Amongst the numerous sanctions imposed on Russia, it appears that the 'toilet wars' are being particularly successful.
It has recently emerged that the EU bloc imposed the ban on bidets, lavatory pans, flushing cisterns and similar sanitary ware last summer. The 'toilet war' has the potential to have particular impact on Russians because one in five does not have indoor plumbing.
“The flushing toilet has done more for civilisation than any other single invention,” a European diplomat told The Telegraph. “So by restricting exports, we are merely bringing Russia’s technological advancement in line with the state of its civilisation.”
Perhaps remarkably, Russian troops have become notorious for stealing lavatories from Ukrainian homes, and sending them back home, with Volodymyr Zelensky referencing it twice in speeches.
“[Russians] used to talk about their biggest dream, to see Paris and die... Their dream now is to steal a toilet and die,” the Ukrainian president said last April. And, earlier this year, Mr Zelensky said: “Let them take the toilet bowls - they’ll need them on the road - and go back home.”
Last December, videos showing Russian soldiers looting in Ukraine began making the rounds on social media, reports Euro Weekly News. Advisor to Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Anton Gerashchenko, took to Twitter to share a video of the soldiers stealing a bathtub, alongside the caption: “First toilets and washing machines, now bathtubs.”
Another EU diplomat said: “Russian soldiers are looting toilet bowls from Ukrainian towns. Despite inflated Russian growth figures, this shows how far down the drain their economy really is, as a result of crippling Western sanctions.”
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