quotRussia is growingquot the amazing new year of Russian state

"Russia is growing": the amazing new year of Russian state television

On a Russian entertainment show, a TV presenter blew out a “slightly unusual Christmas toast” and claimed his country was booming. A speech that contrasts with the situation of Russian soldiers at the front.

Amazing scene on a Russian TV channel. The host of a New Year’s Eve TV show toasted Russia, saying without batting an eyelid that his country “is getting bigger” as the conflict between Moscow and Kyiv escalates and the Russian army suffers regular setbacks.

“The West tried to destroy Russia”

On the occasion of the New Year, Russian antennas, like in France, turned their 31st. But in the country of Vladimir Putin, the celebrations on a state television channel took on an astounding, if not disarming, tone.

“My Christmas toast will be a bit unusual,” says the show’s host in the introduction, a glass of champagne in front of him and several Christmas trees in the background.

“During this year the West has tried to destroy Russia. They didn’t understand that Russia is the pillar that supports the world,” launched the man in the red suit, before being greeted with great applause from the public.

“Yes, gentlemen, whether you like it or not, Russia is getting bigger,” he says confidently and with a big smile.

Confetti and military in uniform

The show, produced in a decidedly festive setting, alternates between numbers inspired by traditional Russian dances, amid a shower of confetti, and more serious speeches, sometimes evoking the ongoing conflict. Uniformed soldiers also appear among other guests in their party attire, creating a surprise cocktail.

More than ten months after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, some Russian television stations still maintain the popular image that Moscow is leading its troops to success.

The Russian President also chose a deliberately optimistic tone in his New Year’s greetings in a questioning staging.

“Together we will overcome all obstacles (…) and we will win,” he said, confident of the final victory.

Far away from the Kremlin and television sets, the conflict on the Ukrainian front continues. Russia on Monday admitted the deaths of 63 of its soldiers in Ukraine, killed during a strike in separatist territory in the east of the country. This is the heaviest loss in a single Moscow-sanctioned attack since the invasion began.