In a disconcerting development this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin, aged 70, released a video in which he audaciously denied Ukraine's historical existence. He presented his case using a map dating back to 1674, contradicting his own claim, as reported by

In the released video, Putin, accompanied by Valery Zorkin, chairman of Russia's constitutional court, scrutinized a map from the era of Louis XIV. He stated, "The Soviet government created Soviet Ukraine… Until then, there was never any Ukraine in the history of humanity.”

The public's reaction was swift when numerous viewers noted that the map from four centuries ago did indeed label Ukraine as a country. Social media platforms were promptly inundated with messages mocking Putin's apparent map-reading inaccuracy.

A social media user pointed out, "The map clearly says in French: 'Ukraine or Land of the Cossacks.’” Other users highlighted the historical existence of the Kievan Ukr with its capital in Kyiv, preceding Moscow's emergence. Another user humorously remarked, “Go far back enough, Russia didn't officially exist too. Go figure!”

Putin's latest publicity stunt is seen as an effort to bolster support for his military campaign and further rationalize his internationally condemned invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The Russian leader had previously attempted to vindicate his military actions, asserting he was liberating Ukraine from Nazis. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov backed this assertion last year, stating, "So what if Zelenskyy is Jewish? The fact does not negate the Nazi elements in Ukraine... I believe that Hitler also had Jewish blood. Some of the worst anti-Semites are Jews.”

Putin further argued, “The people of Donbass also disagreed with this, and straight-away they organized military operations against the Nazis... They were surrounded and shelled by guns and the Ukrainians sent airstrikes against them.”

Labeling Ukraine's actions as "genocide," Putin justified the launch of his military operation, stating, "It is to save people from this suffering and genocide that we launched our military operation.”