Staunton, May 30 – Belgorod Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, whose region has been attacked from Ukraine, says the solution to that problem is for Kharkhiv to be annexed to the Belgorod Oblast. Then no outsider would be attacking. But, some Russians say, before Putin went to war in Ukraine, no one ever shelled a Russian region. That was inconceivable.
But other officials are edging in the direction of acknowledging that sad reality. One governor has suggested that the Russian army was “correct” in withdrawing from his city. He would have been even more correct if he had said that the abandoning of Ukraine by the Russian army would be even more correct, some Russians say.
These are just two of the anecdotes Russians are telling one another that perhaps better reflect popular attitudes than any public opinion poll. They have been assembled and posted online by Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova (publizist.ru/blogs/107374/45923/-). Among the best of the rest of her latest collection are the following:
· Putin will soon present the new Order of Gagarin to Ramzan Kadyrov for allowing the passage of satellites over Chechnya.
· Import substitution and technological sovereignty are not the same thing. The first is when instead of a German Mercedes, you drive a Chinese Moskvich; the second is when you walk rather than drive.
· Putin says the secret of his political longevity is that the Russian people will vote for him regardless of what he does.
· Putin expressed his condolences to Turkish leader Erdogan for winning re-election with only 52 percent of the vote.
· The Russian people are truly amazing: they like the Internet and the iPhone but support bombing America; they like Mercedes but want to wipe Europe off the face of the earth; and their own government robs them but they hate NATO.
· It isn’t true that Russia is banning everything. The Duma is currently preparing a law that will legalize marriages between different animal species. For example, it will allow snakes and hedgehogs to mate and thus produce hundreds of kilometers of barbed wire.