Vladimir Putin has failed to show up for his usual Friday night open-mike spot at the Moscow Chuckle Club, for the first time in 12 years.
The club's regular audience declared themselves 'very relieved' that the distractions of war prevented Putin from putting in his usual tight five minutes on stage.
"He always does the same routine," said one club member, "a story about a donkey from Omsk who gets shot at a checkpoint. It wasn't funny 12 years ago and it still isn't"
Putin sent Dimitri Medvedev to cover for him. Medvedev did a rousing version of "You Aren't My Sunshine" and a short military dance.