Tuesday 23 May 2023

Old Maps and Russian State Propaganda

Valery Zorkin, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Russia had a working meeting with the head of state (President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin). As anyone in such a situation would, he brought along to the meeting an old map he just happened to have in his car and before the meeting, he persuaded the Kremlin staff to lend him a table to lay it out on so the President could see it. Reading from notes on the table, he declaims, gesturing theatrically: 
"I would like to use this occasion to say that we have found a copy of a 17th-century map at the Constitutional Court. It was made by the French during the reign of Louis XIV, and dated back to the middle or the beginning of the second half of the 17th century. Why have I brought it? Why did I bring it?  Vladimir Vladimirowich, there is no Ukraine on that map". 
What a crawling sycophant. There is then a scene where the two old guys stand by the table (and the papers on the table behind them have been cleared away), and the constitutionalist is filmed wringing his hands nervously as the President of the Russian Federation takes it upon himself tto lecture him "of course Soviet rule created Soviet Ukraine, it is a well-known fact, no Ukraine existed in the history of humankind until then".
"No, I can't see it either...."

Leaving aside that comment (which is in fact untrue), I'd like to draw attention to the map on the table. Louis XIV reigned from 1643 until his death in 1715. Now they do not actually show the proof by showing us the map itself, but in a shot of the two of them sagely discussing the words on it, we can see it laid out on the table. Anyway, it has a cartouche in  an elaborate frame in the top left corner and a less elaborate on the right side.   This appears to be a copy of the 1692 map "La Russie Blanche ou Moscovie" [Les Etats du Czaar de la Russie Blanche ou Gran Duche de Moscovie]  of the French mapmaker Nicolas Sanson d'Abbeville (1600-1667) published by Alexis Hubert Jaillot (1632-1712). To my eye, that does not really look like old paper, I suspect its a reprint - like the ones you can get of this map on Amazon. The first thing to note is that on this map, Putin's St. Petersburg, Kexholm and Ladoga belong to the kingdom of Sweden, but there is no talk of that. LIkewise that the Tsar is of Belarus. The third is that on this map is written, literally almost in the middle  "OCRAIN" and just to the side "VKRAINE ou PAYS des COSAQUES". So, not Russians at all. This is on the very map President Putin and his stooge had on the table before them. 

Zorin brought this all the way to Putin, it has Ukraine written on it in two places, can YOU see? (Amazon still stocks them).

There is probably something wrong with the way they teach history in the Russian Federation these days.

No comments:

Creative Commons License
Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa-Bez utworów zależnych 3.0 Unported.