Some tables have their place in history. We signed capitulations there, we wrote famous calls there, they held famous meetings … The one, oval, which welcomed the meeting between Vladimir Putin and Emmanuel Macron, on February 7, 2022, a few days before the start of the invasion Russian of Ukraine, is one of them. These six meters separating the two men said long from the state of mind of the master of the Kremlin at this key moment: his fear of the COVVI-19 and conspiracy, his isolation, his always more lonely reign.
The displayed rejection was not only that of the West, in the person of the French president: number of collaborators or ministers of the Russian president are entitled to similar treatments. In this eminently Byzantine world that is Kremlin, proximity or distance are subtle markers of esteem or disgrace.
Tables and offices are an essential attribute of the long reign of Vladimir Putin since his accession to power in 1999. On July 28, 2000, the president convened the twenty main oligarchs who had supported his ascent to explain the new rules of the game: to them the dollars, to him the policy. The place had been chosen with care: the old datcha of Joseph Staline, in Kountsevo.
“refugee in his bunker”
The Russian president’s offices are immutable. It is a question of displaying the austere permanence of power, the eternal omnipotence of the towers of the Kremlin. Nationally visible national coat of arms, obsolete puppet holder and amber clipboard, innumerable phones preserved from the Soviet era … Not a visible file, nothing but perfectly waxed wood.
Another powerful, Patriarch Kirill, was the victim of this too brilliant wood when his press service erased by Photoshop a luxury watch on his wrist, forgetting the reflection of the object on the table.
No computer either, the Russian president has already confessed not to master its operation. Nothing personal, especially, neither photography nor even a pen that could betray his personality, his preferences. The president is a civil servant like any other, which is more a former secret service. Barely a human.
Another objective of this mixture of sobriety sought and of all Soviet pump: do not reveal information about the place where the president works. Only novelty, from the Pandemic of Covid-19, the appearance of giant screens for videoconferences, which has become the main working tool of a Vladimir Putin that Internet users mock in “grandfather refugee in his bunker”. p>
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