Russian taunts work a treat

RUSSIAN state television taunted Sweden with past military victories before last night’s 2-0 win.

Vesti-24, the government’s cable channel, played a commercial every half-hour today using Soviet-era movie footage of Russian soldiers killing Swedes during Peter the Great’s victory over Charles XII in 1709 and Alexander Nevsky’s defeat of invaders in 1240. Each scene was followed by a scorecard reading “Russia 1 Sweden 0’ and accompanied by the theme to the movie “Gladiator”.

“It’s part of a revival of Russian nationalism,” said Yevgeny Volk, a Moscow-based analyst for the Heritage Foundation, a US research group. “The ad reflects this Russian mentality which still interprets the military as a major factor in the country’s international image.”

A Swedish Embassy spokesman said Russia “can run whatever they like ... I don’t know of any Swedish channels showing all the battles that Sweden has won against Russia, but if they did there would be many.”


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