Things Ukrainians Say


I think it’s a testimony to the power of Soviet propaganda that I, upon revealing myself as an American, am still occasionally greeted with the joking inquiry:

“Are you a spy?”

The greater the tyranny, the more deeply the perception of enemies must be entrenched in the minds of the masses.



Despite the fact that McDonald’s seems to be thriving, most Ukrainians seem outright paranoid about chemicals in their food.

Recently, a potential landlord assured me that his lease agreement was standard and honest.

“No chemicals in here,” he insisted. (Тут ніякої хімії нема.)

Very cute. :)


  1. Kelly Norman

    As for 1): maybe it’s also true that, the greater the tyrany, the better sense of its victims that the bogeymen of their tyrant’s propaganda are there only to distract them from the tyrant. Maybe they’ve found humor in the idea that every American is a spy for decades.

  2. Roman

    I certainly like to think it’s a joke. Reminds me of what my friend Dr. Yuri Maltsev said: the chief export of the Soviet Union was political humor.


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