Yesterday evening on PBS there was a stellar documentary celebrating the brilliant political career of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The daughter of a pastor who served Lutheran churches in East Germany (yes, there actually were some there before 1989), Merkel was a physicist who entered politics after the Berlin Wall came down.
With excellent personal skills, Merkel became the most powerful leader within the European Union.
Because she grew up in East Germany, she is fluent in Russian; and when, as Chancellor, she met with Vladimir Putin, they spoke either German or Russian, because Putin was the top Soviet spy in East Germany and he became fluent in German.
Merkel was badly bitten by a dog years ago, so she has an understandable fear of nasty looking canines — so at their meeting in Russia, Putin took special pains to have his mean-looking dog present as he was talking to her, simply to intimidate her.
But we must ever so quickly get to the point of this post: Putin has now outlawed Russia’s most effective human rights organization, Memorial International, which was established thirty years ago to document the severe oppression of the Stalin years, when hundreds of thousands of dissidents were murdered (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/28/world/europe/russia-memorial-human-rights.html).
Our vast corps of associate solitary reporters is world-wide, which is why we texted our Chief Moscow Correspondent, associate solitary reporter Foma Kheroshonsky, to ask him to interrogate Putin.
“SR,” Kheroshonsky said, "I had no need to slip undisclosed into the Kremlin, ‘cause everybody knows that all Putin wants to do is to restore the former glory of the Soviet Union.”
“He’ll be invading Eastern Ukraine early next month, and then he’s going into Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. All this he will be doing just to annoy President Biden, who has his own problems.”