Like Sauron in “The Lord of the Rings”, Putin distributes rings to 8 allied leaders

Contributor/Getty Images SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – DECEMBER 26: (RUSSIA OUT) LR Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon , Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev poses for a group photo during the Informal Summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on December 26, 2022 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. President Putin arrived in Saint Petersburg to hold the annual leaders summit of ex-Soviet states. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

Contributor/Getty Images

The eight CIE leaders surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin, December 26, 2022, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

RUSSIA – Is Vladimir Putin a hidden fan of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings ? At the traditional annual meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), this Monday, December 26 in Saint Petersburg, the russian president distributed eight rings in white and yellow gold to his counterparts.

The Presidents and Prime Ministers of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were thus honored with this special gift. A ninth was reserved for Vladimir Putin and the jewels displayed the symbol of the regional organization as well as the words “Happy New Year 2023” and “ Russia ».

If it seems improbable, at first sight, that the reference to the Lord of the Rings is voluntary, difficult nevertheless not to see a nod to the monument of fantastic literature British. Especially since in the series of novels by Tolkienhumans are endowed by the evil Sauron with the same number of rings as the members of the CIS: ” Nine for Men, mortals destined for death,” writes the famous author.

For political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann, interviewed by The worldthe Kremlin drew this parallel “consciously”. An analysis denied by a spokesperson for the Russian presidency, who evokes a “single memory” offered to IEC members.

References regularly used by kyiv

Banned for many years, The Lord of the Rings had a strong influence in the USSR, where it circulated secretly for a long time. This influence on popular culture is still felt today in the war between Moscow and kyiv. Ukrainians thus regularly portray themselves as the pacifist inhabitants of “the Shire” – the hobbits – and do not hesitate to qualify their enemies “orcs”.

On social networks, Vladimir Putin’s gift obviously caused a reaction. Some Internet users have thus had fun comparing, in photo montages, the Russian president to the creature Gollum, slave of the ring in Tolkien’s work, or even to Sauron, the lord of Darkness.

In any case, it is not certain that Vladimir Putin will succeed “to rule them all” thanks to the amazing present. The IEC has indeed been agitated for several years by numerous dissensions, in particular between Armenia and Azerbaijanbut also between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

During Monday’s meeting, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian thus recalled his exasperation with Moscow, which remains passive in the face of Azerbaijan’s takeover of the Lachin corridor, supposed to be under the protection Russian forces. In the end, only the Belarusian Alexander Lukashenkoloyal among Putin’s faithful, showed up with the ring on his finger.

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Like Sauron in “The Lord of the Rings”, Putin distributes rings to 8 allied leaders