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  • Children sing of their devotion to Putin in a bizarre music clip released in Russia that seems to channel old-school Soviet propaganda (Volgograd News - Youtube)
A bizarre patriotic video clip from Russia has left many in the Russian community puzzled due to it's uncanny similarity to the old-school Soviet propaganda of yore.
English
By
Olga Klepova

14 Nov 2017 - 9:40 PM  UPDATED 24 Nov 2017 - 12:31 PM

Children dressed in military uniform sing that they will follow the Russian Head of State if he calls them up to die in a fight. 

The video clip was shot in Volgograd, the former Stalingrad city where a major battle of World War II took place and it was first published by United Russia party politician Anna Kouvychko. 

Sung by a group of young cadets, the song sounds ominous and the style of the clip reminds the propaganda-style visuals that would appear to be straight out of the Soviet-era.

Prominent Russian journalist and historian, Nikolai Svanidze labelled it on radio station Echo of Moscow, "a talentless rehash of the old Soviet propaganda song 'When we are sent to fight by Comrade Stalin.'"

Although just children, in the lyrics they swear not only to restore the great superpower "From the Kuril Islands to the Baltic coasts", but go further:

"We will keep safe Sevastopol and Crimea for next generations and will return Alaska to  Homeland harbour ..."

The above line references Alaska, which the United States purchased from the Russian Empire in 1867, for approximately two cents per acre - about 7.2 million U.S. dollars in total. In 1959 it was admitted as the 49th state of the USA. 

In the video young cadets sing about the lack of unity in the European Union, dire times in the Middle East and being sick of the hegemony. They also warn against showing weakness as it will lead to the collapse of the country. 

When the song first came out in May this year, written by patriotic song author Vyacheslav Antonov, it provoked a wave of criticism. The text of the chorus is as follows:

We wish for peace on this land, but if the Chief commander

Will call upon us to go to the last fight…

Uncle Vova, we are with you!

Who is Uncle Vova???

The song is called "Uncle Vova, we are with you", where "Vova" [vou-va] is an affectionate form of the name Vladimir and is often used in Russia. However, since it's an informal name, one would rarely hear Vova in the official circles. You could compare it with calling Bill Shorten Billy or Mac for Malcolm. 

Member of United Russia party, the member Parliament and member of the Committee for family, women and children issues, Anna Kouvychko is also present in the video.

In an interview with the local newspaper she says the new generation is raised in full awareness of the heroic deeds of their great parents and will be able to fight modern day threats. "We will prevail," she adds a famous phrase coined during World War II. 

Russian independent television channel Rain believes the release of the video clip ties in with the start of the election campaign for the Russian presidential election 2018.

Some of the comments on social media compare this clip to the products of North Korean propaganda.

A sacred meaning of the scenery

The city of Volgograd has a special almost sacred meaning to the Russians as the Battle of Stalingrad is arguably called the bloodiest battle in human history and claimed hundred thousands of lives.

The discussion in modern Russia often refers back to the historic times of the WWII evoking patriotic feelings. It serves as a big landmark in the nation's lifetime that lost over 20 million of its population.

Go deep into the world of propaganda in The VICE Guide to North Korea, streaming now on SBS OnDemand.