Thursday, September 2, 2021

Putin Confuses Two Wars and Gets Corrected by a Russian Schoolboy

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 2 – Russia has been involved in so many wars that it is perhaps not surprising that even a Kremlin leader who fancies himself a historian will sometimes get confused. That is just what Vladimir Putin has done, confusing in a talk with schoolchildren in Vladivostok yesterday the Northern War and the Seven Years War.

            That might have elicited some snickers from Russian intellectuals had not something else followed: a schoolboy Nikanor Tolstykh took it upon himself to correct the Kremlin leader. Putin himself  said thank you, but the boy’s school director suggested Tolstykh should not have been so bold (

            That led one of the boy’s teachers, however, to praise his forthrightness ( and ultimately prompted Putin’s press spokesman Dmitry Peskov to say that there was nothing wrong in Tolstykh’s actions and that it was “an absolutely normal situation” (

            But obviously, this isn’t a normal situation, not when the person being corrected is the Kremlin ruler.


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