Get the latest updates as we post them right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

The Long Arm of the Kremlin Comes Home

To Our Readers

Has something you've read here startled you? Are you angry, excited, puzzled or pleased? Do you have ideas to improve our coverage?
Then please write to us.
All we ask is that you include your full name, the name of the city from which you are writing and a contact telephone number in case we need to get in touch.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Email the Opinion Page Editor

One day, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was sitting in his Kremlin office and looking through his presidential telescope at an American spacecraft crashing into a comet in outer space.

"Look at it spew!" Vladimir Vladimirovich mumbled. "Was it really bothering them so much?"

Suddenly, Vladimir Vladimirovich heard the tall doors of his presidential office open. Vladimir Vladimirovich turned around and saw his deputy chief of staff, Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov, walk briskly into the room. Vladislav Yuryevich was carrying a long wooden case with gold double-headed eagles on its polished sides.

"What's that?" Vladimir Vladimirovich asked with interest.

"You won't believe it," Vladislav Yuryevich said, putting the case down on the presidential desk. "No one else on the planet has one of these. Just look!"

Vladislav Yuryevich slowly opened the lid of the case and lifted the gold embroidered cloth that covered its contents. Vladimir Vladimirovich cautiously peeked inside. In the case, on a green velvet pillow, lay a mummified human arm with long, bony fingers. "Whose arm is this?" Vladimir Vladimirovich asked in a businesslike manner while carefully examining the arm.

"You'll never guess," Vladislav Yuryevich said and paused for a moment. Vladimir Vladimirovich looked inquisitively at his deputy chief of staff.

"This is the arm of the Kremlin!" Vladislav Yuryevich announced grandly.

"What? What Kremlin?" Vladimir Vladimirovich asked in confusion.

"This very Kremlin," Vladislav Yuryevich said, opening his arms wide. "We found it in the Archangel Cathedral under the graves of the great tsars. With this arm, a person can rule the world!"

"Oh come on! Get outta here!" Vladimir Vladimirovich said dismissively.

"OK, maybe not the world," Vladislav Yuryevich said. "But at least he can rule Kazan."

"This is incredible," Vladimir Vladimirovich muttered, gingerly lifting the arm from the case. "The guys will be so jealous."

"They also say that, somewhere, the Kremlin's foot lies hidden," Vladislav Yuryevich said in a hush.

Vladimir Vladimirovich raised a presidential eyebrow. "What would you do with the foot?" he asked in surprise.

"With the foot of the Kremlin, a ruler can stomp out civil liberties and the like," Vladislav Yuryevich whispered.

Vladimir Vladimirovich looked at Vladislav Yuryevich in horror.

Maxim Kononenko is a satirist and online commentator.