The "too good to be true" cliche is especially accurate when it comes to viral news stories on perfectly formed dollops of bird crap. On Monday some news sites reported on a hoax video of a pigeon pooping on Putin during his speech on the dangers of military aggression while unveiling a monument in Moscow commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War One. The Independent has a good explainer on why the video below is fake.
But if it had been real, the symbolism would have been spot on. During his speech, Putin emphasized a strong belief in promoting peace, even as Russia's policies have only provoked and perpetuated violence in Ukraine and Crimea, which he invaded. Despite his words, Russia announced on Monday that it will hold military exercises on its border with Ukraine in a show of strength, according to Reuters. The "war games" will include 100 fighter jets and missile practice.
According to RT, he called the memorial "'a tribute to the great deeds,' but also a warning that 'this peace is fragile.'" He said that "a peaceful and quiet life" is the most valuable thing on Earth and that "humankind should grasp one truth: violence generates violence. And the way to peace and prosperity is made up of good will and dialogue, and the memory of the lessons of the last wars."
On Friday, the same day Putin gave his poop-free speech, President Obama called Putin again to emphasize his concern over Putin's support of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Vice President Joe Biden also announced $8 million in new financial aid to Ukraine to help the country protect its borders.