more More than three centuries after he tried to bring Russia closer to Europe, the Russians celebrated the 350th birthday of Peter the Great, who was deeply isolated by the Ukrainian conflict on Thursday. Inspired by the time spent abroad, Peter made great efforts to modernize a vast and developing country during his reign from 1682 to 1725. His most famous is the construction of St. Petersburg as Russia’s “window to Europe”.

On June 9, 1672, a celebration will be held in Moscow, the city from which his name was derived, to commemorate the anniversary of Peter the Great’s birth. President Vladimir Putin will attend a new exhibition called “Peter the Great: The Birth of an Empire” in the capital. As Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine disrupted Russian-Western relations, authorities downplayed Peter’s affinity for Europe and instead focused on his role in expanding Russia’s territory and strengthening state power. I’m guessing.

In St. Petersburg, a man passing by a graffiti depicting Peter the Great, the founder of St. Petersburg. The city celebrated the 350th anniversary of Peter the Great’s birth on June 9. – AFP

“A prominent politician, military leader and patriot, he devoted his life to his homeland service,” Putin from St. Petersburg said in a statement this week to celebrate the anniversary. Peter was inspired by a trip to Europe as a young man to transform Russia into a great power in Europe. During his reign, he undertook radical political, military and social reforms aimed at westernizing Russia, turning the country into a naval power and significantly expanding its territory.

He also brutally suppressed the riots in 1698 by torturing and publicly executing more than 1,000 rebels, with little objection. “Peter I can be a symbolic figure for both supporters of European liberalism and supporters of a’strong nation’,” said St. Petersburg historian and journalist Daniel Kotsbinski. I told AFP. “Current authorities will focus on his role as a nation’s influential figure,” he said.

People visit The Motherland Calls.

‘Close the window’

The conflict in Ukraine, where Moscow sent troops to pro-Western countries in late February, left Russia more isolated from the west than most of its history. Flights to the European Union were banned, sanctions separated Russians from western imports, and western retailers from McDonald’s and Starbucks to clothing retailers H & M and Zara closed the door.

For Thursday’s anniversary, Russian social media was full of commentary wondering what happened to Peter’s vision. Memes doing the round sometimes show a picture of the emperor in a montage with Putin, “Peter I opened the window to Europe, Putin closes it” or “Please close the window to Europe, the scenery Is terrible. “

Russian honorary guards march under the name of a deceased Russian soldier written on the wall. – AFP

Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who was recently asked about the anniversary, claimed that the windows remained open. “No one plans to shut down anything,” he told journalists. For Russian historian Boris Kipnis, “Whatever the historical situation, if we abandon the path set by Peter I, we will destroy the country and the people.” “Russia is a European country.” “He said. Despite the tension, 47-year-old Saint Petersburger Svetlana Stepanova said she plans to enjoy the festival on Thursday. “Peter the Great made Russia a great power. Putin also wants to see Russia,” she said. “That’s the most important thing.” – AFP

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