Ivan Medved is sitting next to his Grandpa Yevgeny. They were in Grandpa Yevgeny Medved’s dacha near Moscow. “Grandpa, why is President Putin so mean?”
The floodgates were opened. Grandpa glared at his grandson. “Who taught you this, the evil? Americans? That woman in Germany, Angela Merkel?”
Ivan was taken aback. He’d never seen his grandfather so angry. Grandpa Yevgeny, went to get Ivan juice, and his vodka, what Ivan called “Grandpa’s Medicine.” “Go to the bathroom, boy, this will be a long story of Russia’s misery and woe.”
Ivan didn’t think his life was that bad. He has a loving family, great friends, is good in school. He’s a happy, smart ten year old. He asked the question innocently, not expecting his grandfather’s angry reaction. There was no misery in Ivan’s Russia. Grandpa saw nothing but misery in Russia’s past. The history lesson began.
“My boy, it started with the Mongols. They were evil and were a pestilence on the land. For over two centuries they stole from us and tortured us.
Luckily, we had our brave Prince, Alexander Nevsky.”
“We saw Alexander Nevsky in school, but he took money to pass on to the Mongols as tribute while fighting the Germans and the Swedes.”
Grandpa exploded like multiple bombs. “Who tells such lies? The Jews? Thank God most of them have left our sacred soil. They were always a cancer on the nation. Is your teacher a Jew?”
“No Grandpa, she is a blonde blue eyed Russian. Pretty too.”
“When I finish your lesson, your teacher gets the same lesson.”
Ivan rolled his eyes. He liked Mrs. Ivanova. He wanted to keep it that way. He may be ten years old, but has more sense than many adults. He thought Grandpa meeting with Mrs. Ivanova, could only go one way: Badly.
Grandpa, was of sound mind, at least, in the following sense: He picked up right where he left off.
“Never you mind about Alexander Nevsky. He saved us at that time. Everything West of us is frightening. Look back how many centuries, anyone to the West of us wanted to invade and destroy us.”
“Why do they want to conquer us so much, Grandpa?”
“Because we are rich! We are the greatest country in the world, but they don’t want to accept it!”
Grandpa was getting red faced and Ivan thought he was going to collapse, but the story continued.
“When we got our first Czar, Ivan, he finally ran the Mongols out. Our people started to move across Siberia. The East was a little more secure. Boy, we are always watching the evil West with a wary eye. The next Western enemy, is the one I hate the most…The Poles!
They keep trying to expand and conquer us, so high and mighty. One even tried to become Czar! We deal with him, and shoot his ashes from a cannon back toward Poland.
Czar Ivan married the niece of the last Byzantine Empire. We adopt the mantle as the Third Rome. The West? They are arrogant and think they are the true Christians, but they are not. Then we had Czar Peter, who reached out to the West, so he can learn their insidious technology. It helped us finally drive the Swedes away. We had our Baltic outlet and could build great St. Petersburg.
My boy, Russia is hard to defend, so we have to always be on our guard. Luckily, in 1792, we were able to conquer part of Poland. Poles don’t know their place, they were always making trouble! Rebelling against their betters! We had a bigger problem coming… Napoleon!
That evil man wanted to add Russia to his conquests and harm our beloved Czar. We showed him. Napoleon was arrogant. Maybe he thought winter in Russia would be easy. He arrived here, with stretched supply lines, but we burned Moscow. Nothing for him. He could only go back the way he came. We took care of him.
Europe betrayed us in the Crimean War. They sided with the dreaded Turkish infidel we fought so often, and who blocked our passage to sea.
The problem with conquering Poland was by doing so, we ended up with all those Jews. A cancer within our beloved country. They could never be real Russians. Getting rid of them was important.
Then came the revolution, and we still had strong leaders, especially Stalin. For us, it is The Great Patriotic War, where Stalin saved us. Your great grandpa got revenge by marching through Poland to Berlin.
The Americans will never be our friends. Nor the Chinese, or Turks. We are surrounded by evil and enemies. Gorbachev was weak and tried to hand us over to the Americans. President Putin has reinstated our dignity. He knows how to deal with our many enemies.”
Ivan broke Grandpa Yevgeny’s history lesson. “What about Ukraine, Grandpa?”
Bah, Ukraine. They are Russians! They need to admit that. We need to conquer Eastern Poland, so we can control the narrowest point of the North European Plain. You think the Poles or that German witch Angela Merkel will ever leave us alone?! You’ve seen my medals, I proudly served in Afghanistan. We need to watch them as well. Of course we interfered in the American election. We need to bring them to their knees.”
Ivan tried to imagine Lebron James or the many Lithuanian basketball players on their knees, and couldn’t. “Grandpa I need to show you something.”
Ivan went onto Facebook and brought up a profile. “That’s my friend Juanita, she lives in Los Angeles.”
Grandpa looked at the photograph of the beautiful, dark skinned Hispanic girl. His face was like a giant beet, as he grabbed for the bottle of Vodka.
“Grandpa, what do we have to offer the world, but Putin, poverty and Vodka for most? I like Pussy Riot.”
Grandpa was about to have another drink of vodka, when a female hand grabbed the bottle. It was Grandma. “Yevgeny, you’ve had enough!”