Saturday, April 22, 2023

When Moscow Couldn’t Take Kyiv in Three Days, It Resolved to Take Bakhmut in Eight Months – But Won’t Make That Deadline Either, Russians Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr. 20 – Vladimir Putin’s much-ballyhooed commitment to keeping to his plans in Ukraine shows now that after Moscow couldn’t take Kyiv in three days, he resolved to take Bakhmut in eight months – but all indications are that the Kremlin leader won’t make that target date either, Russians say with bitterness.

            That is just one of the anecdotes Russians are telling each other according to the latest collection of such stories Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova has published ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       Russians don’t ever have to worry about what to do with their free time because in their country, there is no such thing.

·       Moscow has cancelled the tank biathlon after losing 2,000 tanks in Ukraine. But it isn’t clear what the real cause was: the loss of tanks or the loss of those who drive them.

·       Anatoly Wasserman is now going to become the host of a new television show: ‘Who wants to stop being a millionaire?’

·       Now that the ICC has indicted Putin, the Duma has pledged to give him additional powers; but it is not clear just what additional powers a dictator can be given. Will he now be able to fly, flap his ears or emit laser beams from his eyes?

·       The Kremlin need not be disturbed by the travel to Europe of so many children of Moscow’s top elite: these young people are simply checking personally the speed of Europe’s decay.

·       All Russians who fail to pass the history exam this year will be kept until ’37.

·       The sudden check of the Pacific Fleet was so successful that at its end, the fleet’s commander was sacked. The real question is when will there be a similar check at the ministry of defense and the Kremlin.

·       Putin’s desire to call his new youth groups Pioneers shows he doesn’t want to be king anymore. Instead, he wants to be the country’s general secretary.

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