Friday, January 19, 2024

‘Bombing Voronezh’ an Ancient Anecdote that has Become True, Russians Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Jan. 15 – Fifteen years ago, Russians began to joke that whenever foreign countries did anything the Kremlin didn’t like, Putin would take it out on Russians by “bombing Voronezh.” That ceased to be a laughing matter last year when the  city was attacked by drones (

            Now, as ever more Russian cities are coming under attack, this hoary joke is making a come back precisely because Russians are insisting that it is no longer an anecdote but rather a description of reality, an observation that suggests some hold Putin responsible for the attacks because he has been attacking Ukrainian cities and Kyiv is only responding.

            However that may be, the feelings of Russians encapsulated in this comment are only one of the anecdotes assembled by Moscow journalist Tatyana Pusharyova in her latest collection ( Among the best of the rest are the following:

·       Russians who support the war are precisely the ones who don’t have to go and fight it.

·       When Biden became US president, Russians had McDonalds and Coca-Cola; now, they have eggs too expensive to buy and heating and water supplies that don’t work.

·       The Kremlin effort to blame the breakdown in communal services in Russia on the climate collapses if one looks at the situation in Scandinavia with the same climate but where everything works.

·       To warm Russians up, Moscow theaters are putting up signs showing the dollar exchanging for 30 rubles, not 90 or 100.

·       The chief “binding” holding Russia today together is the belief among Russians that as long as they have food to eat, they can continue to act deaf and dumb.


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