Russian President Vladimir Putin shows his playful side by only making a veiled threat against neighboring countries.
Recently the Russian Geographical Society held a ceremony to honor a pair of bright young boys who excelled at the subject of geography during a televised competition. During the event, five-year-olds were given the rare honor to meeting his head-of-state Vladimir Putin in the flesh.
The Russian leader decided to test one of the lads with a question that would make a Jeopardy contestant flinch: “What is the capital of Burkina Faso?” Without missing a beat the child replied “Ouagadougou.”
Next Putin asked to Timofey Tsoi, “Where does Russia’s border end?” Tsoi quickly went into his known-by-heart response beginning with the Bering Strait until Putin butted in with his own answer, “The borders of Russia do not end.”
He follows up with “That was a joke,” a punchline that wraps up all of the best jokes.
Now, if the prince of Lichtenstein made such a quip nobody would raise an eyebrow. And if we’re going to be really technical about it, Putin is absolutely right: the border is a loop around the country, so it technically doesn’t have an end.
But when your country was very recently accused of annexing another one, it adds a little streak of terror to the frivolity, especially to those whose countries share one of these borders with Russia. Here’s how some Japanese viewers reacted to Putin’s joke.
“I can’t tell if that was a joke or not.”
“Countries not neighboring Russia probably found it funny.”
“Did he conquer the world?”
“Eh, I’ve heard worse.”
For those of you who think Putin was only kidding, we have a chilling development: the following day on 25 November Putin and the Russian government annexed action legend Steven Seagal, presenting him with a Russian passport at a press conference.
With Hollywood’s greatest warrior in Russian hands, there is no telling how many of their enemies will be flipped-over by their arms.
Yes, it seems inevitable that Russia will annex us all eventually. Luckily, now that I have an idea of the President’s sense of humor, I think I can worm my way into a staff position writing jokes for his various public appearances. Here’s my portfolio so far.
“That jacket you’re wearing is nice. It is mine now…. That was a joke.”
“I never have, but I think I could crush a man’s throat with one hand…. That was a joke.”
“I heard what you did. How dare you sabotage the interests of Russia?! You will die…. That was a joke.”