Russian state TV has been criticized for a New Year celebration that fused music and dancing with war propaganda as well as warnings for the West.
The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis shared multiple clips from Russia’s New Year Special on state TV to her Twitter page.
Many of the clips have since gone viral and showed the spectacle as the hosts and guests sat around tables watching performers on stage.
In one of the videos she shared, Davis wrote: “During Russia’s New Year special on State TV, they openly addressed the West to say, ‘Like it or not, Russia is enlarging.
“The rest of the clip should give you a general idea as to the mood in the studio.”
The video has so far been viewed more than 870,000 times since being posted on Monday.
After applauding a performance, the Russian comedian and host for the special Yevgeny Petrosyan, made reference to the Ukrainian war.
He said: “My New Year’s toast will be a bit unusual. During the past year, the West tried to destroy Russia.
“They didn’t realize that in the composition of the world, Russia is the load-bearing structure.”
Petrosyan then received applause before continuing: “Yes, gentlemen, like it or not, Russia is enlarging.”
He again received thunderous applause from the guests at the special.
In another clip, that has so far been viewed more than 150,000 times, Davis criticized one of the songs that was performed.
“During a New Year’s special on Russian state TV, they had the audacity to appropriate a Ukrainian song, ‘Chervona Ruta.’
“The singer performing it was dressed as some kind of a madam. Backup dancers, unsuccessfully pretending to dance like Ukrainians, were grotesquely ridiculous.”
Some social media users did point out that the woman performing the song was a Ukrainian, Taisia Povalii, who moved to Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, also reflected on the special in a tweet.
He said: “This Russian New Year TV show is surreal and eerie.
“The Anschulss-like declaration ‘Like it or not, Russia is enlarging! is followed by smiles and applause.
Sure brings to mind the cabaret scene in Mel Brooks’ satirical movie Springtime For Hitler.”
Other social media users also noted the comparison to the song from the 1967 film The Producers, with one Twitter user writing: “Springtime for Hitler vibes.
“Over your border we’re barging! Look out, cause Russia’s enlarging.
“Conscription for all is so beguiling Vlad can see us so we can’t stop smiling.”
University of Helsinki Urology Professor Kari Tikkinen also warned of this Russian propaganda.
He wrote: “They say: Russia is enlarging, like it or not.
“Overall, a very absurd video and most of the folks in the studio like [flushed face]
“This is Russian propaganda 2023, version 3.0. Sad and dangerous.”
Newsweek has contacted Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.
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