×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Putin Sets Off Meme Storm By Comparing Medieval Invaders to Coronavirus Quarantine

"This is a sword. With this sword I beat the Pechenegs." tasyahg / Twitter

During a televised meeting Wednesday, Putin called on his fellow Russians to wait out the nationwide “non-working” month in self-isolation to avoid the further spread of coronavirus — and did so by invoking Russia’s past victories against medieval invaders.

“Everything passes and this will pass. Our country has gone through many serious challenges: When tormented by the Pechenegs and the Cumans, Russia has handled them all. We will defeat this coronavirus contagion,” he said.

The remarks instantly sparked bewilderment — and, as always, lots of memes. 

Some of them drew punchlines from the similarity between Pecheneg and pechen’ye, the Russian word for a cookie. Others noted the similarity between Polovtsy, the Russian name for the Cumans, and plov, the popular rice dish. 

Many poked fun at Putin’s apparent view of the Pechenegs and Cumans — nomadic tribes that raided parts of Russia in the 10th and 11th centuries — as one of the greatest challenges Russia has ever faced. Greater, even, than World War II.

Here’s a look at some of the top contenders:

— We have overcome much worse.

— We defeated the Pechenegs.

— And the Polovtsy?

— And the Polovtsy.

Putin before the quarantine: "Constitution!"

Putin after the quarantine: "Pechenegs!"


										 					tasyahg / Twitter
tasyahg / Twitter

"This is a sword. With this sword I beat the Pechenegs. Stupid Pechenegs I f---ing hate you"

Putin: "In the past week I've had an obsessive fear of the Pechenegs."

Psychotherapist: "Don't worry, we defeated them long ago. There are no Pechenegs anymore."

Pechenegs:

The Pechenegs and Cumans discuss how they'll divide Russia:

— "We'll take the oil, and you'll take the gas?"

— "Okay!"


										 					Alexander Amzin / Facebook
Alexander Amzin / Facebook

— "Natasha, are you asleep?"

— "The Polovtsy have tormented us."

— "And the Pechenegs have tormented us, Natash."

— "And the coronavirus infection, Natash, frankly."

The Pechenegs:

— "So, are we on Google Trends?"

— "No, the Polovtsy are there!"

Me: "I hope Putin will stop constantly bringing up the Great Patriotic War and find something else for Russia to be proud of."

Putin: "Pechenegs."

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more