Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Weekly Wrap: Wehrmacht, Walls and Virginity

Russia losing the chance to host the World Cup almost became the news of the week due to the corruption scandal unfolding at FIFA. Luckily, it was announced that Qatar is the main suspect. Maybe it is because there is no corruption in Russia, or because even the investigators realized that denying the World Cup to the Kremlin would mean war.

The situation is already delicate — it’s that time of the year when the nation rages about losing Eurovision to a gay icon.

Luckily, the Orthodox Church reminded the patriotic hotheads that bringing the abominable song contest to Moscow would mean exposing tender Russian souls to gay propaganda. So, no war.

But the Church was still on a roll this week.

Lessons in Virginity

A handful of Orthodox activists, led by an ultraconservative icon, archpriest Dmitry Smirnov, called for schools to “teach virginity.”

To that end, a compulsory subject called “Big Family” is to be introduced in Russian schools, focusing on chastity, early marriage and the joys of big families. Only thus, according to Smirnov, can the Antichrist be defeated.

The news comes as the Justice Ministry blacklisted as a “foreign agent” the Dynasty Foundation, which is the leading Russian charity supporting scientific research.

As biologists, mathematicians and physicists wept, the enraged founder Dmitry Zimin said that he would withdraw his funding and would now be spending his grants abroad. Even Putin muttered something about the unfairness of Dynasty’s blacklisting, but the independent and impartial ministry said he can stick it, and the foundation will stay a “foreign agent.”

It’s high time someone came out and said it, so let me do the honors: science is a subversive Western invention, possibly the tool of the Antichrist, and the nation should quit it.

It can focus on virginity instead — teach it at schools, hold international competitions in sexual abstinence instead of reading and math, perhaps even lobby for a Nobel Prize in virginity. Of course, Russia is far from a bastion of family values at the moment, the divorce rate alone is 51 percent, but we all know only Eurovision is to blame (so ban that too).

Parmesan Withdrawal

Meanwhile in the south, Russia began building a wall on the Ukrainian border — and interestingly, it’s in a region that mostly borders the separatist self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics.

Apparently, Russia is worried about Ukrainian terrorists, expecting, perhaps, the Ukrainian Wehrmacht to annihilate the DNR/LNR and bring its raging hordes to the Russian border — with no one to stop them because, you know, there are no Russian troops in the Donbass.

And yet there is a gnawing doubt about this scenario — especially given that the proposal for a DNR/LNR joint state, Novorossia, was recently abandoned with much publicity. And the West started mumbling about lifting the sanctions — shortly after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry popped down to Sochi.

Can it be that the Parmesan (and multibillion-dollar credit line) withdrawal has opened eyes in the Kremlin?

Is it possible that they suddenly think that the DNR/LNR terrorists must be fenced out?

Or perhaps Moscow is starting to worry less about the Wehrmacht and more about hosts of Russian citizens trained in war and chaos gradually trickling back home with their guns and their unsatisfied anger?

Nah, impossible. That would clearly be the Antichrist talking.

The Crimean Sakura

And just because Russians have too much consistency in their lives, as Novorossia was falling from grace the heroes of Crimea came due for some glorifying: Shooting began in Moscow for “Crimean Sakura,” a television drama based on the Crimean General Prosecutor Natalya Polonskaya.

You know — the doe-eyed blonde who became an Internet meme because she looks like an anime character and broke millions of Japanese hearts, which remains her main achievement to date. (She somehow ignored the $1 billion worth of property alleged to have been unlawfully seized in Crimea since the annexation.)

Crimea is a good place for drama — just this week, Putin’s favorite biker Alexander “The Surgeon” Zaldostanov challenged a local mayor to a duel because the bikers were denied cheap land for a den in Sevastopol.

And you can just see it all shaping up — a love triangle story, with the mayor and the biker squaring off for Polonskaya’s hand in the climax.

It won’t be a tragedy, of course — at the crucial moment, the hordes of the Ukrainian Wehrmacht invade, only to be stopped by the trio, who then proceed to have a big, big family under the watchful, kind eye of Putin and the archpriests.

The future’s so bright it hurts my eyes.

Unfair Observer is the pen name of a Russian journalist that The Moscow Times has invited to observe the most brain-dead weekly developments in Russia.

The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more