Yellow Hammer Sickle

An open letter to Putin from a concerned Ukrainian

Dear Mr. Comrade Putin,

First of all, let me assure you that I—like most Ukrainians—fully support your current activities in my country.

All of us want to see Ukraine once again become a part of a strong and mighty Soviet Union. We desperately need Russia to rescue us from all those gays, progressive political ideas, and people who insist on openly speaking their minds under the pretext of this “free speech” nonsense. You have demonstrated an uncanny ability to effectively deal with all three, so your leadership is required here.

The media insist that Viktor Yanukovych was ousted for being too corrupt and dictatorial, but you and I both know the truth: He was simply not corrupt and dictatorial enough. No, we want you, Mr. Putin!

Having said that, I am deeply concerned about the efficacy of your current propaganda efforts and political maneuvering. If Russia is to finally annex Ukraine, you need to do much better than that. Please allow me to humbly point out some weaknesses in your overall strategy, so that you may address them.

Propaganda Quality

I am no fool. I acknowledge the need for a full-blown disinformation campaign aimed at Russian citizens, in order to gain their support. What else are you going to do—tell them the truth?! Ha, imagine? I admire how you have cleverly chosen to paint Ukraine as a country where Russian-speaking citizens are persecuted and marginalized. Where militant nationalists and fascists are shooting and killing ethnic Russians left and right. This is a wise and necessary strategy. As a son of a Russian mother and a Jewish father (and a proud speaker of Russian) I can only support you spreading such lie…ahem…stories, if only to take those “pure Ukrainians” down a peg.

I am, however, disappointed at the insufficient budget you have allocated for these propaganda measures. Some embarrassing footage of clearly staged events is beginning to surface. Like these ladies, who were participating in a pro-Russian rally as “concerned locals” in my home city of Kharkov, on March 1:

Kharkov protests

Here are the same two ladies, now “concerned locals” of Odessa, two days later:

Odessa Protesters

Or this “dead victim” of a “fascist attack” in Crimea suddenly coming back to life to adjust his position for maximum comfort:

Dead Body Crimea

Even zombies get tired every now and then.

A number of sites have begun to crop up, exposing these and other…inconsistencies. One of these sites is www.stopfake.org. People behind it claim to be journalists. They seem to mistakenly assume that journalism involves disseminating facts, while you, Mr. Putin, know better than anyone that true journalism is about creating a dependable and efficient channel for government propaganda. Why are you hesitating to shut down their site? Or why don’t you at least help create a counter-site, something like http://www.support-necessary-disinformation-in-pursuit-of-greater-good.ru?

Frankly—if I may—this is laughable. Surely Russia can afford more and better actors to pose as pro-Russian supporters. Hell, if you bought me a summer house in Sochi, I’d consider signing up. I’m sure I could play a much more convincing dead body; I’ve taken drama classes before.

Dissenting Voices

More disturbingly, however, an increasing number of people have begun to speak up against what’s happening. Worst of all, they do so while calmly appealing to rational thinking and calling for unity among all people of Ukraine, regardless of ethnicity . The nerve of them!

Take this monster—who happens to be the mayor of Lviv—spreading his vile, poisonous message of peace among all Ukrainians and a stable, truly democratic and tolerant country. Look at how well-spoken and well-reasoned he is. It sickens me!

Or how about this man, Dr. Komarovsky, a pediatrician based in Ukraine, yet popular among Russian parents? Look at him, urging everyone to exercise common sense and search for unbiased sources of information instead of consuming your beautiful, well-crafted propaganda!

Mr. Putin, comrade, I understand that your reach within Ukraine is somewhat limited, and that’s why you are yet unable to stop these people from speaking so freely. But how do you excuse similar dissenting voices coming from within Russia itself? Comedians, celebrities, and others are speaking out against your actions, calling for the people of our two historically friendly countries to stay united against war and propaganda?! What about countless posts on social media, debunking your claims and speaking out against your polices? How are you letting this madness happen?

Listen, I realize that things were different in the old days. Propaganda is much easier to spread when there’s a single TV channel that is fully controlled by the government. The Internet is making your job very difficult, I admit. But there are ways. Other countries have been able to prevent their citizens from accessing Internet sites, at will. Why can’t you? It’s almost as if you’re not very committed to this course of action.

General Confusion

Finally, on the subject of Russian troops moving into Crimea. Why aren’t they wearing identifying insignia, designating them as such? It would make the process so much smoother.

Surely if Russian troops openly crossed into Ukraine they’d be welcomed as heroes and liberators! It’s not like moving your army into a neighbouring country is against international laws, or something. Why not just have the Russian army raise the Russian flag and march victoriously into Ukraine, letting our citizens—tired of fascists and ultra-nationalists—march with Russia to rebuild the USSR of old?!

Instead you are sending mixed signals and creating all sorts of confusion. What if somebody mistakes the noble Russian troops for some sort of foreign insurgents, illegally invading Ukraine? That could lead to all sorts of hilarious misunderstandings, no?

Comrade Putin, I have every confidence that you will heed my above concerns. Crack down on the voices of reason. Put out more effective propaganda (after all, you put out what you Putin—ha, ha, I kid). Make your stance clear, and let Ukraine rally behind you as the true leader of a glorious and undefeated Soviet Union.

On a more selfish note, I hope that—once Ukraine is absorbed into your empire—you will spare a moment to do me a personal favor.

You see, I currently reside in the country of Denmark. There are thousands of us ethnic Russians and Russian speakers here in the country. Every single day we are forced to speak Danish (or at least English) to the rest of the people. More than that, the Danish government stubbornly refuses to recognize Russian as one of the official languages, thereby continuing to marginalize and oppress us.

Please, comrade Putin, if you have any troops to spare, make them invade Denmark and protect your Russian people. We need you now more than ever!

Long live the Red Army. Glory to the Soviet Union.

Respectfully yours,
Daniel

***
HERE’S “PART II” & HERE’S “PART III

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Cop In Blue Uniform

The totally true story of how I got arrested

That morning I woke up with a sense of purpose, a sort of invisible power that was urging me to do epic deeds. I sat up in my bed and resolutely said out loud, “Today I’m going to get arrested!”

Right after I’d uttered those words I heard another voice respond with, “What the hell is wrong with you?!”

At first I thought it was my pet horse Waffles, which would have been ridiculous, because I didn’t own a pet horse. Instead, it turned out, it was my girlfriend. She was looking up at me from her pillow and making that face she made when she wondered what the hell was wrong with me. I repeated, this time with a hint of temerity, “I. Am going. To get. Arrested.”

I could see from her facial expression that she felt it was a very bad idea. She said, “I think that is a very bad idea”, but it sounded like she was calling me out for being too much of a pussy to do it. “Challenge accepted!” I screamed at the wall I was facing, even though the words were meant for my girlfriend. She said some sort of a sentence that began with “I should have never,” and ended with, “ever dated you!”

I didn’t pay too much attention to her words, because at that stage I was already too busy dressing myself. With my outfit – a bathrobe, a pair of army boots, a shower cap – complete, I took the shortest way outside. That is to say I bolted over the railing of our second floor balcony and fell three metres down onto our neighbours’ flower bed. Except, having missed the flower bed, I landed onto the plot of concrete next to it. Ignoring the pain and the fact that my right leg was now broken in three separate places I proceeded to limp proudly to the fields located within a five minute walk from our building.

After two hours I had finally made it to the fields and immediately came face to face with one of Devil’s minions, sent there to drag me down to the netherworld. The minion had cleverly disguised itself as a common sheep and was pretending to stare impassively in my direction. I approached this spawn of evil and, bravely, called out to it:

“Are you the spawn of evil, sent here to drag me to the netherworld?!”

The minion stubbornly refused to speak. I was not to be deterred by this, so I continued:

“I demand that you state your purpose here or I shall be forced to battle you!”

Silence.

“Alright, we shall have it your way, minion! This is your final warning. Blink twice if you’re just an ordinary sheep. Blink forty seven times if you are, as I rightfully suspect, the second cousin of Lucifer.”

The minion managed to blink exactly once before I punched it between the eyes, just to be on the safe side. I hopped over its back and ran-limped towards the nearby forest. From behind me I could hear the minion desperately summoning the rest of his Hell buddies. This summoning call sounded suspiciously like “Baaaaaaaa! BAAAAAAAAA!”

By the time I had reached the forest I was only able to hop on my left leg, because the right one refused to cooperate and insisted on bleeding instead. My mission – to get arrested – was far from over, so I needed a plan. While I sat at the edge of the forest, focusing intently on coming up with said plan, I noticed a rather large group of people making their way towards me. As they got closer I could hear bits of phrases, including “sheep-punching moron”, “unrestrained lunatic” and “could get arrested for that”. Yes! Eureka! All I had to do in order to get arrested was to punch a sheep. As pure luck would have it, that’s exactly what I had done. Clearly, The Universe had aligned itself to help me fulfill my mission.

The group of approaching men continued approaching me and had soon approached me completely. One of them was wearing a cop uniform and so were the rest of them. “They are cops!” I deduced with my superhuman powers of observation and logic. “Cops can arrest people!” I continued logicking my way forward. One of the cops attempted to speak to me in the language of words, but I let my fist do the talking instead and swung it at his face. Unfortunately, his face was over a metre above me, as at this point I was lying on the ground and unable to lift myself up. Or, more accurately, I was being pinned to the ground by the other cops, which, again quite logically, prevented me from being able to lift myself up. Rather than allowing the cops to have total physical victory over me I chose, instead, to courageously lose consciousness…

When I came to I found myself sitting inside a jail cell with a pair of handcuffs slapped onto my wrists. “I have been arrested!” I concluded, still impressed with my logical prowess. “Wait til my girlfriend hears about this,” I said out loud.

“She already has,” said my girlfriend’s voice. The voice was coming from my girlfriend, who stood by the cell, accompanied by the same police officer who had goaded me into trying to punch his stupid face. The officer opened the cell door and said, “He’s all yours. Just make sure he takes his pills from now on.”

Soon my girlfriend was driving me home. She looked extremely angry, but I thought I saw a hint of approval in her otherwise disapproving look. She turned to me and, through clenched teeth, said:

“This is the last time, Daniel, I swear it!”

But I knew she had meant to say, “This is the last time…so far!”

***

There Is MoreFor more of this type of nonsense, check out:

The totally true story of how I went shopping

The totally true story of how I visited the airport

Weekend diary of a man gone mad