In theory I should leave it to Kristy, who actually took Russian, to offer commentary on the Ukraine but A) she’s busy dissertat-ing and B) This commentary is going to be far from scholarly and well informed.
Mostly this is just me wanting to express the fact that someone needs to make me a Yulia Tymoshenko action figure.
I believe that, in the market for world leader action-figures, this would be a must-have for anyone’s collection. Her Heidi Braids of Doom intrigued the hell outta me even before she was tossed into the hoosegow for alleged misuse of power. It absolutely did my heart good to see that hair-do emerge again from what I am sure had to be a prison exactly like that used to hold Magneto in the X-Men films (those braids are not to be underestimated). I will grant you, that even with the braids she is still a semi-rouge, minor side-kick in the pantheon of world-leader super-heroes and heroines. I mean, she couldn’t take on like, Angela Merkel and the Mom Look of Great Disdain (really, this is the action figure I want most of all–even more than Yulia and her Heidi Braids) or Steven Harper and the Eternally Un-Muss-able Molded Ken Hair of Unshakeability or Mario Monti, the Not So Secretly Argentinian (yes, being an Argentinian is a super power. Just ask one). Still, that doesn’t mean she couldn’t get a great story arc in the comic.
Of course, then you have to have your counter-part “bad-guy” action figures. Putin being, clearly, the Cobra to our G-7* Joes comes without a shirt, but with minions, including several disgruntled Georgians (yeah, remember the part where this has happened before? I keep picturing Georgia trying to float messages across the Black Sea to Ukraine that read “Welcome to the club, Bitches.”–except the Russian Navy keeps intercepting them and re-placing them message with “We don’t Miss South Ossetia at all!”). Oh, and the completely rogue element of a Kim Jong-un who comes with tacky outfits and his mini basketball signed by Dennis Rodman.
Seriously, I did have an minor crisis as I’ve watched this unfold because I saw a few parallels to the Texas Revolution and I was suddenly left wondering if I was supposed to be siting with Putin in this game. Thankfully, I walked through the details and realized that it was possible for me to continue to Remember the Alamo without having to support Russian Imperialism. I briefly thought about sharing that entire comparison and contrast here, but then I realized that for the most part, only Texans would care and to the best of my knowledge, none of the five of you reading this are Texans….
So, in the event that we are about to get our Cold War back again, I’m gonna go watch The Hunt for Red October and maybe some of those old episodes of MacGyver where he had to build a blow-torch out of a bicycle to save the environment and escape the Eastern Bloc at the same time….