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 (meduza.io/feature/2021/09/01/vladimir-putin-pereputal-severnuyu-voynu-s-semiletney-i-ego-popravil-shkolnik-direktor-shkoly-zayavila-chto-ucheniku-nado-byt-skromnee).
That led one of the boy’s teachers, however, to praise his forthrightness (m.gazeta.ru/social/2021/09/02/13945430.shtml) 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” (tass.ru/obschestvo/12279965).
But obviously, this isn’t a normal situation, not when the person being corrected is the Kremlin ruler.