Released images showing ballot papers handed out by Russian officials for the annexation referendum in Eastern Ukraine were found to have two ‘yes’ options, with a landslide victory for Vladimir Putin’s next landgrab expected.
Voters flanked by armed Russian ‘voting assistant troops’ were ushered into designated polling stations at gunpoint, a measure aimed to ‘protect’ voters from being influenced by Western spies. "We are simply ensuring we stop any possible infiltrator from approaching and brainwashing the good people of eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions – it’s just a deterrence, really” said a straight-faced Russian military official, according to our dumbstruck interpreter.
As we all know, the referendum was suddenly called after Putin announced his 'partial mobilisation' (aka mandatory troop call-up) for about 300,000 reservists, which is in no way a sign that Russia is now losing ground and looking a bit desperate, but instead all part of the cunning initial plan. A plan, however, that thousands of Russian reservists wish to avoid - preferring to flee and get a tan (have you seen the flight prices?) somewhere in the Mediterranean.
“No, no, all these people are voluntarily voting here today,” said the official, as truckloads of ‘voters’ were marched from the back of Russian army trailers by the armed ‘voting transport police’. Adding: “And what an amazing turnout here today; I would like to thank our transport police for getting all these voters here safely this morning – in fact, these people are so eager to vote yes that we thought there wouldn't be any point in providing a 'no' option. It's much better if we just give them 5 ballot papers each”.
Note: For the avoidance of doubt, the above is fake news. But humour, in the darkest times, is one way to keep the spirits up. After all, stories abound of Ukrainians keeping their spirits up by discussing Putin's facial surgery and telling jokes about him. Here are some of the dark jokes about the ghastly Vladimir Putin that we've heard.
Not Fake News
A brand of beer, a chant and a hashtag on social media, "Путін-хуйло", pronounced "Putin-Khuylo" (or "Putin-Huylo"), is a catchphrase that pokes fun and expresses anger at Vladimir Putin in equal measure. Those of a sensitive disposition may not want to read on...