Staunton, May 20 – It is fairly easy to keep track of Russian official statements; it is far more difficult to know what Russians think about them. Jokes and anecdotes are among the best windows that shed light on that, especially when the issue involved is especially sensitive or when official statements are so obviously at odds with reality.
One example of this is an anecdote now circulating in Moscow that says the Kremlin will be quite ready to talk peace with Kyiv after the Ukrainian army withdraws from all Ukrainian territory, an absurd formulation that reflects the equally contorted Kremlin arguments about prospects for any negotiations.
This story is but one of the jokes Russians are now telling each other that Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova has posted on line (publizist.ru/blogs/107374/45854/-). Among the best of the rest are the following:
· A Soviet book published in 1979 said that the CIA would kill Daria Dugina and Vladlen Tatarsky in 2023 but Russian security officials failed to prevent that because the portion of the book, N.N. Yakovlev’s The CIA against the USSR, which described these plans were kept classified.
· Russians who as children dreamed of being explorers of the bottom of the sea like Jacques Cousteau have had their dreams come true. They know live in Russia which has reached that bottom.
· The Soviet-era youth group, the Pioneers, is back and Stalinist secret police chief Lavrenty Beria can’t be far behind.
· Now that Moscow has banned drones in Russia, police are arresting children for flying kites.
· Politicians are like cows on a roof: You look up and wonder how could such an animal climb so high?
· By sending Russian men to fight and die in Ukraine, the Kremlin may not have achieved its geopolitical goals but it has certainly reduced unemployment: there are fewer workers for whom jobs have to be found.
· The environmental group Greenpeace had to be banned, Russian prosecutors say, because there is only one world, the Russian; and “the green one is that of the serpent.”