Saturday, May 6, 2023

Russia isn’t the USSR: Now for Carrying Signs Celebrating Peace, Labor and May You will Go to Jail Not Get a Day Off

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 2 – Russians are always talking about how their country is like or not like the USSR. Now, they have new evidence of how different it is. In Soviet times, those who carried posters declaring “Peace, Labor and May” got a day off. Now, such people are given a prison term.

            This is one of the anecdotes Russians are now telling each other that have been assembled by journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       When Russians were growing up in Soviet times, they thought Chukovsky’s story about the cockroach ruling over all the other animals was nonsense, but now in adulthood, they recognize that the Soviet children’s writer was really a prophet.

·       Everything that isn’t prohibited in Russia is simply not allowed.

·       Moscow sends a new governor to a region. He seeks to explain his transfer and boost his authority by saying that before coming, he worked in a very serious organization where they don’t suffer fools for very long.

·       There is no more peace, labor or solidarity in Russia. At least the month of May remains.

·       The grandson of Gennady Zyuganov says he’d win a free election in Russia if enough people turned out. That just shows that stupidity is clearly inherited: how can anyone say such things with a straight face in a country which doesn’t have free elections.

·       Russian television says rising inflation in the US will soon lead to that country’s collapse, but it insists that even higher inflation in Russia won’t and advises people not to look at prices but rather watch TV.

·       Western firms are limiting the functionality of electronic locks on cars. That means Russians will have to go back to keys. They wonder whether they will soon have to use cute rotary phones as well.

·       NATO will soon have bases in Finland and it will be able to send rockets to hit Russian cities whose flying time will be only 20 seconds. Curiously, the Kremlin which is obsessed about what some future NATO base in Ukraine might do has been silent about what this Finnish development will mean.

·       Medvedev is calling for Russia to occupy ever more land having obviously forgotten Tolstoy’s observation that no one really needs a space larger than six feet by three feet to put his casket.

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