Staunton, June 28 – Given widespread speculation that Putin spends much of his time in a bunker and his recent suggestions that as far as war goes, he has only gotten started, some Russians are speculating that the Kremlin leader may soon put his name on bunkers at least for the elite to rake in money from the expected bunker boom.
How far from reality that possibility may be is far from clear. It is offered here as perhaps the best of the latest batch of anecdotes now circulating in Russia that Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova has gathered (publizist.ru/blogs/107374/43378/-). Among the best of the rest are the following:
· A Nizhny Novgorod resident was fined 30,000 rubles (400 US dollars) when he said officials had told him that they couldn’t fix the water in his building because they were engaged in a special operation. He put their words in quotation marks. What Russians want to now is whether his fine would have been increased or doubled if he hadn’t.
· A Novosibirsk court upheld an arrest warrant for a dead man, showing that in the Putin era, the authorities have no intention of allowing death to get in the way of their imposing punishments.
· The Putin authorities are fining people for so many things that the powers say offend the army, an indication that they have shifted from the ideological to the zoological and that now not only is no one safe but no words or actions are either.
· The Duma reportedly is considering a law that would allow all government officials to claim survivor benefits in the event of Putin’s death.
· Russian officials didn’t celebrate publicly yet another drop in the income of the population. Instead, the bureaucrats quietly ate their oysters behind closed doors.
· Crimean police say they do not beat anyone; instead, they simply “negatively stroke” them.
· When governors say they are working with documents, that means they are tearing them up, burning them or finding other ways to hide them from the view of the public and their superiors.
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