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The video of a bird pooping on Vladimir Putin is a hoax

Correction: This post originally presented the video of a bird pooping on Putin as real, but comparison with Russian news footage from the event shows it to be a hoax. Putin's unintentionally ironic speech decrying "excessive ambitions in war," though, was very real.

The video appeared to show Russian President Vladimir Putin getting pooped on by a bird while giving a speech unveiling a World War One monument in Moscow on Friday. You can see the (fake) freedom bombs land at 0:11 into the above video or you can watch it on repeat, forever, in the gif below.

The Moscow bird poop hoax of 2014 was passed around Western and Russian social media as a small but symbolically satisfying comeuppance for Putin's involvement in Ukraine, where fighting with Russia-backed separatists has killed hundreds of Ukrainians and, two weeks ago, 298 civilians flying overhead in Malaysian Airlines flight 17. Europe and the US have punished Russia with economic sanctions meant to deter further aggression, but this video appeared to show an unknown bird launched some targeted sanctions against the man himself.


This being Russia, getting pooped on by a bird wasn't even the most ridiculous part of Putin's WWI speech. Putin warned that the lesson of WWI was — fair warning, irony is going to die forever at the end of this sentence — to avoid excessive ambitions in war. "Humankind should grasp one truth: violence generates violence," said the man whose overt and ongoing support for separatist rebels in Ukraine, which he also invaded to annex Crimea, has helped claim hundreds of lives and stirred up months of crisis.

"It was on the eve of WWI when Russia did everything possible to solve the conflict peacefully, without bloodshed, between Serbia and Austria-Hungary," Putin said, repeating an old Russian complaint that only it really wants peace but is ignored by an aggressive West. "But Russia wasn't heard. And it had to respond to the challenge in order to protect the [fellow] Slavic nation."

I'm not sure whether Putin means this as an explicit nod to his involvement in Ukraine, but Russia's meddling there has often been internally premised on the idea that Russia must save the Russian-speakers in Ukraine's east. So there would seem to be a parallel. More ironically, the Ukrainians who are fighting and dying to keep Putin out of their country are themselves Slavic, but must have forgotten to thank Putin for his peace-seeking, pan-Slavic magnanimity.

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