Propaganda needs to be learned. Vladimir Putin visited occupied areas of Ukraine for the first time over the weekend. After Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula, there was a nightly visit to the largely destroyed port city of Mariupol. The Russian President then demonstratively deepened the alliance with the People's Republic of China, whose head of state Xi traveled to Moscow for a full three days.
Sandra Maischberger discussed Putin's maneuvers on Wednesday evening with former ARD correspondent Thomas Roth, Russian opposition politician Garry Kasparov, cabaret artist Dieter Nuhr and journalists Cherno Jobatey, Kerstin Palzer and Wolfram Weimer. Weimer assessed his appearance as Putin having created "weak images" for propaganda purposes. He seemed "almost lonely". According to the publisher, Russian military bloggers have criticized the fact that the Russian president, unlike President Zelenskyy of Ukraine, did not visit the front-line soldiers.
ARD correspondent Palzer described the visit to Mariupol as "pure propaganda". It is "shocking" that Putin presents himself as the "savior of the human side". Roth found even clearer words later. It was a "real provocation" and "bottomless cynicism" on the part of the President to visit a city where "many war crimes are alleged to have been committed". Putin's visit to the devastated Mariupol was "just a bad joke," criticized Garry Kasparov, who tuned in from Croatia.
He used to describe Russia as a "police state", but now it is a "fascist dictatorship". Germans didn't like hearing comparisons to "Nazi Germany", explained the former world chess champion, "but unfortunately that's the only parallel I can think of". According to Kasparov, Russia's "imperial appetites" must end. For this, Ukraine needs a “military victory”.
He supports "all arms deliveries to Ukraine - without limitation," said Kasparov, only to immediately add a limit: "Of course below the nuclear threshold." Wolfram Weimer had previously positioned himself almost word for word on arms deliveries. And ARD moderator Thomas Roth also urged that "all measures" be taken to prevent Ukraine's defeat. Otherwise there would be "massive effects on democratic Europe". Putin "swept aside all standards that have been developed since World War II."
Accordingly, he expected little from possible negotiations with the Russian President. "What do you want to sign with this person, who doesn't care at all what he's signing?" the journalist asked rhetorically. "Forget that," Kasparov reacted discouraged to the question about negotiations. An attitude that Dieter Nuhr shared in the final one-on-one interview: "Today I think the call for negotiations is completely unreal."
Last spring, the cabaret artist signed the first open letter from Emma editor Alice Schwarzer, in which celebrities warned of arms deliveries and the danger of a world war. He sees things differently after a year. Although he is still afraid of a world war, the satirist explained, "I no longer see an alternative to what we are doing right now".
Maischberger also paid attention to the demonstrative alliance between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. Weimer reminded the Chinese man's state visit to Moscow of an "alliance meeting between two mafia bosses" who are allied against the West. Russia is now the largest supplier of oil and gas in the Middle Kingdom.
This “axis shift” is “bad news” for western countries. Kasparov was also concerned. "Russia must not be turned into a northern province of China," demanded the opposition figure. His home country must start all over again, pay reparations and apologize for the war crimes.