Your fearless reporter has been fortunate enough to be granted an interview with Vladimir Putin, the leader of Russia, a man very much in the news these days. It is not often that the Premier grants anyone from the West an exclusive interview, especially since he is not allowed to enter the U.S. We had to do the Interview on his exclusive 300 foot yacht off the Crimea coast.
rfreed- "Good day, Premier Putin! May I call you Vlad?
Putin- "Would you like to be kidnapped and sent to a labor camp?"
rfreed- "Ohhh...ummmm...OK, Mr. Putin then."
Putin- "That more like it."
rfreed- "So, how was your vacation at your dacha on the Black Sea?"
Putin- "I have new one in Crimea now. It much warmer there. That was half the reason we grabbed it from Ukraines."
rfreed- "Why did you need a vacation?"
Putin- "Sochi Olympics exhaust me. Many months of being nice, smiling all the time, being friendly with strangers. That very unnatural for me. Also supervising undercover agents and KGB that whole time watching the foreigners and suppressing dissidents took a lot out of me. Also stashing all the money we made in laundered overseas accounts very hard on nerves."
rfreed- "Why does Russia need Crimea? You are already the second biggest nation land-wise in the world and you can't handle that. Russia is still poorer than most other countries in Europe."
Putin- "That because we are the great Russia! Anywhere there are Russians we must protect them."
rfreed- "Anywhere there are Russians you are going to rush in? They are everywhere in the world!"
Putin- "Exactly! I did say 'Greater Russia', didn't I!"
rfreed- "Does that include Russian Hill in San Francisco?"
Putin- "If it has 'Russian' in the name it is considered to be fair game."
rfreed- "Looking at Russian history it looks like the only way your country can only get ahead by bullying and taking over neighbor lands and ruling them with an iron or a hidden hand. Russia appears to not be very creative at making its own way in the world without leeching off other people or treating its own people like farm animals."
Putin- "If we strong then we must show we are strong. We do other countries a favor by taking them over. They get to experience first hand Russian culture. And we do it in a different, as you say, creative way."
rfreed- "By 'creative way' do you mean watching them like hawks and sending in the KGB to hogtie them when they are the least bit dissident?"
Putin- "That take much creativity. Also much brute Russian muscle."
rfreed- "And by Russian culture do you mean ballet, literature and films?"
Putin- "No, Russian secret police, cheap Russian housing, Russian surveillance, shoddy goods, vodka and cooked cabbage."
rfreed- " I see by one of your biographers that you were hired by the KGB at age 22 and worked for 16 years as a "specialist in human relations". Is that anything like human resources?"
Putin- "In Russia "human resources" mean what you can get out of a human body once you are done with it- gold teeth, kidneys, change left in the pockets, etcetera. I was a specialist in "human relations". That different. I am expert in all human relations that give me control over other people. I find that is only human relationship I need and like."
rfreed- I see that President Yeltsin hired you on as the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union. Did he realize then what a cold fish you are?"
Putin- "I wait and apply when he dead drunk one night. He was seeing double when he signed the papers. When hangover wore off two days later it too late. I had already pass necessary laws to prevent me being expelled from job."
rfreed- "Mr. Putin..."
Putin- "Why don't you call me 'Czar Putin'. I like that better."
rfreed- "OK, Czar Putin, it says also that in high school you took an interest in spy work and started working towards becoming a lawyer as a gateway towards getting in the KGB."
Czar Putin- "In U.S. lawyers become experts at digging through other people's excrement- same in Russia."
rfreed- "Umm....OK. Mr. Czar Putin, I see again by the biographer that you are fluent in German and worked for five years undercover in East Germany as a spy. It says that you "were expert at reading and manipulating people and was unfazed by violence." Is this true?"
Mr. Czar Putin- "Did you see how I wasted the time of some of the world's greatest leaders at the conference on a peace treaty with Ukraine that bought me time to build up the rebels with arms? Would you consider that expert and being unfazed by violence?"
rfreed- "Yes, indeed I would. So, Mr. Czar Putin, in closing I would like to ask what you see as the future for Europe?"
Mr. Czar Putin- "For the future of Europe I foresee no Europe at all. I see Greater Russia, from sea to shining sea!"
rfreed- "Ahh, that is a United States theme song, sir."
Putin- (He smiles widely) "That may be ours someday too."