Staunton, April 17 – The jokes, like that one, which Russians are now telling each other are becoming ever more sharply critical of the Putin regime as Kremlin leader’s war in Ukraine enters its third month and the country’s economic problems deepen. Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova’s latest collection underscores that point (publizist.ru/blogs/107374/42686/-).
Among the best of her new offerings are the following:
· Russian police charged a man handing out free copies of George Orwell’s 1984 because they didn’t want people to see the roadmap they have been following.
· The famous conflict between the television and the refrigerator may soon be reconciled. If you stare at dumplings for a long time, you’ll feel peace and tranquility. Likewise, “if you boil a television remote control in salted water, stirring regularly, you will experience the same effect.”
· The Ukrainian sinking of the Moskva was an act of war under Russian and international law, raising the question of whether Moscow will declare war on Ukraine in response? Or will the Kremlin instead react to this obvious case of foreign aggression and continue to call what is happening in Ukraine ‘a non-war’?”
· Russian schoolchildren are now asked to calculate just how old Putin is given that he earns 10 million rubles a year but his yacht costs 75 billion, 7500 times as much.
· Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov earns far more than his boss, but Peskov’s wife earns vastly more than he does, proving once again that it isn’t whom you work for but whom you marry that matters most.
· The annual incomes of the ten most-highly paid Duma deputies are more than the annual budget of an average Russian city, proving if anyone had any doubts that “Russia today is truly a parliamentary republic.”
· Oligarch Oleg Deripaska is calling for cutting the bureaucracy to spend more on the military, but wouldn’t it be easier to take all the money he has stolen from the people and simply give it back?
· Putin now says he is ready to “go to the end,” but Russians say they’d like for him to do that on its own lest it turns out that they will all die “on the same day.”
· The Russian police have their priorities: they aren’t addressing the explosive growth of crimes committed by migrants but rather ensuring that those “who take to the streets with blank sheets of paper or with quotes from Nekrasov and Tolstoy are rounded up.” The latter apparently are “much more terrible threats than some thieves and murderers.”
· And finally, “Let’s build a happy Russia of the future,” some of its residents say, “on the blood and bones of the unfortunate Ukraine of the past.”