Germany has always been a welcome target for Kremlin propaganda. The wounds left in Russia by the Second World War have never healed. And the propaganda ensures that there is never a cure. After all, it's easier to rub salt in old wounds than to open new ones.
The German government's decision to deliver German Leopard tanks to Ukraine has now triggered a new wave of incitement towards Germany. For the propagandists, the Federal Republic has become enemy number one in the past few days.
The main role in the new Hetz-Theater was played by none other than Vladimir Solovyov - the face of Kremlin propaganda par excellence. In his evening show on Wednesday, he devoted himself with thieving pleasure to defaming the new enemy.
"Today is the day on which Nazi Germany finally renounced the fig leaf of its guilt," he opened his show of hatred. After this sentence, insults, slander and lies rained down for two and a half hours - accompanied by fountains of saliva and attempts to imitate Joseph Goebbels.
"Baerbock, the Reich's foreign minister, has declared war on Russia (...) Miss Ribbentrop has declared war on Russia," chanted the talk master, alluding to Joachim von Ribbentrop, who had been Hitler's Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1938. "The Fourth Reich has declared war on Russia!" Solovyov yelled, quoting his propaganda colleague Margarita Simonyan: "Now they're delivering tanks and later gas chambers."
At the same time, Putin made it clear what to think of the "Federal Nazi Republic of Germany," Solovyov said before his commander made an appearance. In the broadcast, the Kremlin chief claimed that the US never ended its occupation of Germany after World War II - unlike the Soviet Union. "Formally and legally, American occupation troops are on the territory of the Federal Republic. (...) And even German politicians say that Germany was never a sovereign state after the Second World War. That's not what I'm saying. Celebrities don't say that pro-Russian politicians," Putin tried to fool the public, without being able to name the German politicians mentioned.
But for Solovyov there is only one thing that counts: whatever Putin chooses to explain.
At the same time, Solovyov sees the situation in which Russia finds itself. But it's everyone else who is to blame - just not Putin. "We are now paying for the stupidity and lack of talent of Khrushchev, who evacuated the Russian-Soviet military base in Finland. For the stupidity and lack of talent of Gorbachev and Yeltsin, who ordered the Soviet-Russian forces out of Europe," Solovyov barked in his monologue. The Americans, on the other hand, would not have moved a step and would continue to occupy the European countries.
"The German people will suffer. Today is a day of mourning for many Germans in East Germany who were betrayed by Gorbachev. He threw them to the Nazis from West Germany," Solovyov continued. Today is a day of mourning for all communists in Europe. And for many Germans who have understood that Germany's well-being depends on friendship with the Soviet Union and Russia," said Solovyov, speaking for these ominous Germans.
And who did Solovyov quote as his key witness for the alleged historical oblivion of Germany? AfD politician Petr Bystron. The foreign policy spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group in the Bundestag had accused Scholz of having "thrown overboard" the foundations of German foreign policy since the Second World War. The chancellor had "trampled" Willy Brandt's legacy, the Czech-born claimed.
But for Solovyov it is not a contradiction in one sentence to quote a politician from a right-wing extremist party who is being observed by the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and the next moment to let loose this tirade: "Scholz, let your little Hitler beard grow! Nazi scum! Traitor of the German people!"; yelled the propagandist.
Solovyov's cannonade of hate speech lasted 15 minutes before he finally gave the floor to one of his studio guests. Political scientist and professor Dmitry Evstafiev was allowed to give a short lecture after the roar. "In the case of Germany, we are dealing with a totalitarian country where absolutely totalitarian laws have been passed in the last two years. They limit freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and even freedom to educate and education for the children. And German society agrees with that," the 56-year-old postulated with conviction.
"The Federal Republic of Germany is not a state that has retained at least the smallest real elements of a democracy. Yes, there is a democratically elected totalitarian government there," Evstafiev ranted calmly. How one fits into the other is something that viewers should rack their brains about. If you should notice the contradiction in the monotonous day before at all.
Before that happened, the professor went one step further: "We have a completely totalitarian Europe. Not just a Russophobic Europe. (...) The totalization of Europe is an instrument for building the rule of a Euro-Atlantic elite, an indisputable rule," fabulated Evstafiev.
His evidence for this claim? The alleged "consumer rules" that would dictate to people how often they have to shower and what they can eat: "This is an attempt to regulate people's private lives. Before our eyes in Europe in the last two years created a system that regulates everything, including private life."
The freezing, starving Europe that is not allowed to shower is a popular motif for Kremlin propaganda. The myth that the British have to eat their pets' food to survive has become notorious. At the same time, state television shows how families of mobilized soldiers are rewarded with a gas connection. In a country that prides itself on its gas, a gas connection becomes the reward of a human life.
According to official data from the Russian government, in 2018 only 68 percent of households in Russian cities were connected to the gas network, compared to 59 percent in rural areas. The remaining households are still heated with wood and coal - in the country with the largest natural gas resources in the world. But what does the propaganda care? The main thing is that the freezing Russians believe that there is a Nazi regime in Germany that forbids its citizens to take a shower.