Before we tell this story, two things. First of all, did you notice that the Russians really wanted Trump to win and now that they have the result they want, relations between the US and Russia are at an all time low. Strange.
And secondly, have you ever read a Russian novel either by Dostoyevski, Pushkin or Tolstoy? These big chunky books that seemed to be unending? Russia always seems to become something else than what you expect, doesn’t it?
Okay, now that you are in the right frame of mind, let me enlighten you on the latest fable from the land of the Soviets.
There was a regional election in Russia on Sunday, in some of the smaller cities. At one of those, our colleagues from Reuters put an undercover journalist inside a small polling station. To be exact, the man sat in polling station 333 in the Russian city of, big word, Vladkavkaz (yes, I also had to look on a map).
The Reuters journalist counted the number of voters. Nothing more, nothing less. Not too many people at polling station 333. In all, 256 voters turned up. The day afterwards, the official results were published. Surprisingly, 1,331 people had voted in polling station 333 all of a sudden, or about a thousand more than Reuters counted.
Luckily the government changed the figure on Tuesday, now there were 1,867 voters who had turned up. Of these, how many do you think had voted for Putin? 73 percent no less. Big win for Putin.
Not really an accurate win, but a big win none the less.
United Russia has seemingly scored a similar result all over the country last weekend, at least according to the figures that were provided to the public.
The Reuters reporter noticed a man from United Russia who approached the ballot box multiple times and kept stuffing it with voting notices. When he asked him about it, Mr Sergei Lyutikov admitted that: “We must ensure 85 percent for United Russia. Otherwise, the Tsar will stop providing us with money.”
Sunday’s regional election is widely seen as a test for next year’s Presidential election, which Putin is poised to win (again). So far, no other candidate has polled more than 5%.
I don’t know if betting agencies in the US take money on Putin winning next year, but after reading this, I would put my money on him.
As Winston Churchill once famously said: "Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."