Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Putin, the Poet, on Truth and Justice (Almost a poem based on the Kremlin’s official transcripts from the Truth and Justice Forum in Petersburg on April 4, 2017

Why is it so useful to meet with me?
Because you are literally on the frontline,
you are among the people,
which is of interest to me,
and you are fighting battles
with bureaucracy,
with my civil servants,
the cause of many problems.
But I constantly fight for the final result.

I do not think that you have the right
to criticise anyone.
All countries impose restrictions
on thoughts’ content and their use.
This was introduced
 in earnest after  9/11 in the USA
and after terrorist attacks in European countries.
Back in the 1990s we understood the market
as theft of state property.
But gradually, people start to understand
what is good and what is bad.
I therefore do not think
we are in a position to criticise China.
China has woken up,
and these processes
need to be managed.
The internet a space in which lies occur,
automated lies
that automatically move the whole machine,
and all of this is done from a single centre.
Our restrictions are well known.
But no, we have not banned everything.
Everything is working normally.

We will bring 50 percent of the roads in big cities
in line with the standards by 2018,
and up to 85 percent by 2025.
50 and 85 by 2025!
Next year could be the Year of 
Civic Activeness …
15 percent of people take part in public activities.
That’s a lot of people, a good figure.
So you are right, of course,
we need to pay attention to these people.

I mentioned the dance school.
It opened in 1890 or even 1870.
This idea originated in 2003,
but I was not the one who invented it.
Well, actually, I came up with the idea.

And our support of Russian dancing
has never been adjusted for inflation since 2012.
And, well, do you know that I decided to use
taxes for supporting our leading musical groups
at the international level, so that their members
were paid no less than the world’s leading groups?
Otherwise, with open borders, they would
have simply left the country.
So that’s me who is keeping them still in Russia.
Without me and your taxes, you wouldn’t
have musicians left for yourself
in Russia anymore!

As is known, music is labor too,
and all the laborers are looking for the best place
where to use their talents, that’s how it works.
We simply had to raise their salaries,
to match those of Western musicians.
It’s not like we are talking here
of our physicians or teachers.
That’s what is important.
And this has actually been guiding
the making of my decisions.
Mr Medinsky, you will have to fight for this.
Do I have time for fiction? Yes.
Who has it good in Russia?
Makers of fictions.
In the morning, I take tea.
Read my lips. I do eat porridge
And I am loving i!
What kind?
Today I had rice.
Mostly, rice or buckwheat.
Russian traditional.
But no oatmeal.
(And let’s skip the actual menu)
I’ve never been to Chukotka.

I recommend to my people
the old Soviet cartoon
about the hare and the wolf.
Objection from a clueless jorno:
It promotes smoking.
Putin: We have all kinds of stuff promoted.
I get up every morning.
The first one to fly to Mars will be a device of some sort.
For I don’t think it has ever yet happened.
Why? Because everyone is planning a flight to Mars
by using special equipment.
Whom of the great Russians of the past would I like to meet?
Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.
Peter was great, Catherine was great too.
I will do my best not to run into Stalin.

“Mr President, you have been stressing the need to listen to people.
You know, perhaps they do listen, but no one is talking back to the people.”
I have not banned this yet.
I often think about it myself
for democracy has many flaws
and I see them everywhere.
In Europe it is all the same thing.
All this can of course be cancelled by law
that would herd everyone into one cattle pen.
We would still like to give people a chance.
Nevertheless, we have to think about it, of course.
I have been thinking about it.
We should definitely think about it.
We will think about it, OK?
“My people will never forgive me
if I do not ask you a favour.
Hundreds and even thousands of families
have no income; many activities are
already prohibited in the region.
Therefore, we think a presidential envoy
for Baikal should be appointed and report to you.”
If you catch everything, then there will be nothing
to catch later on, and so it will be prohibited
due to tragic circumstances.
I have so many envoys that I will
not be able to remember their names soon. 
If something is prohibited, then
something else must be provided in return. 
That much is clear. And I will send a signal
to the Russian Government.
You are asking an eternal question.
We all know that it is a peninsula.
Indeed, the territory is right in the sea.
Alongside the famous Crimean pine trees
and other plants.
Cutting-edge modern technologies should be used.
However, we can now address these issues from scratch.
Not behind the scenes, not backstage. There is no other way.

I believe that the so-called sanctions will not last forever,
and if they continue forever, we will forever limit the goods.
We use these sanctions to strike back—to help ourselves.

You know, I have to go now.
I have another meeting to attend.
“Say hello to Lukashenko!”

Good luck!

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