to the photo of his gay parents. A doll and a unicorn figure can also be seen. Before going to bed, the boy whispers a Christmas wish to himself. And Santa Claus fulfills it.
When the boy wakes up the next morning, he's wearing a blue polo shirt instead of a dress, there's a soccer ball on the floor, the "gay" books have been replaced by a drum kit, and the photo shows his parents - a dad and a girl Mummy. The highlight of the wondrous transformation is a crucifix that now hangs on the wall in the children's room. Santa Claus contently observes the "healed" boy through the window, then looks into the camera and takes off his beard. Finally, the face of the man in disguise appears – it is the Russian President, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
The two spots are actively shared by social media users, but mostly with negative comments and as an example of bad taste. In stark contrast to the Russian videos, which, according to one Twitter user, "only make you gag," stands the moving Christmas spot of the Ukrainian armed forces. "There is a lifelong rift between the 'fraternal' nations," comments the user, sharing the video from Kyiv.
This shows a girl who collects money for a long time to buy her father a train ticket in the war zone - from the front home. Overlaid on top of the clip is the Ukrainian folk song "Shchedryk," better known in the West as "Carol of the Bells."
Along with the ticket, the girl sends her father an origami crane. When the two finally embrace shortly before the party, they attach the paper bird to the Christmas tree in Kiev Central Station. Then the camera pans up and you can see that the tree is already decorated with hundreds of such cranes - symbolizing the hope of Ukrainian children for a reunion with their parents who went to war.