MORDOR: The reference to Tolkien would be voluntary, according to a Russian political scientist
Eight rings to make them understand that he wants to rule them all? After a summit in Saint Petersburg of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an alliance of several former Soviet republics, the Kremlin presented Tuesday as a gift for the new year gold rings to the leaders of the eight foreign states present ( Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan ).
The blatant reference to the nine rings offered by Sauron to the human rulers who will serve him, in JRR Tolkien’s ” The Lord of the Rings ” has not gone unnoticed as references to this work have swarmed since the start of the attack in Ukraine.
Kremlin critics, especially in Ukraine, have compared Vladimir Putin to Gollum, a figure corrupted by the One Ring, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Frodo, who decides to take the One Ring as a burden to destroy it.
Since the Kremlin offensive in Ukraine, the Ukrainian government has regularly compared Russia to “Mordor”, the kingdom of Sauron, and Russian soldiers to “Orcs”, the soldiers of Sauron.
A conscious joke?
On Telegram, Russian political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann believes that these nine rings are a visibly “conscious” Kremlin “joke”. She notes that the CIS emblem on said rings is reminiscent of the “Eye of Sauron” shape depicted in the Hollywood adaptation of the book.
On Russian radio Kommersant FM, journalist Dmitri Drize, less enthusiastic, points out that the idea of a “community of the ring” between the nine leaders “is not really our subject given the current circumstances”. Indeed, important differences divide some of the heads of state present, in particular the Armenian leaders Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijani Ilham Aliev, opposed on the question of the separatist enclave of Nagorny Karabakh.
A memory for the new year
Dmitri Drize notes that only Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarusian president, one of the few categorical allies of Vladimir Putin in his offensive in Ukraine, was seen with the small ring on his finger.
Tuesday evening, the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, wanted to cut short the interpretations. “It’s just a New Year’s souvenir, there’s nothing special about it,” he said, adding that Vladimir Putin will not wear the gold ring he has. also received for the occasion.