The images from the war in Ukraine have shocked people around the world. But the failures of the Russian army in the face of determined Ukrainian resistance have been inspiring. And as tyrants have always feared mockery, jokers from around the world have weaponised humour to mercilessly mock Putin and his regime.
Last week, Russian MP Yevgeny Fyodorov, who is a member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, submitted a draft bill submitted to the Russian State Duma calling for repealing the Decree of the State Council of the USSR “On the Recognition of the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania.”
The decree was adopted in 1991 at a meeting of the State Council of the USSR chaired by President Mikhail Gorbachev. As Fyodorov argues, the decree recognising Lithuania’s independence is illegal, “since it was adopted by an unconstitutional body and in violation […] of the Constitution of the USSR.”
Lithuanian MP, Matas Maldeikis, responded to the move in the only adequate way possible: with a tweet equally absurd to Fyodorov’s idea. But in addition to being laughably absurd, MP Maldeikis’ Tweet is actually witty. He called for Russia to return Smolensk to Lithuania on the basis of a 1634 treaty.
If Russia revokes her 1991 recognition of Lithuania's independence, Lithuania will revoke the 1634 Treaty of Polyanovka and demand that Putin submits to the authority of Władysław IV and returns all occupied territories to the Grand Duchy. Smolensk is Lithuania! pic.twitter.com/wjoFrc2EbE— Matas Maldeikis MP 🇱🇹 (@MatasMaldeikis) June 9, 2022
It appears that not everybody got the memo that making irredentist claims to territories held decades or centuries ago is absurd. In “Sunday Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” the host referred to the Tweet. He derided Mr Maldeikis’ comment, saying that no one listens to a man like a Lithuanian Member of Parliament, while everybody listens to any sound Putin makes.
Considering that speculations abound as to Putin’s state of health and almost daily medical experts who closely watch his media appearances find new symptoms of numerous diseases the dictator is supposed to be ridden with, Mr Solovyov is right. Ideally, millions of people around the world would like to hear Putin shriek “I’m melting!” before dissolving into a puddle like the Wicked Witch of the West.
Mr Solvyov also said that Lithuania is welcome to have Smolensk if it dares take it. The problem was, Mr Solovyov forgot that in order to be a renowned wit, one needs to possess superior intelligence, which is a department in which he cannot match Mr Maldeikis, who responded he is not interested, as he already has a washing machine.
The absurdity of the response is truly exquisite because, considering the rampant looting perpetrated by Russian troops, it is unlikely there is anything in Russia worth stealing. Unless, of course, it was previously looted in Ukraine.
This guy just invited me to invade Russia!— Matas Maldeikis MP 🇱🇹 (@MatasMaldeikis) June 11, 2022
No thanks, I've already got a washing machine 😀@mfa_russia @Electrolux #Lithuania #StandWithUkraine 🇱🇹💕🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/alY4d914F1
Truly, the Kremlin’s state propaganda machine makes for a target easier than a Russian tank battalion trying to cross a river in Ukraine. Especially with people like Vladimir Solovyov at the helm.
But the Lithuanian MP was not the only one to react. On the same day that Yevgeny Fyodorov called for Russia to withdraw its recognition of Lithuanian independence, the Kyiv City Council assembled.
That is correct. The Kyiv City Council abolished Moscow and erased it from existence.
Kyiv was founded in 482.— Michael MacKay (@mhmck) June 10, 2022
In 1147, the Grand Duke of Kyiv and ruler of the Kyivan Rus’, Yuriy Dolhoruky, issued a decree founding Moscow.
In 2022, Kyiv City Council rescinded this decree, saying it was due to a “historical misunderstanding.”
Moscow no longer exists. pic.twitter.com/CVBMcBRNAE