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Image courtesy of The Economist

Have You Heard About Ukraine? - Arindam Mukherjee

Fat Poro – that biggish white bucket of lard in yellow tie – is stagnating at an 8% popularity, just about a few months before their parliamentary and general elections. That is roughly half of what Zakir Naik would have mustered were he to get a TV channel and 3 months to peddle his 72-virgins-story. Now I am not saying that Ukraine prefers screwing Naik’s virgins over lending their arse to NATO (though I am fairly certain they would, given a choice); what I am saying is that Fatty was in bad shape and he needed a flare-up.

So a few days ago, three Ukrainian Navy vessels go trotting around Russian territorial waters. Without prior intimation to the Russian authorities. They are issued a warning upon being spotted. They choose to ignore. They get shot. And captured. Of course, the sailors are treated humanely; given first-aid and stuff. But Fat Poro gets his vent. He puts his forces on full-alert and rushes to his stakeholders hollering for a declaration of Martial Law. This thing about the Martial Law would be discussed in the Ukrainian parliament and decided. (By the way; have you seen how they ‘discuss’ things in there? Go to YouTube, and the instance you type Ukraine Parliament, Google prompt would suggest “fights”. Watch them; some are pretty exciting.)

This bit about Russian territorial waters is also an interesting story. Sea of Azov used to be the bathing pool of both Russia and Ukraine. Then NATO had this hard-on and, among others, wanted direct access to Black Sea Basin and Sea of Azov through their takeover of Ukraine. But that old fox Putin pried Crimea out. And once Crimea became Russia, this Sea of Azov, the narrow Kerch Strait between Crimea and Russian mainland, significant chunk of the Black Sea Basin (significant because Crimea’s coastline is huge – it is a peninsula) – became de facto Russian, or under the direct influence of Russia. There is a fantastic bridge now that connects Russia with Crimea. The bridge is a part of the BRI east west freight corridor. Crimea gone, Azov Sea gone, Kerch Strait gone, Black Sea access diminished: It appears that while NATO had the hard-on, Putin got to screw.

Anyway, coming back to Fat Poro, who, at the end of what the average Ukrainian considers a disastrous reign, wants to settle down as the President-for-life. He has to mess up this election. A direct land-war with Russia over this tugboat incident is an impossibility. No not even that. It is laughable. But a couple of such boats getting shot now and then is a great cover-story. Add to that the ‘threat’ of the separatists, hence the necessity to bomb Donetsk or Luhansk provinces. If he manages this part well, he might just scrape through. The only issue is that the principal opposition Yulia Tymoshenko – who is leading the opinion polls, and who had the same premonition back during mid-2018 when she had said that Fatty might do something drastic like this to hold on to power – wants an election. And she wants it bad. She has a fair number of voters behind her. And this is a biggish motivation for Fatty to upset stuff.  

Ever since Western Liberalism reached the shores of Ukraine, they have been living in interesting times. With IMF’s ‘adjustment’ in play, the hollowing out of the country is fairly complete. The currency-worth is close to navel-lint (which means it is still 2.5 times INR by the way). Whatever little industrialized sectors were there, remain under the control of the rebels. Winters are bad-ass there. Cities are gradually getting used to the idea of trying to survive without heat or electricity as infrastructure crumbles. A saving grace is that because Ukraine is still important as a transit of Russian gas to Europe till Nord Stream 2 gets functional, Gazprom still hasn’t cut their gas connections. Unemployment has hit the roof, the productive guys have fled the country (Oh, a lot of them to Russia!), while the west sponsored neo-Nazi gangs rule the streets. The country is bankrupt. Get Zakir Naik and his pig is haram story; he would still win an election here. That’s why Fatty would keep needing the next crisis, always.

India too is getting ready for an election. We have temples and statues, castes and privileges, chowkidars from Gujarat, and remix-brahmins from Kashmir. Ancient Egyptians used to masturbate into Nile. In Marquesas Island, kids are officially allowed to watch their parents having sex. Different geographies; different recreations.



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