Sunday, May 21, 2023

After Volodin Declared English ‘Dead,’ Russians Who Know It will Say They Speak American

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 18 – Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin’s declaration that English is “dead” left Russians who know that language in a difficult position but only for a moment, other Russians now say. If asked about their language knowledge, such Russians will boldly declare that they speak American, perhaps not the answer the Kremlin would like.

            That is just one of the anecdotes now circulating in Moscow that have been assembled online by Russian journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova ( Among the best of the rest of the latest collection are the following:

·       Because the Russian organs never make mistakes, they will now be allowed to conduct searches and seizures without getting the permission of the courts. There was no need for that extra step and so it is being abolished despite what the constitution says.

·       Because of problems at the front in Ukraine, some in Moscow may hope to send the miracle-working icon, Andrey Ryblev’s Trinity, to help the Russian army. Icons don’t always do that, but Russian leaders are still convinced they do.

·       Russian customs officers are now checking the luggage of those returning from Turkey to make sure they aren’t carrying elections with them.

·       Russian customs has found assistance in an unexpected place. It no longer needs to come up with its own list of Ukrainian items that must not be imported into Russia. Instead, all it has to do is read Gogol’s nineteenth century novels.

·       Passengers on the renewed Moscow-Tbilisi flights will now be able to choose not only chicken or fish but which article of the Russian criminal code they’d like to be tried for violating.

·       Putin says that all of Russia’s problems come from the outside. That’s clearly true: if only Europe and the US had collapsed as the Kremlin leader said they would.

·       Moscow is so desperate to sign international agreements that it has reached one on weapons in space with Uganda and is clearly planning to  agree with Burkina Faso and Somalia on travel to Mars.

·       Duma deputies want students to be able to take leave from educational institutions to fight in Ukraine. After all, Russia doesn’t need smart people, only cannon fodder.

·       Anatoly Chubais has received Israeli citizenship even though he admits that he is the first in his family to be Jewish. Some speculate that like Zhirinovsky he might have had a lawyer somewhere in his family tree.

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