Insane in the Ukraine

May 7, 2014

The president fled the country, and part of the country was annexed by another country. It’s surely been a tough year in the Ukraine…but it’s also been a weird one.

  • Flag_of_Ukraine.svgWith the Crimea region formally annexed by Russia, everything Ukrainian became Russian overnight, including government property, such as the Ukrainian navy’s “combat dolphins.” Yes, really. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union tried to train dolphins to locate underwater enemy mines and deep-sea spies and expose their position via sonar. After the Soviet Union fell in the 1990s, control of the program, and the dolphins, went to the Ukraine. The program was scheduled to be closed down this year, but now the Russian navy will continue the noble crusade of turning dolphins into underwater spies.
  • Following widespread, violent anti-government protests in Kiev before the Crimea dispute, parliament removed president Viktor Vanukovych from office on charges of widespread corruption. Vanukovych fled, seeking exile in Russia. Protestors and journalists descended on the president’s mansion in suburban Kiev, where they discovered proof of his impropriety…and a lot of other stuff.
  • Incriminating records indicating that he’d embezzled millions, fudged budgets, evaded taxes, tampered with judges, and bribed police were found both burned and waterlogged.
• Ammunition for an AK-47 machine gun, including special cartridges that only work underwater.
• A DVD collection of crime films, including one hand-labeled “Embezzlers of state property.”
• A solid gold loaf of bread.
• A bedspread…adorned with a life-size photo of Yanukovych…completely naked.

  • One way governments can make its disapproval of another government’s actions known is to freeze the domestic accounts of—and revoke the visas of—high-level employees of the government in question. That’s what the White House did, publicly shaming top Kremlin executives by announcing it would freeze all of their stateside accounts in the wake of their involvement in the Russian takeover of the Crimea. Former advertising executive Vladislav Surkov was included on that list…although he has no American assets. Nor does he care; in fact, he’s thrilled. “I see the decision by Washington as an acknowledgment of my service to Russia,” he said. “I don’t have accounts abroad. The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollack. I don’t need a visa to access their work.”
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May 9, 2014 8:03 am

I lived in Ukraine for two years doing missionary work, most of it in the Crimea. I spoke Russian. Anyway, what I want to say is that it is just Ukraine. It is not The Ukraine. That’s like saying the America or the Canada. It just drives me nuts when people say it, i don’t know why.

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