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#WednesdayWisdom: How to Become a Russia Expert in 5 Easy Steps


The Russians are coming. While people in Ukraine have been literally screaming that for a while now (with good reason), Americans have recently begun to wake up to the possibility, now that the sentient wig currently occupying the White House may be in the process of selling out our national interests for the sake of… a heartier-than-usual compliment from Russian President Vladimir Putin? A chance to build a sketchy casino on the Moskva River? That part is complicated. Who knows what the wig is thinking.

The point is, we need Russian expertise more than ever. Unfortunately, there’s not enough experts to go around. We’ve been complacent for too long. Most of us haven’t even watched “Red Dawn” since high school, for God’s sake.

Never fear, though! As an international woman of mystery, I am here to show you how by following these five easy steps, you too can become a Russia expert — and serve your country in important and meaningful ways, such as accusing Putin of funding Black Lives Matter.

Step 1: Don’t Learn Russian

It’s the language of the enemy and the alphabet is hella weird — and possibly autocratic, as evidenced by this chilling revelation:

Plus, learning Russian carries the unpleasant side-effect of wanting to put dill on everything.

By the time you’re able to say “pee tape” in Russian while keeping more or less a straight face, you’ll be putting dill on your pizza, your sushi, and on random people on the subway (who will then be ethically obligated to punch you, because dill is like getting a boner at a funeral, i.e. always inappropriate).

Step 2: Don’t go to Russia, and don’t EVER rely on the work of those who have been to Russia

Everyone knows that once you step off the plane in Moscow, or St. Petersburg, or some other, Whateverthefuckgrad town they have over there, you’re compromised.

Putin personally greets everyone with a sack of blood rubles when they exit the terminal. And if he’s taking a day off, you’ll just end up running into Steven Seagal, who’ll put you in a headlock until you pledge allegiance to the Kremlin/agree to marry a babushka with a huge mustache (it should be noted that because Russia frowns on gay propaganda, lady visitors to the country are married off to roller-skating bears. It’s Russia’s way of preserving the traditional family).

If you think you can get around this issue by merely utilizing the work of people who have been there, you need to think again, because these people have been as finely tuned by the Kremlin as Putin’s favorite balalaika.

“But those people have done important resea…!” Yeah, exactly, they’re nerds. You know who else is a nerd? Snowden. Case closed.

Step 3: Stereotypes = cool, knowledge of geography = not cool

While Putin is a formidable, terrifying enemy, he is also a real man who can make fun of ladies and their “cycles” without the PC brigade storming the walls of the Kremlin and overthrowing him (probably because he had them all shot):

Why should you be any different? Stereotypes are based in truth, right?

So it’s OK to say that Russians are opposed to the enlightened West & its democratic norms because it’s “in their genes,” for example.

What’s not OK, however, is to rely on textbook knowledge. Particularly when it comes to borders — be they Russia’s borders, or the Soviet Union’s. You know who writes those textbooks? YOU KNOW WHO’S IN CHARGE OF GOOGLE MAPS? Corporate shills paid out of Putin’s secret account in Peru. Or Portugal. Whatever that one random “P” country is.

While it may not be in your corporate textbook, REAL Russia experts know about places like “Soviet Yugoslavia,” for example:

People who take issue with the above tweet have been brainwashed by Kremlin-hired fembots.

Ditto for this tweet:

To be perfectly honest, we should just save time and call the entire region from East Berlin (that’s still a thing, right?) to Vladivostok a single, simple name – such as Soviet Golddiggerlandia, for example. It will save time and it will also save on explanations about why women from that part of the world are untrustworthy whores.

Step 4: Use words like “Soviet,” “KGB,” “Vlad,” “Deza”

As The Simpsons taught us, the Soviet Union never really went away, and it’s frankly anti-American to disagree with The Simpsons:

To be pro-American on the other hand, it’s important to have the right vocabulary, which utilizes Russian words. I know what I said about learning Russian — but this is different. You don’t need to know what these words mean, you should just put hashtags next to them.

Consider #TeamDeza and #Kompromat to be your own version of corporate terminology, like #synergize or #disrupt. The Russian security services will accordingly quake in their valenki when they realize you’re using their own tools against them.

Step 5: Call everyone who disagrees with you a Kremlin troll

Let’s say you’re on Twitter or Facebook or wherever, hashtag-resisting away, pointing out how Russia doesn’t have a single warm water port to its name and hence wants to annex Tartus or Hawaii or whatever, when some mouth-breathing idiot shows up and is all like, “Hey now! Those ain’t them facts!”

Or maybe you’ve just discovered a vast, alt-left conspiracy against America that Putin has launched using podcasts and provokatsiya (another important vocabulary word!), and some lefty peasant decides to challenge you by pointing out that Putin’s not on their list of Patreon supporters, and anyway, there have been political problems in this country long before Putin decided to screw with us.

You should think of this as a standard Hollywood prison yard situation. Are you going to become this person’s bitch, or are you going to beat them to death with a bald eagle and a copy of the Declaration of Independence?

You should obviously do the latter, but in case they’re too far away, just go ahead and call them a “Kremlin troll.” Or a “Russian spy.” Or a “FSB fuckboi.” Or a “Peskov prostitute.” Or a “Surkov strumpet.” Or a “Lenin lady of the evening.” Or a “GRU golem,” which is my personal favorite.

It’s OK if you don’t know what a Peskov or a GRU is. All you need to do is to type those words in all caps and very soon, a think tank will hire you.

Good luck, newly anointed Russia expert! Don’t let the haters and losers and random people going “please stop calling Russia communist/please stop saying Putin is a laser-eyed KGB assassin who can see the future, he’ll only love you for it” deter you in your quest to achieve status and recognition to save democracy!

Photo: Larry Koester/Creative Commons

One thought on “#WednesdayWisdom: How to Become a Russia Expert in 5 Easy Steps

  1. This was funny, loved it etc etc. But it’s kind of got me thinking about an unironic guide to watching The Kremlin, and how someone could “brush up”, instead of relying on twitter.

    Not everyone can learn Russian in one easy step, but following the Levada centre could be useful in determining what people there actually believe etc. Picking up a few books from Russian speaking journalists who write/wrote about society (obviously not the ones that are invested in reflecting on how brave/incredible they themselves are). My pick might be Klebnikov’s book on Berezovsky, Stiglitz also has a nice chapter on Russia in his Globalization book, and the Body Economic by Stuckler is great, I often recommend these three to people (maybe too often)

    This is kind of harder than I thought, maybe a third step might be to separate the branches of government and try to understand how each one works with the Kremlin to create or pass certain laws. This is a nice post, but if I was Eric Garland, I would double down on game theory at this point.

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