Sunday, September 3, 2023

Better to Be a Live Foreign Agent than a Dead Hero of Russia, Some Russians Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 1 – As the numbers of their fellow citizens being named either foreign agents or Heroes of Russia have increased, some Russians are now observing that it is far more secure to be a foreign agent than to be a Hero of Russia because then at least there is a chance at remaining alive.

            That is one of the anecdotes Moscow journalist Tatyana Pushkaryova has collected and posted online ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       Moscow’s airports are no longer secure given drone attacks so officials in the Russian capital have suggested extending the city’s subway system to Turkey and Egypt.

·       Russian schoolchildren are being told that smartphones and laptops are contrary to Russia’s traditional values but teachers are careful to specify that the television isn’t. Consequently, children are told to put away their phones and computers and start learning from the letter A.

·       What a difference 18 months make! Then, Russians were told they’d be in Kyiv in three days; now, they are told that the Ukrainian advance against Russian forces is going “painfully slowly.”

·       The border between Lydia and Persia ran along the River Halys. When Lydian king Croesus decided to attack the Persians, he asked the Delphic oracle whether he should cross that river. The oracle replied: “If you cross that river, you will destroy a great kingdom.” Encouraged, Croesus invaded Persia and got just that result: his own kingdom was destroyed. Doesn’t that remind you of anything? Russians ask.

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