In Moscow, Putin pissed off Poland. How? By failing to mention Poland’s tragic victimhood in the Second World War. Poles were infuriated. But the president of the republic said nothing — he was a perfect politician.
In cafes and bars, plans for a strategic nuclear strike were drawn up and then abandoned with the realization that Poland doesn’t have nukes. The thought of using the forty-eight F-16 fighters in a mass attack was also abandoned because, well, they haven’t been delivered yet, and the fighter is rather ill-suited for bombing runs.
In the end, Poles did what they could — the one voice of protest and ill-will Poles could manage: they gave back their theater tickets. In Warsaw, a Russian dance troupe was scheduled to perform. Virtually all the tickets were returned.
Counter-strike, thought Putin. Now, instead of coming to Poland for a ceremony celebrating the end of the Second World War, he’s sending the a henchman.
Russia’s actions are widely seen here as a gigantic, Slavic middle finger extended in Poland’s general direction. I’ve wondered what the Russian interpretation of all this is, but since I don’t know Russian, I’m left imagining. The old master-and-servant mentality? Colony and colonizer? I don’t know.