Author: Elina Pugacheva
Sub-editor: Jacey Quah
This poem was written shortly before the plebiscite to change the Russian Constitution which was held in Russia from 25 June – 1 July 2020.
Russia’s puppeteer asks to tighten strings
The BBC presenter moves on
Embarrassment hits hard
This is why the West thinks we’re crazy
The 1st of July
It looms increasingly
Freedom was once a respected woman
Now let’s reverse to a submissive maid
It’s men who know best, after all
Especially Mr. President
“You can vote from your own homes!”
In times of pandemic and starvation
We absolutely cannot stall
Last December we walked through the Red Square
The festivities, food and happiness
Warmed up the freezing air
Now the Square is empty
We must all adhere to our national holiday
Of economic depression at home2
The Red Square…
It has a grandiose air
Now infected with corruption
The preparations have taken months
Reforms will be passed much sooner
Mr. President will guard us for a long time to come
Why must history repeat itself?
1 Since March 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been highly rumoured to be living in a bunker-style residence with disinfecting tunnels near Moscow.
2 The first wave of coronavirus cases in March 2020 resulted in forced lockdowns in Russia (announced formally as “non-working weeks”), with negligible government assistance to match.
Adam Baker, Red Square, Red Coat, 2006.