Thursday, April 4, 2024

‘Every Day is April Fools’ Day’ in Putin’s Russia Today Because Even Official News Reports There are Anecdotes, Kalachev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Apr.  1 – “Every day is April Fool’s Day in Russia now [because] no one can distinguish anecdotes and jokes from the current news anymore,” according to Moscow  political scientist Konstantin Kalachyev. The authorities “make fools of us” without telling jokes or generating any laughter.

            Many assume that Russians and others stop telling anecdotes when it becomes all too obvious that they might land behind bars if they share them. But Kalachyev’s observation suggests there may be another explanation for falloff in the number of jokes Russians are telling at least on April Fool’s Day (

            According to SuperJob, the share of Russians who tell April Fool’s Day jokes has fallen from 28 percent in 2010 to only 13 percent this year and the share of those who think such jokes are appropriate has declined by about the same amount (

            In short, any decline is not just the result of fear, as many have assumed, but may reflect as well the sense Russians now have that they get the humor they need from the media, including the most recent example of a truly absurd story on official media about a man accused of stealing a factory supposedly worth more than three times the annual budget of the Russian government.


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