Propaganda or Hoax? The Pro-Putin Music Video That Has Russia Talking

It suggests the Russian leader was sent by God!


Nobody seems to know where he came from, but over the last day or so, a man calling himself Tolibjon Kurbankhanov has become an online sensation in Russia.

Kurbankhanov, supposedly a Tajik migrant worker living in Moscow, is the star of a music video called "VVP" -- short for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin -- which extols the virtues of Russia's former, and, likely, future president, as no other before it. The song suggests Prime Minister Putin was sent to Russia by God, and at just the right time.

"Let's sit and remember together those years / When he wasn't here, we had just fear / A nation in peril, a suffering people / And at this time, God sent him to us," the song begins. It eventually breaks into a jubilant refrain:

VVP - he saved the country
VVP - he protects us
VVP - raised up Russia
And development just keeps on going.

One YouTube commentator called the apparent propaganda "so thick, it's refined." But Russian bloggers were quick to point out the song is so ridiculous, it could, in fact, be a play to discredit Putin, whose initials happen to be the Russian abbreviation for Gross Domestic Product. (The video was posted by YouTube user SergeiRaevskii, who appears to have no other YouTube activity, and went viral when opposition presidential candidate Aleksei Navalny called attention to it on his blog.)

The steady stream of comments reflects - at best - Russians' ambivalence toward migrant workers. Some, however, suggest the singer is either a drug dealer or is somehow in Moscow illegally.

Nationalism and ethnic conflict are prominent themes ahead of Russia's presidential election next month, with the liberal opposition joining forces with nationalist factions during recent protest marches. On January 23, Putin published an essay on Russia's ethnic and migration policies, proposing tighter monitoring and regulations for millions of labor migrants in Russia.

This article originally appeared at EurasiaNet.org, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman

You don't have to tell her how big she is. You don't need to touch her belly.

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in Global

Just In