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I AM GOLLUM
by Lubomyr Prytulak
Posted on www.xoxol.org/putin/gollum/putin-is-gollum.html on 08Jul2014  06:48pm PST.   Last revised 26Nov2014  11:06am PST

Vladimir Putin is Gollum

ONE THOUSAND LIES

The worst of what's happening concerning my invasion of Ukraine is that I've blurted out so many lies that everybody thinks I'm stupid.  The documentation of my lies started with a trickle totalling 34.

DATE SOURCE TITLE and LINK NUMBER of LIES
05 Mar 2014 US Department of State President Putin's Fiction: 10 False Claims About Ukraine 10
11 Mar 2014 The Moscow Times Top 5 Myths About Russia's Invasion of Crimea   5
11 Apr 2014 NATO Russia's accusations — setting the record straight   9
13 Apr 2014 US Department of State Russian Fiction the Sequel: 10 More False Claims About Ukraine 10


An attempt to spare my feelings was evident throughout this early trickle.  My lies were euphemistically referred to as "false claims" or "myths" or "accusations that needed to be set straight" or "fictions".  And they were often attributed not to me, but to Russia.  But the attempt to spare me was feeble, and ultimately benefitted me not at all — everyone understood that it was "Putin's lies" that were being recounted.

  STOPFAKE.ORG logo

It was not long after that that the trickle turned into a tsunami — really big lie counts began to proliferate.  The lie count at StopFake.Org, for example, as of this moment credits me with 228 lies, and its list expands daily.

I am forced to conclude that no definitive count of my lies is available, but that the total approaches one thousand cannot be ruled out as an exaggeration.

THE SIMPLE TRUTH WOULD BE BEST

The accusation of one thousand lies, give or take, is a very great burden for any man to bear, and particularly for me, as I do not deserve it.  My preference has always been to stop all this horrid lying and tell THE SIMPLE TRUTH, which I know the people of my country, and of the world, would find convincing and persuasive.  However, contrary to Western opinion, I am not an absolute dictator, and I cannot tell THE SIMPLE TRUTH just because in my humble opinion it's the right thing to do.  There are scores of Russians in politics, in government, in the military, in business, in science, in religion, in journalism, in biker gangs, and so on, who carry weight in Russia, and who warn me in no uncertain terms — unanimously! — that I am forbidden to speak THE SIMPLE TRUTH, and must stick to the thousand lies, not only for the protection of their individual interests, but for the defense of Mother Russia.

What that SIMPLE BUT UNSPEAKABLE TRUTH is — what my ideology is, and what my modus operandi — all this I'll explain in due course, at the end of which explanation, I expect that you will agree that I am completely rational, completely in the right, and that THE SIMPLE TRUTH is what I should be shouting from the rooftops because it alone has the power to remove from me the stain of fabricator and idiot, and because it alone can return the world to the stability that we all crave.

I will begin my disclosure of THE SIMPLE TRUTH with a few words concerning my modus operandi, as exemplified in my subjugation of Ukraine.

THE CASE OF VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH

Of course I impose as titular ruler of Ukraine someone who is unintelligent, uneducated, inarticulate, and hiding many skeletons in his closet, among which skeletons is a criminal record and time spent in prison — Viktor Yanukovych.  Such a deeply ungifted and uncharismatic and compromised figure gives me unwavering loyalty because he recognizes that loss of my support would lead to the Ukrainian people jailing him, if they could be kept from hanging him from the nearest lamppost.  Possession of even a single redeeming quality in a figurehead ruler is unacceptable, as someone even that modestly endowed might be able to win a following both in Ukraine and abroad, and which following would provide a basis for his wresting Ukraine from my grasp.

Guru Vladimir Putin in conference with disciple Viktor Yanukovych

And I cement Yanukovych loyalty by explaining to him that figurehead rule is not all administrative drudgery, but rather that its perks offer consolations.  The result of our colloquies, I think, is satisfactory, as he seems to master the means of procurement and enjoyment of the perks of titular rule in short time and to a high level of dexterity, as is exemplified by his building and enjoyment of Mezhyhirya, his home just north of Kiev.

The Telegraph logo
www.telegraph.co.uk/~

Be it ever so humble, I explain to Viktor Yanukovych, there's no place like home.
Victor Yanukovych's be-it-ever-so-humble home

Fake ancient ruins nestled against your house will testify to your fascination with ancient architecture and history.
Mezhyhirya showing fake ruins

Up close is when you really begin to appreciate the beauty of fake ruins, and their capacity to impress and inspire.
Viktor Yanukovych beautifies his house with fake ancient ruins

The entrance to your house, I had emphasized, must impart a sense of welcome combined with impeccable taste.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

A dining hall seating eighteen, twenty if you count the ends, is small enough to feel cozy.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

But tell me honestly, can you even imagine a house with only a single dining hall?
Second dining hall in Mezhyhirya for Viktor Yanukovych

A galleon moored in the pond in front of the house relieves the monotony of always dining in the house.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

Brandy with cigars over billiards after dinner provides the perfect milieu for exchanging political and philosophical insights.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

A guest is gently reminded of who the alpha male is by asking if he'd like to go a couple of rounds.
Viktor Yanukovych boxing ring

Personalized booze cannot be compared to the swill that the common man is forced to drink.
Viktor Yanukovych personalized booze  Viktor Yanukovych personalized booze in Mezhyhirya mansion

Better to leave a wall blank than to put up a painting that clashes with an otherwise perfect room.
Better leave a wall blank

No home is complete without at least two white Steinways (did you miss the one above?).
Second white Steinway in Viktor Yanukovych's mansion

But a black baby grand is necessary to provide welcome relief from white.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

Every home should display some tangible proof of its owner's intellect.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

Icons provide a hedge against inflation, as well as a connection to the supernatural.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

Gilding an entire toilet or bidet would be excessive, though the gilding of feet and faucets is an elegant touch.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion

One learns to appreciate art by surrounding oneself with the best that it has to offer.
Yanukovych Mezhyhirya statuary

Share a flick with friends in the cinema room.
Viktor Yanukovych cinema room for private screenings

And then off to deserved rest from weary labor in whichever bedroom strikes your fancy.
Viktor Yanukovych sleeps in many bedrooms

Collecting vintage cars and motorcycles is a healthy and admirable hobby,
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion vintage car and motorcycle collection

though you will need to shelter them in a dedicated building by the time their number reaches seventy.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya mansion vintage car and motorcycle collection

Monogrammed golf clubs are impressive, and gold plating will not pass unnoticed, especially on your own private 18-hole golf course.
Viktor Yanukovych mongrammed and gold-plated golf clubs

A personal zoo a few minutes stroll from home will give you accessible diversion.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya zoo

Helicoptering will enable you to avoid traffic jams, and will be indispensible also in making a fast getaway.
Viktor Yanukovych Mezhyhirya helicopter landing pad

"What is a man to do", I had asked Viktor Yanukovych rhetorically, during one of our estate-planning discussions, "if he wants to play tennis but it's raining?"   He stared at me blankly, unable to fathom what I was driving at, so I added the hint, "and you have an estate big enough to accomodate any number of new buildings".  To this his eyes lit up, and I could later see evidence that he had understood my suggestion.     Photo Katie Collins  www.wired.co.uk

Viktor Yanukovych indoor tennis court at his Mezhyhirya Estate

Connect to adjoining facilities by means of underground tunnels, and so on, and so on.  Ukraine is a wealthy and generous country, and will not begrudge its president some modest comforts and recreations.     Photo Katie Collins  www.wired.co.uk

Viktor Yanukovych bowling alley at his Mezhyhirya Estate

The ultimate touch of sophistication in any modern home is a bold demonstration that its owner is truly a man of the twenty-first century, supportive of graphic arts such as portraiture, while at the same time demonstrating that he suffers from none of the psycho-sexual repressions that are the plague of so many national leaders.

Putin-appointed President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, supporting-the-arts

As I say, these are the sorts of things that I explained to Viktor Yanukovych in our many talks, all of which he seemed to remember and to take to heart.

And I explained to him too that figurehead rule necessitates also the creation of an amply-remunerated, and therefore like-minded, figurehead-ruling class, such that in times of peril, one could count on many families and clans dedicated to preserving the status quo.  However unpalatable may be the idea of sharing the wealth, survival depends on it.

THE CASE OF VIKTOR PSHONKA

And here too Viktor Yanukovych listened and took heed.  Into his brotherhood, for example, he admitted a gangland buddy from early days, Viktor Pshonka, whom he made Prosecutor General of Ukraine, a man wonderfully compromised, as the public has always been able to read:

For any Ukrainian, the perils of investigative journalism are automatically associated with the name of Georgy Gongadze.  Gongadze was a fearless, muckraking political journalist, abducted and brutally murdered in Kiev 14 years ago (some say on the orders of then-President Leonid Kuchma, though this has never been conclusively proven).  Kramatorsk had its own "Gongadze" — a TV journalist by the name of Igor Aleksandrov.  Prior to his untimely death in 2001, Aleksandrov was producing a series of programs that exposed the links between politicians, law enforcement, and organized crime in the town.  The third episode of that series never went on air.  According to witnesses, he was assaulted by three thugs carrying baseball bats as he entered his office in neighboring Sloviansk on July 3, leaving him with a cracked skull.  He died in the hospital from the injuries four days later.

Overseeing the investigation into his murder was regional prosecutor Viktor Pshonka, a major figure in the local Party of Regions hierarchy, and who would later become Ukraine's prosecutor general under Yanukovych.  A problem, however, was that Pshonka was one of two men Aleksandrov had identified as godfathering the Kramatorsk underworld.  The initial investigation ended in a predictable whitewash, pinning blame for the journalist's murder on a homeless man in December 2001.  The innocent man was later acquitted in a local court of appeal six months later, but he was unable to enjoy freedom for long, dying under mysterious circumstances soon after; the same fate that befell the two witnesses and investigating police officer.

www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/05/07/a_bit_of_the_old_ultraviolence_ukraine_russia

But Pshonka's degree of compromise would not deserve to be considered "wonderful" if it depended solely on the Alexandrov case.  There were others:

Pshonka was a highly placed prosecutor in the Donetsk oblast from 1986 until 2003.  During this period, particularly in the the mid nineties, many dozen killings of top businessmen/crime bosses took place in the oblast.  Few if any of these crimes were solved.  Those guys who survived and prospered, the Donetsk clan, now run Ukraine.

foreignnotes.blogspot.ca/2013/12/pshonka-and-zakharchenko-should-step.html


You understand that I say Pshonka was "wonderfully" compromised because with his rich criminal past, he will always be feared and hated by the people, and so will always be dependent on his superiors — Yanukovych and myself — for support, and so can be trusted to remain fiercely loyal.

Anyone touring the Pshonka home will immediately see that he has been the beneficiary of some sharing of wealth, but everyone will at the same time be able to tell from its comparative modesty that his share has been smaller than Yanukovych's, which is as it should be.

Mail Online logo
www.dailymail.co.uk/~

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Viktor Pshonka, today wanted by Ukrainian authorities and on the run.
Viktor Pshonka former Prosecutor General of Ukraine

The gate to the Pshonka house.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

The house behind the gate.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

The Pshonka dining hall, seating only twelve, is an expression of startling domestic economy.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A harmoniously-appointed parlor inspires elevated discourse.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

At least one white grand piano is de rigueur in every home.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A tastefully-designed study helps focus mental energy on complex problems.  Two globes per desk serve to encourage global perspectives.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

Icons and objets d'art serve as hedges against inflation in a home governed by fiscal responsibility.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

An extended icon collection serves to tap reservoirs of supernatural energy.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A sword collection is indicative of both aesthetic sensibility and immersion in historical study.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A choice of bedrooms guarantees restful sleep.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A bath is often needed to relax muscles wearied by labor on behalf of a struggling nation.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A swimming pool and hot tub may be called upon to tone the muscles and wash away toxins, respectively.
Viktor Pshonka mansion

A grotto is essential to reminding the homeowner of the oceanic origins of life on earth.
Viktor Pshonka mansion


"RULING CLASS" MUST NOT BE CONSTRUED TOO NARROWLY

Director of Ukraine's Tax Office, Oleksandr Klymenko
CLICK for VIDEO
 

The ruling class must be expanded well beyond its thirty or so (I am thinking of Ukraine) leading members, which expansion can be accomplished by offering a much larger number of people the communal use of luxury facilities which they cannot afford to buy for themselves, as for example was ably done for senior employees of the Tax Ministry by its head Oleksandr Klymenko, another Party of Regions member of parliament who today is on the run from Ukrainian law.

COMPARISON TO ERIC HOLDER

Below is a glimpse inside the home of US Attorney General Eric Holder, whom I take to be an approximate counterpart of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka, and which glimpse makes me laugh at the claim that America is the richest country on earth.  Well if it is, then it sure doesn't know how to reward its functionaries.  If I had forced Yanukovych and Pshonka and all the other members of the Party of Regions to live in houses as humble as Eric Holder's, I could have counted on no loyalty from them whatever.

House of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

THEY SAY THAT CRIME DOES NOT PAY

But, some ask, what good did it do Yanukovych and Pshonka and Klymenko, and the many others, in the end?  In the end, they are on the run, all their assets in Ukraine seized and their foreign assets frozen, never again to walk the halls of their beloved mansions or at-work secret facilities?

What such naive commentators fail to comprehend is the magnitude of the Party of Regions thefts, and the care with which the booty has been concealed.  The Kyiv Post passes on the news that the Yanukovych clan stole $70 billion during Yanukovych's last three years in office — and how much of that has been either frozen or retrieved?  In fact, Viktor Yanukovych trucked $32 billion in cash with him when he fled into my arms in Russia, out of which it did not much set him back to pay $52 million for a luxurious residence in Rublyovka, a posh suburb of Moscow.  He can buy 614 more such mansions if he wants — that's just out of his cash I'm talking — and not only in Russia, but anywhere else in the world that he chooses in addition to Russia, as perhaps in London — or Londongrad as we prefer to call it — which particularly opens its arms to Ukrainian and Russian gangsters and kleptocrats and oligarchs.  All the Brits ask is that for the sake of appearances the money be laundered before it lands on their shores, which is easy enough to arrange.

You see, crime does pay, at least when it is under the protection of the world's leading crime boss ... myself!

But even though Viktor Yanukovych's loss has been small, so small as to perhaps not deserve being called a loss at all but only an embarrassment, what led to his suffering that embarrassment?  Here we come to the unhappy part of the story where Yanukovych chose to deviate from the path I had laid out for him.

TETYANA CHORNOVOL AND THE GOLD TOILET

Ukrainian journalists had been making repeated attempts to ascertain the magnitude of Yanukovych's thievery even while he was still president, focussing particularly on his Mezhyhirya mansion and surrounding estate, of which we have had a few glimpses above.  Leading the attack of this swarm of biting gnats was Tetyana Chornovol, who would pull such pranks as actually clambering over the wall encircling the Yanukovych property, and photographing as much as she could with her smart phone, and immediately beaming the images away to safety, before being apprehended and having her smart phone seized.

I warned Yanukovych of the severe damage that such journalistic provocations could cause, and of the necessity of issuing journalists a warning by causing Chornovol to disappear — and I mean disappear forever — but Yanukovych did not heed me, moron that he is.  He made the mistake of merely having her beaten, which only made everything worse — Chornovol gained worldwide notoriety and sympathy, and just kept on talking, even in the hospital emergency ward immediately after the beating, even from her hospital bed during recovery (with her more-damaged right eye covered with a towel so as not to gross out the television viewer), and resuming her public appearances even while still bandaged.  Blah, blah, blah nonstop, and always about Mezhyhirya, Mezhyhirya, Mezhyhirya, like a broken record, not caring about how boring she was, not seeing the need to report fresh material, especially cheery material so as to uplift the spirits of the Ukrainian people instead of always depressing them.

Bane of Viktor Yanukovych, Tetyana Chornovol

Tetyana Chornovol before Putin-Yanukovych had her beaten
Before Yanukovych beating
  Tetyana Chornovol after Putin-Yanukovych had her beaten
Interviewed in emergency ward
  Tetyana Chornovol being interviewed from hospital bed
Interviewed while still hospitalized
  Tetyana Chornovol speaking in public while still bandaged
Bandaged but ambulatory and talking

But despite her lack of originality, what damage she inflicted on Yanukovych!  Catastrophic right from the beginning of her reign of terror over him, as for example by her putting into circulation the rumor that Yanukovych shat on a toilet of gold.  Well, rumors being impossible to trace to their source, I am only guessing it was her.  But whoever it was that originated that rumor, Chornovol's researches certainly gave it plausibility.

Replicas of the mythical gold toilet were manufactured and distributed, as for example in the EuroMaidan mock trial-and-punishment below which shows Yanukovych inseparable from his gold toilet even after having been jailed for his crimes.  With contempt being expressed toward Yanukovych this openly, it became clear that he had lost control and that his days as president of Ukraine were numbered.

A jailed Viktor Yanukovych sits on his gold toilet

When I see such effrontery as this, I shake my head and ask myself how long Stalin would have lasted if Russian rabble-rousers had been permitted to put on such displays in Moscow, or how long Hitler would have lasted if German rabble-rousers had been permitted to put on such displays in Berlin, and so on.  And how long would I last?

On the left below is a photo of a Yanukovych-gold-toilet replica being hauled up to the top of the pedestal from which Kiev's last Lenin statue had recently been toppled.

Yanukovych Golden Toilet being placed on pedestal of toppled Lenin statue   Only some gilding was found on washroom fixtures in Mezhyhirya


However, after Yanukovych had fled and his Mezhyhirya home came to be overrun by Maidan protestors, the closest anyone came to finding a gold toilet was the white ceramic toilet shown in the distance in the photo on the right above, resting on a gilded foot, and the nearer bidet with both gilded foot and gilded faucet.

Enjoying the many perks we have been admiring above was not Yanukovych's mistake, as he had earned and deserved these as the natural rewards of figurehead rule.  His mistake was allowing the public to catch glimpses of them.  The public is capable of taking the narrow view that their own poverty results from the national wealth being stolen by corrupt rulers, and this imagined grievance sets their fevered brains abuzz, and draws them out into the streets in violent protest.

  A Soviet soldier must endure deprivations Солдат обязан стойко и мужественно переносить все тяготы и лишения воинской служби — Из устава ВС СССР
A soldier is obligated to bravely and stoutheartedly endure all the hardships and deprivations of military service. — From the statutes of the USSR Armed Forces

Above you see the principle captured in a picture, by the same Russian artist who inspired American illustrator Norman Rockwell, if I am not mistaken.  The principle is that within sight of the people, a successful man is not allowed to enjoy the good things which his inventiveness and industry have earned him, because then he would be guilty of inciting the people to the deadly sin of envy.  If envy is incited too often in too many, revolution follows.  Much of the work of government consists of protecting the public from falling into any of the seven deadly sins.

AN ASIDE CONCERNING VLADIMIR LENIN

Incidentally, I cannot look at the above photo of the pedestal devoid of its Lenin statue without experiencing a rush of righteous indignation.  In toppling Lenin statues, Ukrainians imagine themselves superior to us Russians who honor and preserve our Lenin statues.

Lenin Statue Moscow
Lenin Statue sill untoppled in Moscow

And we even go so far as to honor and preserve the actual body of Lenin himself, which needs to be repeatedly soaked in a chemical bath to keep down the stench.

Lenin annual chemical bath
Lenin enjoying his periodic re-pickling bath.

And which pickled body we present to Lenin's admirers in the rich adornment which Lenin has earned and deserves, not unlike the rich adornment that is evident in the Yanukovych and Pshonka houses which we toured above, and which Yanukovych and Pshonka too had earned and deserved.

Lenin on show in his mausoleum
Lenin on display in his mausoleum

The Ukrainian view that our pickle-and-display tradition is symptomatic not only of backwardness, but even of primitiveness and barbarism, is echoed in American parodies such as the one below, which every right-thinking Russian regards as a blood libel which the CIA spreads in order to undermine Russian pride.


Gary Larson depicts a Chicken Cult

And it is not only our high regard for Lenin statues and what is left of his corpse that the West chooses to disparage — the West also disparages our high regard for Lenin's brain whose excellence is manifested in his insight, his wisdom, his teaching.  I myself, for example, am the proud owner of all 55 volumes of Lenin's collected works.  The West, in contrast, chooses to adopt the bigoted and ethnocentric position that all that is worth knowing about Lenin, and Marx and Stalin for that matter, has been captured by Robert Conquest in a few lines which they teach their children as a substitute for teaching real Russian history:

There was a great Marxist called Lenin
Who did two or three million men in.
That's a lot to have done in
But where he did one in
That grand Marxist Stalin did ten in.

AND A FURTHER ASIDE CONCERNING JOSEPH STALIN

Speaking of Stalin — same thing as with Lenin!  Ukrainians despise him, whereas Russians continue to honor that majestic superman.  For example, a life-size Stalin doll today sits in his Sochi dacha, which we did not call to the attention of our Olympic visitors out of concern that some of them might be capable of responding disrespectfully, so brainwashed have they become by Russophobe propaganda.

Stalin in his Sochi dacha
The immortal Stalin sits forever in his Sochi dacha

The Ukrainians, having learned how to gild a fake toilet, for some insane reason just kept right on gilding, as is evident in the case of their urinating-Stalin statue.

Gilded statue of Stalin urinating

Gilded statue of Stalin urinating


ANTI-RUSSIAN STATUES BEGIN TO PROLIFERATE

And the idea of not merely demolishing statues, but erecting new ones conveying the opposite message, begins to spread, as for example Polish artists Malgorzata Szydlowska and Bartosz Szydlowski in Nowa Huta dragging the memory of Lenin through the mud with their
Pissing Lenin statue:

Pissing Lenin in Poland

Pissing Lenin in Poland


Such disparagement of Russian heroes inflicts harm, which I neither forget nor forgive.  The harm is capable of culminating in a Russian self-hatred so intense as to prompt a public declaration of being Ashamed to be Russian, which I am grateful has not been subtitled in English, thus depriving Barack Obama of one more thing he would otherwise be throwing in my face whenever he gets all excited.

I see, however, that I have been provoked into emotions which, though noble, distract me from my purpose of the moment, which is to disclose that SIMPLE TRUTH which I long to share with the world so as to rid myself of the unwarranted charge of idiocy, but which I am warned from every direction must be forever concealed and forever replaced by a thousand lies.

The next vista along the path to THE SIMPLE TRUTH, then, will be a glimpse of my own wealth.


MY OWN WEALTH

In being shown some small indications of the wealth of Viktor Yanukovych and Viktor Pshonka, you must have wondered, What about his own wealth, the wealth of Vladimir Putin?

I can only say that I am not free to disclose it.  I am advised that such disclosure would be following the path of Viktor Yanukovych.  That is, hard on the heels of any such disclosure I could expect to be accused of being able to have bowel movements only while sitting on a gold toilet.  Next, journalists would be climbing the walls of my various estates to photograph and video my residences, and my servants would be bribed to photograph and video their interiors, all of which would go viral on the Internet, and that would culminate in riots on the streets of Moscow, and the sort of lawlessness that the world watched in horror taking place on Kiev's Maidan.

No, I can't tell you my own worth, but I am perfectly free to offer you a couple of comparisons.  Comparison number one: Yanukovych stole big time for only three years whereas my acquisition of wealth has been going on for close to fifteen.  Comparison number two: Yanukovych stole from the Ukrainian purse which is so teensy that one can barely squeeze the tips of thumb and forefinger inside, whereas I have been helping myself from the Russian purse, made both wide and deep by sales of oil and gas, into whose contents it is possible to plunge both hands right up to the elbow.

The result of these two differences is that I am today not only what everybody acknowledges me to be — the richest man in Europe — I am what only a few know me to be — the richest man on earth.  Where Viktor Yanukovych owns a short string of mansions, I own a long string of palaces.  I know I am not supposed to say such things in public, but I think that my following up with THE SIMPLE TRUTH below will make everything all right.

Well, I would not be violating my vow of silence by showing things already known to all, and that do not concern my personal wealth, would I?  I am thinking of the main presidential residence Novo-Ogaryovo, near St Petersburg, which serves to illustrate that where Yanukovych and Pshonka reside in mansions, I reside in palaces.  Beside my Novo-Ogaryovo, Yanukovych's Mezhyhirya looks like a log cabin.

Vladimir Putin's main official residence Novo-Ogaryovo
Main presidential residence, Novo-Ogaryovo

But mum's the word!  I have already said too much.

However, even the little I have said about my wealth necessitates at this time the making of a sharp distinction.  Yes, it is true that Yanukovych and Pshonka stole, as hundreds of others like them stole and continue to steal.  I permit their thievery because they are my mercenaries, and mercenaries must be paid else they do not work, and their pay is the plunder that I allow.

Important to note is that there is nothing miraculous, or even mysterious or surprising, about their theft.  I show them how to pocket the money, they do pocket the money, and then they waste it on the sorts of gross things that the uncultured rush to throw their money away on whenever they manage to get their hands on any.  They are crass materialists, and I control them by means of their materialism, and which couldn't be further from what I am.  I am a spiritualist.  Material possessions mean nothing to me.

And I do not steal.  Yes, they do call me a Kleptocrat.  They even call me King of the Kleptocrats.  But they are dead wrong, as I am about to explain.

HOW I FEEL ABOUT THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE

The truth is that I detest people generally, and Russians in particular.

And why should my hatred of the Russian people surprise anyone?  What else, under the circumstances, would anyone expect?  What else would anyone be filled with but hatred were he in my shoes today, and had he lived through what I have lived through?  I feel nothing but hatred toward the Russian people, and all people everywhere, for the simple reason that they feel nothing but hatred toward me.  Fair enough?

Let us get down to specifics.  Everybody knows that my earliest years were spent working for the KGB.  Yes, I was a spy!  You might imagine that my life was something like this:

James Bond played by Sean Connery in From Russia With Love

Well, it wasn't anything like that!  It should have been, though.  I had the brains.  And I had the brawn.  In fact, many have pointed out in recent years that I was better suited to play Bond on screen than those who were actually playing Bond on screen.  And it's not just the wristwatch.  I would have remained better suited even if I had taken my wristwatch off.

Vladimir Putin thinks he can be James Bond

Better suited or not, I was far from playing Bond either on screen or off.  The truth is that the whole time I worked for the KGB, I was playing the role of a slave.  That's what "the people" — the Russian people — were determined to impose on me throughout my early years — slavery!  While working for the KGB, my slavery consisted of menial labor for meager wages trapped in the hell-hole which goes by the name of Dresden.  The location already was a kick in the teeth because Dresden was in East Germany, where KGB service brought meager wages and low prestige, and essentially nothing interesting to do.  It was work in West Germany that brought pay and glamor and excitement, and where I begged to be transferred, but my pleas fell on deaf ears.  The people, which is to say the Russian people who surrounded me, told me that I would have to show competence where I was before I could be transferred to someplace better.

The image that captures my Dresden life is not the James Bond poster above, it is the sight of what I found waiting on my desk every morning — a stack of newspapers from which I was commanded to clip out articles:

Stack of newspapers for Vladimir Putin to work through

Wikipedia gets my Dresden slavery exactly right:

Vladimir Putin

Putin biographer Masha Gessen disputes the "KGB Spymaster" image that has been built around him and instead says that Dresden was essentially a backwater job that Putin himself resented:

Putin and his colleagues were reduced mainly to collecting press clippings, thus contributing to the mountains of useless information produced by the KGB.  Former agents estimate they spent three-quarters of their time writing reports.  Putin's biggest success in his stay in Dresden appears to have been ... [contacting] a U.S. Army Sergeant, who sold them an unclassified Manual for 800 marks.

Wikipedia     en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putin

Attacking the newspapers every morning started out painlessly enough, as I first admired the photos of movie stars, and read the comics and cartoons.  But after lunch came the miserable part — clipping out articles, writing the source and date across the top of each, and then a brief synopsis of each article, and then filing the article-plus-synopsis in its most suitable home file, but then also referencing it in all the other files to which it had some relevance.  For example, if an article mentioned a dozen names, then a note needed to be left in each of the files of those dozen people that their name had appeared in such-and-such an article which was stored in such-and-such a home file.

Has anyone in the entire history of the earth been able to build a distinguished or glamorous career when forced to file newspaper clippings?  No?  Well, maybe that has something to do with the adjectives "undistinguished" and "unglamorous" attaching to my career, and for similar reasons, the additional adjectives "obscure" and "humiliating":

Putin had retired as a KGB agent in 1991.  His own KGB career had been undistinguished.  He had reached the rank of lieutenant colonel, and had served in the KGB's foreign intelligence unit.  The collapse of the Soviet bloc found him stranded in the unglamorous East German town of Dresden, where he worked undercover in the Soviet Union's cultural institute.

Apparently Lieutenant-Colonel Putin had made several blunders.  He had been recalled from Dresden to work as an assistant to the deputy rector of Leningrad University, an obscure and humiliating demotion.
Luke Harding, Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia, Copyright Luke Harding, 2011, Published by Guardian Books, London, 2012, p. 9.

But let us not rush ahead so quickly as to overlook a little gem that Guardian journalist Luke Harding lets fall above.  Did you catch it?  Yes, I was recalled from Dresden to a station even more obscure and humiliating in Leningrad University because I "had made several blunders"!  Can you believe that "the Russian people" were capable of such cruelty toward me, and such mendacity?

Well, let's just take a little look at the most important of my so-called "blunders".  Here is the Moscow Times description of it.  This so-called "blunder" is, quite simply, that the man I chose to lead a spy ring on behalf of the Kremlin defected to the West, and which led to my having to flee back to Russia.

Moscow Times logo

Putin Botched Spy Ring Mission, Berlin Official Says

By Adam Tanner     27 May 2000     www.themoscowtimes.com/~

BERLIN — President Vladimir Putin badly bungled his last assignment as a KGB agent in East Germany, causing the collapse of a spy ring, an official overseeing East German secret service records said Friday.

"He was not very good. His success rate, as far as we know it, was not good. He made a great mistake," said Johannes Legner, spokesman for the Berlin government agency that runs the archives of the East German secret police, the Stasi.

Putin worked from 1984 to 1990 as a KGB spy in Dresden, in East Germany, before working his way up in post-Soviet politics to take the Kremlin this year on the strength of a reputation as a clear-headed operator who gets things done.

Yet it appears he blundered during perhaps his most important KGB assignment after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.

His mission, according to Legner, was to recruit a spy ring that would continue to spy on Moscow's behalf after East Germany's impending collapse.

"He organized a network that was acting out of Dresden, infiltrating toward Munich [in the West]," Legner said.

Putin turned to colleagues in the Stasi with whom he had collaborated closely in previous years but who were fast losing their once considerable influence as East Germany crumbled.

"He used former MfS [Stasi] people for it but one of these people, if you want, defected," said Legner, whose agency is known as the Gauck authority after the former dissident pastor who runs it.  "This guy went later on to our [West German] counterintelligence and told them the whole story.

"This was one of his most important guys, he was an instructor for the group, so they located the whole group and found out whom he wanted to use."

Legner said that after the Putin-recruited spy's defection to the West, officials made several arrests related to the case.

"If you choose the wrong person, the central figure of a network you construct, and this person defects after two months, that's a real catastrophe," Legner added.

"Any case officer in London or Washington or wherever in the world would get a lot of problems for doing this."

"The funny thing is that soon after this [in 1990] Putin disappeared," Legner said.  "You could speculate that he had to get out of Germany because this network was uncovered.  [...]


What is unfair about my getting blamed was, first, that as I was forced to spend much of my day clipping articles, I had left not much time for recruiting agents, and yet recruiting agents was all that really mattered to the KGB.  Anyone who had not a single recruited agent to his credit simply could not rise above his station, no matter how wonderfully he was completing other tasks.  And they allowed me not only too little time, but also too few resources.  To recruit someone, you have to wine and dine him, help him buy a car or pay off a debt, get his kid into university — all of which costs money, money which the KGB was not supplying.  And so the Russian people set me up for failure: you have to recruit, but we give you insufficient time and money to recruit, so you fail to recruit, or you recruit poorly.  They wanted me to fail and they made me fail, and all the fault lies at their feet, and none at mine.  Bastards!  You begin to understand why I hate their guts!

And what stung most was their repeated accusation that I suffered from a fatal defect — I was told that I had no idea what other people were thinking.  For example, whenever I lied, they told me, I was unable to detect when my listeners disbelieved me.  If I couldn't tell what people were thinking, I would never be able to predict what they were going to do next, and so they were always going to surprise me.  If I couldn't tell what people were thinking, I would be unable to distinguish the loyal from the treacherous, and so would always be distrusting friends and relying on enemies.  If I couldn't tell what people were thinking, I wouldn't know how to get them to do what I wanted, and so would be forever losing control over them.

And so you see how things stood with me so long as my fate lay in the hands of the blind and cruel Russian people of whom I am expected to be enamored.  In my last days at the KGB, I was being told that I was a loser who would be lucky to get a job driving a taxi.  The KGB personnel in Dresden went so far as to tell me that it would be unwise for me to ever seek any position higher than a taxi driver, because should I attain any such higher position, my inability to tell what other people are thinking would inevitably bring ruin not only on myself, but on all who depended on me.  I was subjected to this debasement so often that I began to believe it, and by the time they finally did kick me out of the KGB, I had no higher goal in life than to drive a taxi.

Given the inequity and the savagery of the Russian people's condemnation of me, what can anyone expect in return from me today except hatred, a hatred so intense that anyone who cares to study me, like Anna Politkovskaya, sees it plain as day:

Putin has, by chance, gotten his hands on enormous power and has used it to catastrophic effect.  I dislike him because he does not like people.  He despises us.  He sees us as a means to his ends, a means for the achievement and retention of personal power, no more than that.  Accordingly, he believes he can do anything he likes with us, play with us as he sees fit, destroy us as he sees fit.  We are nobody, while he whom chance has enabled to clamber to the top of the pile is today Tsar and God.  In Russia we have had leaders with this outlook before.  It led to tragedy, to bloodshed on a vast scale, to civil wars.
Anna Politkovskaya as quoted in Michael Specter, Kremlin, Inc.  Why are Vladimir Putin's opponents dying?  The New Yorker, 29 Jan 2007     www.newyorker.com/~

I never blamed Anna for seeing this obvious truth about me.  Her mistake was to broadcast it.  She simply failed to understand that some truths are not for public consumption.

And her calling my effect "catastrophic" is a bit of a value judgment, isn't it?  It may be catastrophic for the masses of people, the rabble in other words, but it is not catastrophic for me who am the chosen.  And it is not catastrophic for the hundred or so billionaires that I created, whom I have accorded the status of disciples.  And, above all, it is not catastrophic for the supernatural forces which have mandated the course of history in which I have been chosen to play the lead role.

And, most importantly, Anna is wrong in attributing my elevation to "chance".  She uses the word twice — did you notice?  I think she has a muddled understanding of "chance"?  "Chance" is not an event which can cause other events, it is an abstraction which can cause nothing.  Ascribing something to chance is admitting one does not know the cause and wishes to stop thinking about it further.  There was a cause of my promotion from pauper to prince, but that cause was not "chance".

IT WASN'T JUST THE KGB

Anyone might rightly wonder why I hate Russians collectively when my mistreatment came only from Russians who happened to be in the KGB.  But it wasn't just the KGB.  Russians have been subjecting me to the same wretched treatment my whole life long, which is why I hate them all.  The Russian people have always excluded me, always forced me to play the role of outsider, of exile within my own country.

Vladimir Putin always the outsider

I could spend all day telling you my horror stories.  Here's just one:

The school punished Putin by excluding him from the Young Pioneers organization — a rare, almost exotic, form of punishment, generally reserved for children who were held back repeatedly and essentially deemed hopeless.  Putin was a marked boy: for three years, he was the only child in the school who did not wear a red kerchief around his neck, symbolizing membership in the Communist organization for ten-to-fourteen-year-olds.  Putin's outcast status was all the more peculiar considering how well-off he was compared with the other children at his school, most of whom were statistically unlikely to be living with two parents.
Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Riverhead Books, New York, 2012, p. 49.

But I have spent long enough describing how downtrodden I was by the Russians.  The time has now come to understand how uplifted I became by the gods, and there is no better place to start that explanation than at my Petersburg Epiphany.


MY PETERSBURG EPIPHANY

I have just described the low point to which the Russian people drove me — firing me for my poor ability to clip newspaper articles, and for botching the formation of a spy ring, while advising me to drive a taxi for the rest of my life, the word LOSER tattooed in giant red letters across my forehead.

It was at this extreme low that I found myself in St Petersburg where Supernatural Powers finally stepped in to not only save me, but to lift me on high where I soar above the heads of all other men on earth.

It came to pass in St Petersburg, then, that I found myself sitting at a table on which was piled (metaphorically speaking) the equivalent of 92 million dollars, which someone said was intended to bring food to St Petersburg.  I slipped 10 million of those dollars into my own pocket, and sat back to see what would happen, and nothing happened.  That is, nothing on the outside, no response from other people, at least nothing worth mentioning.  Inside, megawatts of psychic power surged through me.

That is when I realized that the 10 million was mine to keep.  A gift from the gods, no strings attached.  Pauper transformed into prince by means of a single sweep of the hand from table to pocket, figuratively speaking.  Naturally, it did not take long for me to swipe a second ten million, then a third, and still nothing happened, at least nothing worth mentioning.  And wouldn't you know, I ended up liberating the entire 92 million!  Yes, "liberating" is the right word.  To allow that sum to be used to purchase food would have been to subvert the will of the gods.  I liberated that money from the dark forces which fought against the will of the gods.

Finally the gods had noticed me, and had decided to favor me.  I no longer stood alone.  I had an army backing me, the most powerful army on earth, the most powerful army in the universe — the army of the gods.

That Petersburg 92 million was the first unmistakable miracle that I ever experienced in my life, and when you see an unmistakable miracle happening before your very eyes, you do begin to believe in miracles, and to believe also in Divine Beings capable of performing miracles.

And so now you begin to understand my loathing for the Russian people.  It was the Russian people who condemned me to being the lowest of the low, when I was destined to become the highest of the high.  It was the Russian people who told me that I was incapable of learning how to clip articles competently, but after I escaped their grasp I proved that I could run an empire super-competently.  They, the Russian people, actually believed that the Petersburg 92 million was theirs!  But consider how crazy it would have been to use it to buy food for the masses!  The masses would simply have eaten the food, and all the money would be gone, and left behind would be no shred of evidence that the perfection of the universe had been advanced.  Should the gods ever send me money earmarked for feeding the masses, then I will feed the masses.  But when the gods send me money to elevate my power, then I have an obligation to use it for the purpose stipulated, and which is the grand purpose which I express in my proclamation:

Herding all mankind into the care of a single shepherd is advancing the perfection of the universe.  That is the selfless goal to which I am dedicated.

And my refusal to help the people continues to this day because it clashes with the grand purpose laid out in my proclamation, and also because it is impossible to help people who refuse to help themselves.  Consider the pair below, so ready to blame me for their misery when most of what needs to be done to escape that misery lies in their hands and not mine.  They need to stop smoking and drinking and taking drugs and fornicating.  And they need to wash and they need to go back to school.  And most of all they need to divest themselves of the attitudes of self-pity and blaming others.  Do these things, which no one can do for you, and you will have done 90% of what needs to be done in order to be healthy and happy and successful, and blessings will flow even if the remaining 10% is left undone.  But what the poster shows is not people helping themselves, but people hurting themselves while expecting me to intervene by doling out gold ingots.  But no, I will not give them any of my gold because I need it all and they don't need any.  I will not lift a finger to help them because they will not lift a finger to help themselves.  The Russian people are riff-raff just like the pathetic pair below, and the Russian people curse me like the pair below curses me for giving them no share of my gold, and I curse them right back for their presumption in asking for any.  If the gods had wanted them to have gold, the gods would have given them gold, but the gods have given the gold to me, end of story.  On this point, as on so many others, I am as one with Adolf Hitler when he says "Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live."

Thanks, comrade Putin for our happy childhood
Спасибо товарищу Путину за наше счастливое детство!
Thanks, comrade Putin, for our happy childhood!

And the miracle of boundless wealth arrived in company with the miracle of boundless control over life and death, so greatly facilitated by the support of my wonderfully-creative poison laboratories and factories.  I am not in a position to be totally candid on the subject, but no harm can come from merely taking notice of what is already known to all, as for example concerning Anatoly Sobchak, one-time mayor of St Petersburg, and an early mentor and supporter of both myself and Dmitry Medvedev, but whose big mouth ultimately transformed him from an asset to a liability, and whose demands for a sharing of the wealth became intemperate, and whose physical size and domineering personality always made me feel inadequate.

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Vladimir Putin is humbled in Anatoly Sobchak's presence
Vladimir Putin cannot grow in Anatoly Sobchak's shadow
Anatoly Sobchak makes Vladimir Putin feel small Anatoly Sobchak overshadows Vladimir Putin
Anatoly Sobchak upstages Vladimir Putin
Anatoly Sobchak dominates Vladimir Putin
Anatoly Sobchak makes Vladimir Putin feel insignificant

On February 20, Sobchak died at a private hotel in a resort town outside Kaliningrad.  [...]  The official cause of death was a massive but natural heart attack.  [...]

Still, ten weeks following Sobchak's death, the prosecutor's office in Kaliningrad opened an investigation into a possible case of "premeditated murder with aggravating circumstances."  Three months later, the investigation was closed without a finding.

Back in Paris, Arkady Vaksberg decided to launch his own investigation into his acquaintance's death.  He was never a close friend or even a great fan of the imperious Russian politician, but he was an investigative journalist with actual forensics experience and a great nose for a story.  It was Vaksberg who dug up the most puzzling detail of the circumstances of Sobchak's death: the two bodyguard-assitants, both physically fit young men, had had to be treated for mild symptoms of poisoning following Sobchak's death.  This was a hallmark of contract killings by poisoning: many a secretary or bodyguard had fallen similarly ill when their bosses were killed.  In 2007, Vaksberg published a book on the history of political poisonings in the USSR and Russia.  In it, he advanced the theory that Sobchak was killed by a poison placed on the electric bulb of the bedside lamp, so that the substance was heated and vaporized when the lamp was turned on.  This was a technique developed in the USSR.  A few months after the book was published, Vaksberg's car was blown up in his Moscow garage; Vaksberg was not in it.
Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Riverhead Books, New York, 2012, pp. 143-144.


It did not take me long to learn that I could kill with impunity not only people singly, but also by the hundreds, and even by the thousands.  The limits of my killing, if there are any limits, have yet to be discovered.  I'm getting the feeling that the gods might soon ask me to kill millions under the same guarantee of impunity.  And this additional dispensation — power of life and death — allows me to enlarge my proclamation above by adding eight words to its end:

Herding all mankind into the care of a single shepherd is advancing the perfection of the universe.  That is the selfless goal to which I am dedicated.  All who stand in my way must die.

And so what awaits me after my own death?  Eternal hellfire?  No, that's not the way it works.  The way it works is that after my own death, all those whom I have killed become my eternal slaves.  To kill profiteth me double.

And you noticed my wristwatch on my left hand?  Second-last photo just above.  That was in the old days.  Things are entirely different today, as I am about to explain.


THE WRISTWATCH KERFUFFLE

Nosy reporters began going through photographs in which my wristwatch could be seen, and identifying whatever wristwatches I happened to be wearing, and pricing them.  One investigation thought it had come up with an earth-shattering discovery when it found me wearing a Patek Philippe which retails for $70,000:

Three prices for Vladimir Putin wristwatches

And you can imagine how much greater was the uproar when I was spotted wearing my $500,000 LANGE & SÖHNE.

Vladimir Putin's US$500,000 wristwatch

This whole wristwatch business is more complicated than it may at first glance seem, and would benefit from clarification.

In the first place, these pestiferous and small-minded and down-at-the-heels reporters insult me by forgetting that I am the richest man on earth.  By my standards, the watches that they have noticed and gotten so excited about are of small interest because they are only mid-priced.  If you want a glimpse of watches that do fall within my price range, here is a sample:

Top 10 Most Expensive Watches on earth!
Самые дорогие часы мира!
1.   201-carat Chopard     $25,000,000
Wristwatch costing $25,000,000
2.   Patek Philippe's Supercomplication     $11,000,000
Wristwatch costing $11,000,000
3.   Patek Philippe's Platinum World Time     $4,000,000
Wristwatch costing $4,000,000
4.   Vacheron Constantin Tour de 1'Ile     $1,500,000
Wristwatch costing $1,500,000
5.   Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillion     $1,300,000
Wristwatch costing $1,300,000
6.   The Chopard Super Ice Cube     $1,100,000
Wristwatch costing $1,100,000
7.   Hublot Black Caviar Bang     $1,000,000
Wristwatch costing $1,000,000
8.   Louis Moinet Magistralis     $860,000
Wristwatch costing $860,000
9.   Blancpain 1735, Grande Complication     $800,000
Wristwatch costing $800,000
10.   Breguet pocket watch 1907BA/12    $800,000
Wristwatch costing a lot of money

However, the rub is that despite being poorly informed about my wealth and my watch collection, the press does have the power to throw a scare into me by threatening to have my watches play the same role in my career as the gold toilet played in Yanukovych's — by making my watches a symbol of my stolen riches, by turning them into an Achilles heel that everyone can aim his arrows at in the ongoing battle to destroy me.

  BLANCPAIN AQUALUNG 50 FATHOMS

To this kerfuffle, however, I came up with the perfect two-pronged solution.  The first prong is to keep on exposing to public view the same cheap watch, so that everybody will get bored of seeing it, and it will give them nothing new to talk about.  I picked the BLANCPAIN AquaLung, variously described as FIFTY FATHOMS, or 100 METERS, or 330 FEET — which are three approximately-equal ways of expressing the depth to which it can be immersed and keep on ticking.

And just how cheap is this BLANCPAIN AquaLung?  Depends on the particular variant, but hovering around $10,000, if I remember correctly.  Dirt cheap by my standards, but not so cheap that the common man will stop respecting me.  Other world leaders don't understand the importance of keeping up appearances, with the result that they devalue their reputations by wearing trashy watches.  Like look at Obama below wearing his Jorg Gray 6500 valued at a paltry $200.  And look where he wears his watch — way up on his wrist where the public will see it only when he takes off his jacket and rolls up his shirtsleeves, which is just about never.  But I guess far up your sleeve is the best place to hide a cheap watch.  And look at Hollande wearing his Swatch Quaterman YGS738 valued at a pathetic $150.  How did these yokels miss out on the news that if you insist on wearing trash, people aren't going to respect you?

Barack Obama wearing a $200 wristwatch  Francois Hollande wearing a $150 wristwatch


Anyway, my implementation of the policy of flashing the same mid-priced wristwatch at every opportunity can be followed in innumerable photos.  Unlike Obama and just about everybody else, it seems, I place my wristwatch as low on my wrist as it will go, distal to the head of the ulna even, where it will almost always be within view of the camera, so that often I am the only one in a group with his wristwatch showing.

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch


I was much saddened in the case above upon looking around and realizing that, despite my BLANCPAIN being the only wristwatch on display, nobody had noticed it.  However, I didn't just start sulking, I took action.  I simply brought my BLANCPAIN to the group's attention, and went into the detail about its being able to withstand 50 fathoms equals 100 meters equals 330 feet of submersion, causing everybody to smile and applaud in admiration both of my BLANCPAIN and of my command of higher mathematics.  Sometimes, showing isn't enough; sometimes you've got to both show and tell.

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch


And, yes, I did invite them all to join me in creating an energy-conduit-plexus, knowing that they would be edified by the resulting jolt of psychic current, even though they would lack all understanding of whence the jolt originated, probably mis-attributing it to my having handed Crimea over to them for their titular rule, which was what that gathering happened to be about.

Vladimir Putin using the ENERGY CONDUIT PLEXUS to bend others to his will


I've pulled that energy-conduit-plexus stunt more times than I can remember, and not only for the sensual thrill which it imparts to the participants, but also because it's a quick and easy way to bend them to my will.


LEFT HAND OR RIGHT?

I did not welcome Dmitry Medvedev condescending to tell me recently that Obama and Hollande wearing their wristwatches on their left hands was correct, and my wearing mine on my right hand was wrong.  I rejoined that I wear my wristwatch on my right hand because that is the hand that is more often thrust forward, as in writing or lifting a teacup or shaking hands with someone, and so it is the preferred hand for displaying a watch, for any who happen to own a watch worth displaying.

Dmitry snapped back that the controls on a watch strapped to the left hand can be easily accessed by the opposite hand, which is not true when the watch is worn on the right hand.  Wristwatches are designed to be worn on the left hand.  Anybody who does the opposite looks foolish and invites ridicule.

I told Dmitry That's enough! but he persisted.  He added that as the right hand was the more active, a wristwatch on it would be more likely to incur damage, to which I replied Shut the fuck up!

But when I was later alone, I realized that I had gone through life paying no attention to what hand people wore their watches on, and suddenly feared that I might indeed be in the wrong, looking like a country bumpkin every day of my life, and so I began a quick check of which hand people were wearing their watches on, and was mortified to discover that of the four greatest historical personages, now deceased, that sprang to mind, all did indeed wear their wristwatches on their left hands:

Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Leonid Brezhnev
Leonid Brezhnev
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Hugo Chavez
Hugo Chavez

Hoping that the above observation was just a relic of the past that would not be replicated in the four greatest living national leaders, I performed the same check only to find that they too wore their wristwatches on their left hands:

Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
Viktor Yanukovych
Viktor Yanukovych

Hoping against hope to find relief from what was beginning to look like a unanimous reprimand of my blunder, I lunged into the entirely different realm of the greatest male film stars of all time, only to discover that they too dependably wore their wristwatches on their left hands:

Sean Connery
Sean Connery
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Roger Moore
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Pierce Brosnan
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Daniel Craig

And as if I needed further mortification, I finally discovered that the four sexiest female film stars of all time were unanimously united against me as well:

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron
Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman
Cameron Diaz
Cameron Diaz
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

In despair at finding my handedness choice so completely deviant, I picked up the phone and gave Alexander Lukashenko a call.  I asked whether he wouldn't mind doing me the favor of putting his wristwatch on his right wrist, and sliding it as far down the wrist toward the fingers as was comfortable, and sending me a photo, all of which he obliged me by doing.  He never lets me down when I need something, which is why I treat Belarus with such clemency.  I didn't ask him to make a habit of wearing his watch on his right hand, but wouldn't be surprised if he did just that, guessing that it would please me.  In general, I would recommend that anyone who cares to please me might consider following suit.

Alexander Lukashenko wearing his watch on his right-hand wrist
Alexander Lukashenko


IMPLEMENTING THE FIRST PRONG

In implementing the first prong of my wristwatch-kerfuffle solution (keep on exposing to view the same cheap watch so that everybody will get bored of seeing it), I am assisted by reporters noticing any exposed watch, and zooming in on it so as to permit a positive identification.

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch   Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch

Not a few busybodies have questioned whether I may be overdoing the flashing of my cheapie watch, but I think not, given how much is at stake.  If Yanukovych had published as many photographs of himself sitting on a regular toilet, nice but not gilded, he would still be President of Ukraine today.  I take extra precautions because I don't want to share his fate.  Preferring to err on the side of caution, I have reached the point where if a photograph of me appears without my mid-priced and totally-boring BLANCPAIN AquaLung leaping out at the spectator, I want to know who is responsible.

Vladimir Putin putting on public display his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatchs
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin can't stop showing off his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin trying to hypnotize everybody with his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin showing off his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin exhibiting his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch
Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch


THE SECOND PRONG

And the second prong of my solution to the wristwatch kerfuffle is to present the appearance of total detachment from the accoutrements of wealth.  I might, for example, give my BLANCPAIN AquaLung — the very one I happen to be wearing — away to someone who asks for a memento, as I did in the case of the factory worker below, and even to somebody who doesn't ask for anything, as in the case of the Siberian shepherd lad.  I may be wealthy, my grandiloquent gesture conveys, but I share my wealth, so that my wealth is everybody's wealth, and so if my wealth is held communally, what has anybody to complain of or to resent?

Vladimir Putin gives away his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch to a factory worker    Vladimir Putin gives away his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch to a Siberian shepherd boy


Going further in my public demonstration of indifference to wealth, I might even on impulse simply toss the BLANCPAIN AquaLung away, as for example into concrete being poured, as if on the whim of entombing it like some time capsule which could be imagined being dug up by our descendants millennia hence:

I take my BLANCPAIN off and whisper a word of farewell.
Vladimir Putin tosses his BLANCPAIN into concrete

I toss it down toward the freshly-poured concrete.
Vladimir Putin tosses his BLANCPAIN into concrete

The watch embeds itself in the wet concrete where it will be smoothed over.
Vladimir Putin tosses his BLANCPAIN into concrete


But in critiquing press coverage of what I wear on my wrist, I now arrive at the very biggest mistake that reporters make, which is to assume that my wristwatches constitute frivolous self-adornment, that they play the role of jewelry tickling the fancy of a degenerate oligarch, when my wristwatches are in truth much more than that.  The truth is that my wristwatches serve a very utilitarian function — they are indispensable conduits of psychic energy.

THE PRINCIPLES OF PSYCHIC ENERGY

Psychic energy flows like electricity, and like electricity needs channels or conduits through which it can flow.  A first-rate wristwatch is just such a conduit of that energy, of the energy being sent by the gods into my body and into my brain.  Take away my wristwatch, and I become a lightbulb unscrewed from its socket, I become a toaster whose plug has been pulled out of the wall.

Words fail to capture the feeling of the megawatts which surge through a top-of-the-line PATEK PHILIPPE or a BREGUET when it is strapped to the wrist of one who has been chosen.  Some images do begin to capture that sensation, but only barely.  The megawatt surge feels a little like this:

Putin receives superpowers

I put on my most powerful watches only when alone.  In public, as I have explained above, I have begun to wear only my cheapie.  The cheapie is able to supply only a trickle of energy, but in everyday situations that is all I need to prevail.  It is when I begin my nightly recharge that I call on a stronger flow.

J.R.R. Tolkien felt in his bones that psychic energy flows most powerfully when a master ring rules nineteen subordinate rings:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
— J.R.R. Tolkien's epigraph to The Lord of The Rings

In today's world I rule the nineteen subordinate members of the G20 by means not of a master ring but of a master wristwatch.  Ring around a finger, watch around a wrist — the psychic energy flows in either case, though in the modern age science has stepped in to establish that the wristwatch has the larger bandwidth, and therefore makes possible the greater concentration of energy and the greater superhuman feats.  Adapted to the modern age, the principle that Tolkien expressed in his epigraph would be rendered thusly:

One Wristwatch to rule them all, One Wristwatch to find them,
One Wristwatch to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Muscovy where the Shadows lie.
— Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin's mantra


Although the gods delayed the unambiguous announcement of my chosenness until the occasion of my Petersburg Epiphany, I can see with the wisdom of hindsight that they had chosen me as their favorite much earlier, I would guess right from birth, as is evidenced by their having begun my education in Energy Channelling as early as my first grade at school:

But if one examines the fine shades of postwar Soviet poverty, the Putins emerge as practically rich.  Given their unceasing doting on their son, this sometimes produced noteworthy results, such as first-grader Vladimir's sporting a wristwatch, a rare, expensive, and prestigious accessory for any age group in that time and place.
Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Riverhead Books, New York, 2012, p. 47.


But a wristwatch without superhuman feats is just a wristwatch channelling nothing.  A wristwatch that channels Psychic Energy is a wristwatch that does empower superhuman feats, and I have a mountain of such precocious feats that I could recount.  Here's just one — the story of a twelve-year-old, small for his age, taking on two hefty and adult brawlers.

"We were in eighth grade when we were standing at a tram stop, waiting," recounted another friend.  "A tram pulled up, but it was not going where we needed to go.  Two huge drunken men got off and started trying to pick a fight with somebody.  They were cursing and pushing people around.  Vovka calmly handed his bag over to me, and then I saw that he has just sent one of the men flying into a snowbank, face-first.  The second one turned around and started at Volodya, screaming, 'What was that?'  A couple of seconds later he knew exactly what it was, because he was lying there next to his buddy.  That was just when our tram pulled up.  If there is anything I can say about Vovka, it's that he never let bastards and rascals who insult people and bug them get away with it."
Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Riverhead Books, New York, 2012, p. 50.


You can see that I had reason to suspect I was chosen right from the beginning.  My Petersburg Epiphany merely played the role of utterly convincing me of it.

WHO CAN RULE OUT PLANET KRYPTON?

I do not rule out the possibility that I am descended from an alien race on some distant planet, and was delivered to my earthling foster parents much the way Superman was to his.  That would explain my superhuman abilities as well as my sense of alienation, expanding often into disgust, in response to being forced to live among animals of a different species from myself, and who unanimously reject me, sensing my foreignness as I sense theirs.  I pray that the truth reveals itself in the fullness of time.  At the moment, all I know is that my earliest memories do not reach beyond my school years, and the question — of whether I was delivered to my earthling foster parents with the stipulation that it was essential to have me daily wear the same wristwatch that I brought with me on my right wrist — has never been answered, and what is reported concerning my origins seems highly irregular.

The younger Vladimir Putin's birth was another miracle, so unlikely that it has given life to the persistent rumor that the Putins adopted him.  On the eve of Putin's first presidential election, a woman came forward in Georgia, in the Caucasus, claiming she had given him up for adoption when he was nine years old.  A number of articles and a book or two advancing this story followed, and indeed even Natalia Gevorkyan was inclined to believe the story: she found his parents strikingly doting and the fact that the team of biographers found no one who remembered knowing the boy before he reached school age reinforced her suspicions.  It is, however, not only impossible to prove or disprove the adoption theory but also unnecessary: the indisputable fact is, whether biological or adopted, Vladimir Putin, by the standards of his time, was a miracle child.
Masha Gessen, The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, Riverhead Books, New York, 2012, pp. 45-46.


THE ANNOYANCE OF PETTY ENERGY-THEFT

I know the trick.  The would-be psychic-energy thief pretends to be only shaking my hand while bowing, but then suddenly he lunges for my wristwatch.  He wants to implant his lips on it and suck out a jolt of joy-juice which will keep him high for about an hour.

Vladimir Putin about to undergo a psychic-energy-theft attack


Instantly recognizing what he's up to, I begin to withdraw my right hand, the one with the watch, and with the palm of my left hand I deliver a sharp slap to his shoulder, but with restrained force so as to not break any bones.  My movements are reflexive, implanted in me over decades of judo training.  Don't forget, I am a black belt.  It's not smart to ever forget that.  And for heightened certainty, my nearest bodyguard withdraws his tongue back into his mouth (where it won't get bitten off in case he is bumped under the chin) as he too springs into action to defeat the psychic-energy thief.  My lady friend (no, it's not my wife, you know very well who the lady is without my having to announce it), looks on more amused than alarmed, fully confident that I will defeat this energy thief as she has seen me defeating others.

Vladimir Putin deflects a psychic-energy-theft attack


Unhappy to relate that petty energy-theft is sometimes practiced by respectable people of whom one would have expected better.  For example, you can see where Angela, in her red jacket, has slid her forefinger?  Yes, flat along my watch band!  I certainly noticed it.  Embarrassing!  It's like reading in the morning paper that someone you admired has been caught shoplifting.

Vladimir Putin displaying his BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch


As Gerhard has been particularly useful to me, I do not at all mind donning a higher-energy watch when he comes around for his jolt.  This pair of Germans makes me feel like a drug pusher who has addicted them to cocaine.  In return, though, they do both pitch in whenever I need help controlling the EU.

Vladimir Putin displaying a wristwatch other than a BLANCPAIN AquaLung 50 FATHOMS wristwatch



THE SIMPLE TRUTH

Win the lottery once, and you are what?  You are the beneficiary of a fluke which you can rationally expect to never be repeated for the rest of your life.  However, what if you win the lottery every time you buy a ticket — what are you then?  Then you are the beneficiary of a fixed game, and the question arises — fixed by whom?  If humans are not fixing it, then it must be supernatural beings who are fixing it on your behalf.

The SIMPLE TRUTH, then, is that I have not stolen a cent.  My enormous wealth happens to be an enormous gift from the gods.  For mere mortals to take any of this wealth from me is to interfere with the will of the gods, it is to subvert the labor of the gods, it is to provoke and infuriate the gods, which generally speaking is not a smart thing to do, and in any case is unlikely to succeed.  And as my wealth is the will of the gods, there is no need to hide it.  Nothing the gods do is shameful.  Everthing they do conduces to the perfection of the universe.

And just as it is the will of the gods to grant me unimaginable wealth and infinite power, so also is it the will of the gods that others serve me, labor for me, and if need be — die for me.  None should resist their fate, which is only the pre-ordained will of the gods, but rather all should submit to it, should yield themselves up to it, should embrace it.  Whatever the gods decree is good, and though you be led to the stake to be burned, you must go with gladness, with heart uplifted, with soul purified of resentment and regret.

When the people hear this SIMPLE TRUTH, they will understand that the greatest happiness life can bring is submission to the will of the gods, and to those wise rulers whom the gods have chosen to represent them here on earth.  It follows that the greatest happiness the Russian people can aspire to lies in submission to myself.  I labor night and day, like a galley slave, to bring people that ultimate happiness.  Yes, I selflessly perform this service for the Russian people, despite their hatred of me and their cruel treatment of me, and despite my hatred of them.  I do this in fulfillment of the Christian commandment to do good unto those who persecute you and to uplift those who spitefully abuse you.

When the people are finally allowed to hear this SIMPLE TRUTH, they will no longer begrudge me my 20 palaces and villas, my fleet of 58 aircraft, my flotilla of I-forget-how-many yachts, my collection of wristwatches, and my assortment of secret bank accounts spread over all the tax havens of the world.

This is the great SIMPLE TRUTH, the HOLY TRUTH, which I am convinced will calm and heal our nation, and which will lead us to glory and to exultation.  So say I in the name of the gods who rule over us, and from whom flow only blessings.

MY DRESDEN PERSECUTION CONTINUES

My Dresden persecutors grew so used to torturing me in my years among them that they today find themselves unable to stop — and all they know to do is to echo the same sadistic refrain as before.  Here, for example, is a letter that I received recently from someone claiming to have worked with me in Dresden.  The letter is anonymous, but my laboratories won't have much trouble tracing it to its sender.  I read it and marvel at the depth of hatred toward me which burns in Russian hearts.

Most Highly Esteemed Vladimir Vladimirovich!


How many times you were warned to avoid all positions of responsibility for the reason that your failure to understand what other people are thinking would lead to catastrophe both for yourself and those around you.  And don't current events justify that warning big time!

You expected that blocking Ukrainians' approach to Europe while offering them a Russian alternative would please them, and were surprised to find them infuriated.  A teensy error in knowing what's going on in Ukrainian brains, wouldn't you admit?  And if only that were all, but you went on.

You anticipated that the more you wounded and killed the Kiev demonstrators, the more cowed they would become, but were astonished to find them protesting in larger numbers and with fortified boldness.

You hoped that disguising your forces would lead them to be perceived as local freedom-fighters, and were stunned to discover that they were recognized as your own soldiers and mercenaries.

You hoped that the world would accept your various referendums as genuine, and were crushed by the discovery that the world rejected them as fraudulent.

You expected the world to accept your annexation of Crimea as legitimate, and were surprised when the world refused to recognize it.

You expected that your theatrics in eastern and southern Ukraine would be viewed as the breaking away of these regions, and were surprised to find that the world viewed them as your mercenaries occupying a few public buildings.

You expected that Europe would view its trade with Russia as being of paramount importance, and were shocked to discover Europe willing to suffer economic loss in order to deter you from military incursions in their direction.

You expected that the world would accept that the motive for all your misconduct was to win Russia security and respect, and were confused and disoriented to learn that it views your misconduct as serving only to secure your stolen wealth.

You expected to demoralize and dismember Ukraine, but you have energized and united it.

You expected to weaken NATO, but you have revived and invigorated it.

You expected to expand Russian borders, but instead have steered a course which will lead to much of Russia breaking away, with the bulk of Siberia being Anschlussed by China (as is elaborated in the attached map).

In short, what we recognized you to be in Dresden, you continue to be to this day — a person who does not know what other people are thinking, and for which reason is unable to either predict or control them.  What we told you in Dresden years ago, then, cannot be repeated too often today — that the world would be a better place if you were denied any position of responsibility, a corollary of which principle is that if you do occupy any position of responsibility, you will bring ruin, both upon yourself and upon those over whose lives you preside.  As accident has placed you in a position of the highest responsibility in Russia, your historical role threatens to be that of dragging Russia down to humiliation and defeat.  If you were a foreign agent working toward the destruction of Russia, your paymasters would today be shaking your hand and saying, Congratulations Comrade Putin on a job well begun!

Please excuse my shyness in not offering you my signature,

An Acquaintance From Dresden Of Yore
whose words, it will surprise you to hear, cannot be controlled by bat-wielding goons and pistol-packing assassins

Future Map of North Eurasia


And after reading the above venom-laced letter, and examining the attached map, who will fail to understand that they are weapons in the continuing assault aiming to strip me of the conduit which brings me the gifts of the gods, and therefore aiming to return me to the slavery of my youth, a fate far worse than death itself?


I REALLY AM GOLLUM

But I can see that all these plots by the Russian people must fail, and now I say to them, Be slaves yourselves, you bastards!  That's the command you once gave me, but now the tables are turned, and I shout that command back at you — Be my slaves!  Be my slaves or I'll kill you!

And they do bow down and accept their bondage, my Russian cattle, and I slip the watch of power over my wrist, and feel its megawatts of energy surging through me, fortifying me against all dangers, empowering me to dominion over all mankind, and over all the animals on the earth, and over all the birds in the air, and over all the fish in the sea.  And I feel myself becoming a wraith for wearing my precious too long, but no matter.  Let me be a wraith so long as I can continue absorbing that pulsating energy.

Putin is Gollum.  Mein Schatz!
Mein Schatz!  Mein Schatz bleibt hier!  Wir haben Blut gezahlt um ihn zu stehlen.
My precious!  My precious is here!  We have paid blood to steal you.  My precious!


To keep you, my precious, I will tell a thousand lies and I will send armies to their deaths.  I will destroy nations who come between us.  I will destroy Russia to keep my precious, if that's what it takes, and that might be exactly what it will take.  It is when Russia goes to war that the Russian people stop noticing that deprivation and hardship fall on them but not on their leadership.  Early in war, they fail to notice their impoverishment because they are fascinated by their easy victories; later in the war, they will fail to notice their impoverishment because of the urgency of staving off defeat.  The longer I keep Russia in a state of war, the longer will extend the guarantee that my precious will not be taken from me.  Economic sanctions are a blessing in disguise — they make the Russian people blame the West for their poverty, and not me.  As I abominate the Russian people, their deprivation, whether from war or from sanctions, adds delight to the greater security from mob anger that war and sanctions afford me.

Though the European Union has invited Russia to join it, I will never allow this to happen because the EU imposes free speech, a free press, transparent government, fair elections, and an independent judiciary — and each of these is the thrust of a dagger into my heart, because each is designed to separate me from my precious.

Know, all you American and European and Ukrainian looters and pillagers, that I am fully apprised of your goals and your methods:

Your free speech is speech which would allow the Russian people to cry out to me, SHOW US YOUR WRISTWATCH COLLECTION!  And free speech also would allow the discussion of my thousand lies, which if the Russian people heard would result in their becoming angry at me and taking my precious away from me.

Your free press is a press which would send an army of Tetyana Chornovol clones to photograph my Palace on the Black Sea, and all my other palaces, and with these photographs would inflame the Russian masses.

Your transparent government is government which would allow the Russian people to count the gifts of the gods as they slid into my pockets.

Your fair elections are elections that would allow the Russian people to throw me out of office and install my enemies.

Your independent judiciary is a judiciary composed of Russian erstwhile lawyers who would order Russian police to confiscate my gold and incarcerate me in Russian jails.

NATO too has invited Russia to join it, and I will never allow that to happen because NATO demands exactly the same things as the EU, things calculated to strip me of my precious.  And neither will I allow Ukraine to join either the EU or NATO because that would roll the machinery of my destruction right up to my borders — the machinery dedicated to robbing me of my precious, the machinery of the devil working to thwart the will of the gods, which is the machinery whose five components I have just finished listing.  "If Ukrainians next door to us have free speech," my Russian subjects would ask, "why can't we have free speech too?"  And so the demands of my Russian subjects (to be allowed to do whatever the Ukrainians were doing) would proceed item by item, and not stop until my precious had been snatched from my grasp by Russian hands, and until I sat rotting in a rat-infested Russian prison eating maggot-infested Russian prison fare.

Vladimir Putin:  My Precious!  I won't give you up to anyone
I won't give you up to anyone.  My precious!


To get my Russian sheep to share my hatred of the USA and of the EU and of NATO, I do not inform them that I incite their Russian hatred in order to guarantee exclusive ownership of my precious.  I tell them instead my thousand lies.  You know, all that malarkey about Ukrainian fascism and European decadence and Russians severed from their motherland.  As I've been saying, my preference would be to skip the lies and tell the truth; however, perhaps it matters little which I choose, so long as I am repetitious.  The Russian people crave nothing so much as familiarity.  If I recite the same lie a hundred times, they are grateful for hearing me recite today what I recited yesterday, and they pay no mind to whether the recitation is true or false.

At bottom, you now understand, I am a simple man, or extra-terrestrial, or whatever.  I have only one need, only one motive, only one overriding concern, and that is to stop the USA and the EU and NATO and the UKRAINIANS from robbing me of my gold.  Every night I kneel beside my bed with the most powerful of my watches (a model you will not find in any catalog) strapped tightly to my right wrist distal to the ulna, and to which I renew my sacred pledge — in Ukrainian, as it happens, because of the melodic sound of that language in this particular application.  I swear to my precious that Смерть одна розлучить нас — Death alone will part us.

Gary Larson envisions Vladimir Putin's demise
Gary Larson is not what he purports to be.  He is not just a harmless American humorist.  He is an American agent whose goal, as is evident in this particular cartoon, is to destabilize Russia by threatening me with sudden and total dispossession.  Overthrow, really.  In a single day, tumbling me from throne to gutter.  What Larson tries to unhinge me with is the scene of someday sitting in an alley among garbage cans and moaning, "I used to be somebody ... richest man on earth, chosen by the gods to rule all mankind ... and then one day someone yelled, 'Hey!  He's just a big crook!'"


THE CONFUSION FINALLY CLARIFIED

To the question — Who is Vladimir Putin? — they offer a variety of answers.  Some say I am
Hitler.  Some say I am the Antichrist:

Vladimir Putin is the Antichrist

But they are all wrong, and they are wrong because they happen not to notice what I wear on my right wrist.  All anyone has to do is open his eyes and see for himself.  All I am is the owner of a magic wristwatch.  All I am is Gollum.


I WALK THE PATH OF TRADITION

  Vladimir Putin is Tsar

I am a descendant of the Tsars, a few of whom were, as I am today, gifted of the gods.

Putin is Tsar   Putin is Tsar

And among these gifted few were some who also recognized and utilized the channelling power of a prize wristwatch.  For example, the Breguet ad below recounts the urgency in the mind of Alexander I of upgrading the bandwidth of his channel of communication with the gods:

In April 1814, shortly after the allied armies had entered Paris, Tsar Alexander I of Russia paid a visit to Breguet and ordered several watches from his favorite horologer.  Today, the Classique 5707 "Le Réveil du Tsar" equipped with an alarm activation indicator and a dial featuring several hand guilloché motifs pays tribute to one of Breguet's most emblematic patrons.  History is still being written...

Breguet, the alarm clock of the Tsar

Indeed, as the ad says, "history is still being written", and to that history will be added the account of how I too entered a prostrate Paris, but this time not as one among several of its conquerors, but alone, as I am that much more powerful than any preceding Tsar.  No earlier Tsar had it in his power to turn France into radioactive ash an hour after deciding to do so.  And turn into radioactive ash as many others as ask for the same treatment.  But I do possess that power, and when the gods ask me to wield it, I will not shirk my responsibility.

And history will go on to record that in the course of my triumphal march through Paris, I too paid a personal visit to Breguet, and that in consequence of my advanced understanding of Divine Channelling, I was able to order a watch capable of transmitting psychic energy on a scale never before imagined, and in consequence of whose empowerment, absolutely nothing could be denied me.  That is the history that is still being written.

Vladimir Putin on US$100 bill


BUT MY PATH IS BUMPY

I give six-year-old Andrei Senko a wristwatch, which according to my calculations will bind him to me forever, and maybe get him hooked early on channelling as well.  And yet at age sixteen he throws my wristwatch back into my face, calls me a liar, and tells me he is ready to give his life to defeat me — or words and deeds to the same effect.

ZZ
SS
SS

I wait for the gods to send me clarification of the many bumps I am encountering along my path, which I was expecting to be smoother.


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