Saturday, August 12, 2023

Russian Scholars Find a Godforsaken Settlement of Old Believers in Siberia who Still Believe in Elections and the Regular Rotation of People in Power

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 6 – In Soviet times, newspaper routinely reported about isolated villages where people still believed that Nicholas II or his descendants were in power. Now, Russians say, Moscow scholars have discovered a godforsaken village of Old Believers in Siberia whose population still believes in competitive elections and the regular rotation of people in office.

            That is just one of the latest anecdotes assembled by Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       Jacobs Monarch Coffee has had to leave Russia because in that country, there can be only one monarch.

·       Putin has made an exception to his declaration that all Russian officials must drive only domestic cars. Those with European passports can continue to drive Mercedes, BMWs, and Lamborghinis.

·       Navalny and Putin now have a common term – life.

·       The Kremlin isn’t going to announce Putin’s travel plans in advance any more. For foreign trips, that isn’t a problem because he isn’t making many; but for domestic ones, it is hard to hide the sprucing up of anywhere the president plans to go.

·       The real dregs of Russian society aren’t the guys drinking beer in the gutter but the well-dressed officials who are giving orders. Next to them, the men behind the garages in sweatpants are angels from medieval icons.

·       Sergey Shoygu’s daughter has announced that she is breaking up with blogger Aleksey Stolyarov. Her father will hand the former boyfriend a summons to the closest draft office.

·       The Duma is on vacation for a month. Russians used to the constant flow of new and repressive laws say that the Kremlin should take action to ensure that such laws continue to be issued, perhaps by hiring Tajik immigrants who could follow orders just as well.

·       Before the Duma went on vacation, some of its members proposed setting criminal liability for publishing information about the ruble-dollar exchange rate. Such punishment would come under the existing law about discrediting the Russian economy.


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