Nine rings for himself and his allies: Vladimir Putin came to St. Petersburg with a gift. Some now feel they are being reminded of The Lord of the Rings.
The heads of state and government of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are currently meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, for an informal summit meeting — and they received a special gift from Vladimir Putin. The Russian president presented each of the politicians with a gold ring bearing the symbol of the CIS countries, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. In addition, the jewelry should bear the inscriptions “Happy New Year” and “Russia”.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov later clarified: It’s a New Year’s souvenir, “nothing special”. Putin himself will not wear his own ring. According to RIA Novosti, the eight leaders accepted the gift – the Belarusian president was also photographed with the ring on his hand.
The gesture caused amusement on social media — whether Putin intended it or not, it reminded many of the nine rings of power from JJR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and the Amazon series Rings of Power. The Nine Human Kings, who received the Rings from the Black Lord Sauron, became powerful and immortal through them – but in the end became patrons wholly bound to Sauron’s will.
The former Soviet states of the Commonwealth of Independent States meet regularly, though the community is considered divided. The heads of state and government of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Belarus were present in St. Petersburg – only one representative from Moldova was missing.