Russian Ambassadors Joke About Stealing Scotland, Alaska, Tra-La-La, Why Stop At Crimea?
Haha, Russia. You illegally annexed Crimea! What's next? Well, the world no longer has to wait with bated breath: Two Russian ambassadors were allegedly overheard discussing the Kremlin's plans to take over the world — one disputed territory at a time. First Catalonia, then Venice, then Scotland, and then Alaska, apparently.
The recording — which may or may not be authentic — is cheerily punctuated with expletives and was originally posted on YouTube. It's supposedly a conversation between Russian ambassadors Igor Chubarov, of Eritrea, and Sergei Bakharev, of Zimbabwe and Malawi. We get it, guys. You're pissed you didn't get that cushy post in the U.S. or the U.K. But is this really the best way to draw attention to yourselves?
While laughing, the two playfully list off the lands they plan to take over next, according to the video's translation. Chubarov kicks off the annexation gigglefest like this, according to the Guardian's translation:
We've got Crimea, but that's not fucking all, folks. In the future we'll damn well take your Catalonia and Venice, and also Scotland and Alaska.
Jokes on jokes: Chubarov plays with the word "Scotland" to make it sound like Cattleland in Russia. Bakharev agrees that those countries will be the Russia's first targets. But that won't be the end of it. Chubarov — who's just like that friend of yours that always takes jokes too far – keeps going:
All those fucking limitrophes, e.g. Latvia, Estonia and other Europeans, as well as Romanians and Bulgarians, we'll kick their asses in the right direction — where they have to be.
Kinda awkward, because the last time Russia tried that one it didn't work out so well.
This is where Bakharev's well-developed sense of humor kicks in. He chides Chubarov for his lack of creativity and suggests some better places to raise the Russian flag:
Oh no, it's better not to touch them. It'll [be] better for us to disturb Californialand, Miamiland, those sort of "desolated" regions.
"Oooh, burn, Bakharev!" said no one.
Bakharev and Chubarov ultimately agree to leave the bordering states and the "Baltic shit" alone. Probably a good call.
The leak of the recording is the most recent in a number of released phone calls about Ukraine, mostly from the West. The Guardian points out that two phone calls between US diplomats were recently publicized, and suggests this leak could have served as retribution.
The most telling part of the call is its beginning, where the two kick off their exchange by commenting that Chubarov's country of residence, Eritrea, "showed weakness" and could be "fucking insane" due to its choice to abstain, rather than vote against, a United Nations resolution condemning Russia's annexation of Ukraine as invalid. Russia's been accused of threatening countries in its drive to vote down the measure, which passed by a healthy margin but was later invalidated by Russia's veto on the UN Security Council.
Lest Chubarov be outdone, Bakharev later refers to Malawi's government as "those stinkers."
Have a good week on assignment, you two.