- Putin struck a blow at Russian oligarchs living abroad in his national address on Tuesday.
- He pointed out how Western sanctions were hurting them and said they should invest in Russia now.
- This is a popular term among ordinary Russians, despite Putin’s own vast undeclared wealth.
In his annual speech Tuesday, President Vladimir Putin sent a warning to wealthy Russians abroad in a not-so-subtle blow to the country’s faded oligarchy.
The annual State Address is a tool to strengthen domestic political support and assert Russia’s place in world affairs. It came a day after President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Kiev, shocking a media apparatus heavily weighted with Russian propaganda.
The Russian president delivered a two-hour speech in which he leaned into well-worn claims about the Russian economy and the situation of the invasion of Ukraine. He also attacked the Russian elite, especially those who had settled abroad.
According to the BBC’s live translation, he said that “it’s time for the West to understand that those people are going to be second-class foreigners” whose assets are at risk.
Putin also made scathing remarks about people who “purchased titles” to become “counts, counts, comrades.”
British-style titles reflect years of reality. Vast amounts of Russian wealth accumulated in Londonclean out the mansion, newspaperfootball clubs and even lords.
Putin appeared to mock these figures and at the same time advised to “stay in the motherland.”
“Not only to start a new business, but also to change the life around you.”
According to Dr. Jade McGlynn, a researcher and author of several books on Russian political culture, it’s a well-worn but persistent favorite among ordinary Russians.
“He rarely says it outspoken, but the story has been going on ever since sanctions were imposed in 2014.
“It’s like, ‘If you don’t have friends, you should join,'” McGlynn said of Putin’s attack strategy.
Despite Putin himself being presumed to be one of the richest men on the planet, the contrast between himself as a staunch “people’s man” and a wealthy man who has left his homeland is compelling. Part.
McGlynn also says there are no Russian oligarchs left. [these] People are as influential as they were in the 1990s. But no business person influences Putin.”