World Update

Putins chilling Christmas greeting: A jokey Russian military calendar, as seen by the Daily Mail

When it comes to Putins Russia, everything is a threat of war and, for the alarmists at the Daily Mail, a cheeky calendar from the Russian Defense Ministry simply could not be interpreted in any other way.

Russian President Vladimir Putins latest “chilling Christmas greeting to the West” comes in the deceptively mundane form of a calendar. Published by none other than Putins “military machine,” the twelve sheets are packed chock-full with “threatening messages” and various depictions of the countrys “military might.” Among the most frightening examples, according to the British tabloid, are Russian missiles and female soldiers.

One might think the calendar is just a light-hearted way of showcasing military achievements, but dont be fooled. It is a warning, deliberately timed to “mock the West,” because even Christmas isnt holy for the Russians: They celebrate New Year instead, spending December 25 as a normal working day (presumably toiling at Putins missile assembly lines, though the Daily Mail author stops short of stating this outright).

Among the many thinly-veiled threats the tabloid has discovered within the calendars glitzy pages, it even unearthed a personal insult directed at Britain – the Russians have dared to name their new anti-tank missile Kornet. Surely they were mocking the cornets of the old British cavalry (a rank abolished in 1871) and were not actually honoring the cornets of the Russian imperial army (abolished in 1917 along with the Russian Empire)?

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The tabloid seems especially wary of Russian servicewomen – with their piercing gazes and sniper rifles – who featured on two of the calendars pages.

And the Russian special forces from the April page have the audacity to pose wearing “chemical attack masks” – a standard piece of kit made into a sinister symbol by the trumped-up accusations of Novichok poisonings London has been launching at Moscow. Well, nothing gets more clicks on a slow Boxing Day than a bit of a Russian threat.

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