Category Archives: Politics: International

Putin Joke

Predictable punch line, but still funny:

Putin dies and ends up in hell. After a few years, the devil calls him in and tells him that he is being paroled back to Moscow for good behavior. Putin arrives in Moscow and goes to his favorite bar and orders a small pitcher of vodka. He starts talking to the bartender. “I’ve been away for a long time, Tovarisch, and I have been out of touch. Do we still hold Crimea?” “Yes,” the bartender replies. “How about the Donbas?” “That, too,” says the bartender. Putin is hesitant to ask, but he jumps in the deep end, “Do we have Kyiv?” “Yes, we have Kyiv.” “That’s wonderful!” says Putin and pulls out his money to pay for his drink. “What’s that?” asks the bartender. “Ten rubles,” says Putin, “eight for the drink and two for you.” “Rubles? We haven’t used rubles for years. The price is ten Euros.”

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Ukrainian Joke

Question: why are all Russian vehicles in Ukraine marked with a “Z”?

Answer: the other half of the swastika was stolen by military contractors

From Business Ukraine Magazine via Eugene Volokh.

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For My Russian Readers

If the map in the right column is to be believed, I have eight recent Russian readers (representing under 0.2% of the total recent audience). As I understand Twitter is blocked in Russia, I’ve taken the liberty of hosting a copy of a video originally posted by this Tweet (crediting @ZelenskyyUa) [Warning: graphic scenes]:

Feel free to share.

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A Number I Can Grasp

The US is planning to send $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine, about half of it military.

I like to divide federal spending by the number of US households (c. 130 million in 2021) to help me grasp what it means.

So that $13.6bn becomes $104.62 per US household. Of course that’s just an average as federal tax incidence is not uniform. Personally I’m happy to pitch in, but it’s easy for me to say that.

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Accountability, Perhaps

Accountability has rarely been a key feature of US politics (see, e.g. Kissinger, Henry), at least not in a sensible way (see, e.g. “Who Lost China?”).

But Priorities USA is trying to gin up some accountability with this pair of new videos:

There’s Off the Hook:

And there’s the even more blunt Chosen a Side :

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This Could Explain a Lot

Cathederal of Kyivan Cave Monastery

Dormition Cathedral of the Kyivan Cave Monastery. Kyiv, Ukraine — the holy site most coveted by the Russian Orthodox Church’s Ukrainian Branch

© 2017 Skelanard, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

If, as multiple sources report, Russian President Putin has fallen under the spell of Rasputin Patriarch Kirill, the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, then perhaps a major motivation for the invasion is that the Russian Orthodox Church wishes to displace the growing Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which only achieved (or, if you prefer regained) its independence in 2019. As the NYT explains,

If Russia wins, the Ukrainian church is unlikely to survive inside Ukraine.

Prizes in the struggle include holy sites such as the Monastery of the Caves, a sprawling complex of churches in Kyiv overlooking the Dnieper River, whose golden onion domes were glistening in the sun on a recent afternoon as artillery shells exploded across the capital. In the caves, in grottos, lie the remains of the earliest saints of Slavic Orthodoxy, control over which would symbolize pre-eminence in this branch of Christianity.

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