Within minutes of Crimea formally becoming part of the Russian Federation, a gigantic bronze statue of Russian President Vladimir Putin has appeared in parliament square in the Crimean administrative capital.
But there was confusion after Moscow denied that the 20m high statue with welcoming arms outstretched looks anything like him, stating that any resemblance is ‘purely coincidental’ and that it’s probably just a representative depiction of a heroic local defence force volunteer.
‘Look at the eyes, the hair, the elongated nose, the shortness. OK, not the shortness, but everything else – all traits of full-blooded Crimean manhood,’ said Crimean acting president Sergei Aksyonov. ‘There has been no Russian involvement in erecting this statue here at all. And there won’t be in the identical statues that are being erected in Sevastaopol, Kersk, or Feodosiya either.’
‘Look at the inscription – Uncle Vladimir,’ he continued, ‘I don’t know anyone called Vladimir but there are many heroic people around here who are probably called that, and they’re all pretty avuncular.’
‘Would you like to see my new car? It’s looooovely.’