100 jokes about Putin
The FSB of the Novosibirsk area considered jokes about Vladimir Putin which had been published in a communistic newspaper “For the people rule!” to be an illegal agitation. The territorial electoral commission received an official letter signed by the chief of a department in the Novosibirsk centre of science of the FSB Novosibirsk area directorate S.V. Sharmanov, informing the regional electoral committee that security officers «in the result of investigation activities aimed at protection of the constitutional order have established a fact of illegal propaganda activity carried out by the Novosibirsk branch representatives of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation». The FSB states that the article “compromises some political parties”. Chekists were especially indignant with “jokes from Zyuganov” in which “the president of the Russian Federation and parties ‘United Russia’ and ‘’Fair Russia’ were mentioned discourteously”.
In response the leader of the KPRF Gennady Zyuganov sent to the chief of the FSB Nikolai Patrushev a letter and a book ‘100 jokes from Zyuganov’. He expressed his hope that “sense of humour in the FSB remains on high level”. Besides that he mentioned that the book with jokes had been gifted to Vladimir Putin and “was accepted with good and merry understanding“.
On the KPRF website one can find a statement that the agitation material “For the people rule” has been filed to the territorial electoral commission before its dissemination; and that the commission has found no violations in it.
It should be remarked that this is not first complaints against the KPRF concerning jokes about Putin. Not long ago in the newspaper ‘Saratov reporter’ published a collage where Putin and a Saratov Municipal Duma deputy, a member of the ‘United Russia’ Mikhail Isaev were pictured as heroes of a very popular and beloved Soviet television series ‘Seventeen Moments of Spring’. Putin was depicted in SS uniform, in the likeness of the main hero of the film, a Soviet spy Shtirlitz (Maxim Isaev). Under the collage there was an inscription: “Shtirlitz, I’ll ask you to stay” – a famous phrase from the film. And then: “Only a person with a surname Isaev could initiate the extension of the presidential term for the best Shtirlitz ever”. The collage announced a feuilleton about an initiative of the deputy Isaev to extend a term of the power of the president.
This time chekists in their, probably, sincere will to protect Putin from jests or to help the United Russia party made a good publicity to communists. A member of the CEC from the Communistic party Eugene Kolyushin has admitted while commenting the situation fro polit.ru.
Meanwhile the election campaign of the KPRF is weak as usual. Recently they imagined a new slogan for the parliamentary campaign in opposite to that of United Russia. In response to the main slogan of their rivals “Putin’s Plan: Russia’s victory” they decided to launch their one: “Plan of the KPRF: Plan of people”. The new slogan can still be changed on “Plan of the KPRF: the Voice of people
Earlier the party regarded some other variants: “True to people, necessary for the country”, “The more of us the less of them”, “Our heart is beating at the left”. Now the jokes. It is strange that the Communists still have not used the theme of the “predatory monetization of social benefits”, it would be really a strong hit. But it runs counter to “Putin’s plan”. Instead of it the KPRF has de facto acknowledged that the referendum “for” or “against” Putin was convenient to them.
As for anecdotes about Putin, this is the favorite theme of the foreign press. For example, an Estonian newspaper Eesti Express supposes that Putin has become one of the most popular personages of political anecdotes and even has left behind his predecessor Boris Yeltsin. In reality this is not so. As compared with the Soviet times now there are very few political anecdotes now. Probably, the Los Angeles Times is right. It writes that the Russian president is very popular himself; moreover, he keeps himself under control and gives no occasions for jokes. Not many existing jokes, as writes the American newspaper, are about the consolidation of the Kremlin, its attempts to get rid of the opposition, persecution of independent mass media.
In fact it is right, but nevertheless Putin remains a positive hero almost in all anecdotes. This is proved by the fact that in 2002 for his fiftieth birthday Putin was gifted a book “100 anecdotes about Putin” (not from Zyuganov).