…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
I try not to let my distrust of KGB and of its so far most successful operative Vladimir Putin to colour my writing too much. That’s why I only lightly touched on Russian-Polish riots in Timeless traditions [Fog of Chaos – 18-06-2012] It seems however that giving comrade Putin a benefit of doubt is naïve. My excuse is that at that time I was not aware of the banner, which our media also somehow missed.
The others did not. Hal G.P.Colebatch wrote in News Weekly of 7th July, 2012 in “Thuggish Russian banner angers Poles”:
“The match was, either through stupidity or design, scheduled on Russia’s national day. An enormous banner, hundreds of square feet in area, was displayed over the Russian part of the crowd in the stadium. It depicted a savage-faced, snarling blonde barbarian wielding a sword, with the huge legend (very interestingly in English – so it was for the benefit of international television audiences) THIS IS RUSSIA.
Now, in any international sporting contest, such a banner would be deemed grossly ill-mannered, and contrary to any ideal of international sport as a contest in friendly rivalry. However, “THIS IS RUSSIA” could be read in two ways – snarling warrior could be captioned as the spirit of Russia, or could be seen as a claim that Warsaw was part of Russia – either interpretation being highly and gratuitously provocative.”
The ensuing riot involved about 5 000 Russians, some waving Soviet Union flags; 6,400 Polish police and many Poles. If the banner read “THIS IS GERMANY” and the demonstrators waved flags of Nazi Germany, the media would be still fuming and Leftist punditeska still pontificating. As it happened, The Guardian set the tone immediately by blaming the Polish hooligans for provoking the Russian sport fans on their National Day and the rest of the media followed. The Sydney Morning Herald‘s non-coverage was particularly disgraceful, though not surprising.
The Soviet flags and other communist symbols [see the image] were unlikely to be bought in Poland and must have been brought in from Putin’s Russia. It implies ill-will, borishness but not necessarily any sophisticated malice aforethought. The banner is something else. The design, manufacture, transport etc. could not be a work of a few vodka-soaked thugs. Most likely it was the pre-meditated project by that governmental organisation with a long history of doing dirty deals for the ruling party; its sword and shield.
The Warsaw provocation was a part of Russia’s centuries old push to the west – Drang nach Westen; the equivalent of Germany’s historic Drang nach Osten. Poor Poles, in between, are on their own as usual. Any official complaints or requests for apology would be ignored. At the best, Putin’s FSB would arrest some Jewish “oligarch”. At worst, another aeroplane may come down abruptly, as General Sikorski (and his daughter)[Was General Sikorski a victim of the Katyn massacre?] or Premier Kaczynski (and his wife) [Lech Kaczynski Plane Crash: Twin brother says Polish leader’s death likely no accident] would undoubtedly confirm, had they survived Moscow’s displeasure.