Living in and imbibing the imperial grandeur of the Kremlin is enough to turn anyone’s head. It was here that Putin today chose as the theme of his declaration on international women’s day the example of Catherine the Great from his study in the senate palace built by her and adorned by a flattering sculpure of her likeness. This is no accident since it was the Prussian Catherine, the wife – from the age of 15 – of the unpopular Tsar Peter , who grabbed the throne for herself (1762-1796) and seized Crimea, having driven the Russian empire to the shores of the Black Sea and far across the Caucasus at the expense of the declining Ottoman empire.
Under Catherine, it was certainly not all motherhood and apple pie. Slavery expanded to incorporate the nomadic populations to the south and east. She oversaw the further impoverishment of Russian peasant for the benefit of the wealthy few and the top heavy state, which starkly contrasted with her benign interest in the Enlightenment; though that, she firmly believed, would insulate Russia from the disruptive impact of the French revolution. She also partitioned Poland with Prussia and Austria to the manifest indifference of those ruling Western Europe. Not a realistic option today for the current tsar, but it does send a certain message to Warsaw between the lines.
Путин процитировал слова императрицы Екатерины Второй о защите Родины
8 марта 2022, 01:56
Текст: Антон Никитин