(Moscow, Russia — August 27, 2015) – Facing sanctions stretching on for over a year, Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking steps to fight back against the West.
And he isn’t afraid to get his fellow Russians dirty in the process.
Claiming that Western cleaning products “contain toxic ingredients” and “do not conform to Russian sanitary norms” demanded by average, ordinary, everyday Russians, Kremlin authorities have ordered supermarkets to remove a variety of products from their shelves.
Specifically targeted: Laundry detergent.
So continues the Russian soap opera.
The product bans are seen as retaliation for the world’s condemnation of Russia’s embarking on a new era of aggression in Ukraine, which began in early 2014 with the annexation of Crimea.
In short, it’s been a tough 18 months for Russia.
“Putin is apparently so mad about the West’s take on Ukraine that he’s foaming at the mouth,” said a Russian analyst, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But he’s got no one to blame but himself. This is a problem of his own doing.
“He’s thinking he’s got lots to gain with the ban on laundry detergent, and that somehow it will turn the tide of world opinion in his favor. No doubt he thinks he’ll get downy to the bottom of this issue.
“I don’t see how this is going to hurt anyone but Russian citizens. Even though Putin sees this as a bold move and will no doubt give it his all and maintain a façade of good cheer, I believe he’s all washed up. And eventually he’ll have to come clean with the Russian public.”
Other observers predicted more dire consequences for Russia and its perpetual president.
“If the ban continues for any length of time, I predict that Ring Around the Collar will be the greatest threat to Putin since Chechnya’s Islamic Fundamentalists,” said a State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.