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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Mikhail Fradkov Can't Even Step Down Right

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One day, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was sitting in his Kremlin office and working on some documents. Suddenly there was a timid knock at the office's tall doors.

"Come in!" said Vladimir Vladimirovich.

The doors opened slowly, and Prime Minister Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov walked gingerly into the office. Mikhail Yefimovich went up to Vladimir Vladimirovich's desk and laid a sheet of paper in front of him.

"Letter of Resignation," Vladimir Vladimirovich read aloud. "I request permission to resign from my post as head of the Cabinet due to my professional inadequacy."

Vladimir Vladimirovich raised his presidential eyebrows in surprise.

"Pal? What's this all about?" asked Vladimir Vladimirovich, looking at Mikhail Yefimovich.

"I have no ambition," Mikhail Yefimovich replied, blushing. "I implemented the monetization of benefits unsuccessfully. I increased the level of social tension in the country."

"So what?" asked Vladimir Vladimirovich in confusion.

"I could not double the G-D-P!" Mikhail Yefimovich blurted as a brave tear fell down his cheek. "Industrial output is falling. I cannot deal effectively with favorable market conditions! Cabinet members are constantly playing games behind the scenes! And the corruption!"

"Pal," said Vladimir Vladimirovich, trying to comfort him. "You think that's a good reason to resign?"

"But Vladimir Vladimirovich!" Mikhail Yefimovich cried.

"No buts about it," Vladimir Vladimirovich replied. "Get back to work. And if you need to resign, don't worry. We'll tell you."

Mikhail Yefimovich sobbed gently. Then he turned around, shoulders slumping, and walked slowly toward the door.

Vladimir Vladimirovich watched him leave and shook his presidential head.

One day, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Kazakh President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev were strolling around Chelyabinsk, along with Chelyabinsk Governor Pyotr Ivanovich Sumin.

"Long live Putin!" shouted a passerby. "Long live Russia!" Vladimir Vladimirovich answered.

"We sure have a lot of cafes here," Pyotr Ivanovich told the presidents.

"Let's stop in and have a beer," Vladimir Vladimirovich said.

The men went into a cafe and sat down. Soon their beers arrived.

"This is good beer," said Nursultan Abishevich.

"Say, pal," Vladimir Vladimirovich asked him quietly. "Do you think I drink too much beer?"

Maxim Kononenko's satirical vignettes are found on his web site,