Invoking the suffering of the Russian people and a narrative of constant betrayals by the West, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced today a plebiscite to be held in 10 days in the former Russian territory of Alaska.
“It is time for Alaska to return to its natural home,” said Putin.
The Russian president’s announcement was accompanied by squads of soldiers without insignia and often covering their faces taking up key positions around such Alaskan landmarks as Prudhoe Bay, the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, the top of Mount McKinley and the missile defense fields at Fort Greely.
Brookings scholar Steven Pifer argued that it was the “most blatant land grab since Crimea.”
One factor that forced Russia to act, Putin suggested, was the plan for Alaska to deploy 14 new missile defense interceptors that threatened Russia’s nuclear deterrent — which would have left that country in an untenable position.
“Besides,” continued Putin, “Sarah Palin was right. I can see Fairbanks from my dacha in Siberia.”
The Russian heavy industry head argued that just as Nikita Khrushchev gave away the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 and tore an essential part of Russia from the country, so too did Russian Emperor Alexander II sell to America Russkaya Amerika, the Russian colonial possessions in the Americas from 1733 to 1867.
The price was a mere $7.2 million, or two cents an acre.
“America called it Seward’s Folly at the time,” claimed Putin. “We called in Alexander’s Folly.”
In a speech to a joint session of the Russian Parliament, Putin declared “Everything in Alaska speaks of our shared history and pride.”
He continue: “In people’s hearts and minds, Alaska has always been an integral part of Russia. This firm conviction, based on truth and justice, was unshakeable and passed from generation to generation. I have heard residents of Alaska say that back in 1867 their ancestors were handed over like a sack of potatoes.”
Putin declared that Russia has no interest in expanding its hold within the lower 48 states. “Don’t believe those who say Russia will take other regions after Alaska. We don’t need that.”
President Barack Obama said today that the United States would never recognize or accept the loss of Alaska. He announced a series of sanctions places on individuals and industries.
The speaker of the upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, who is on the U.S. sanctions list, was defiant, stating: “Today all of Russia is proud to be sanctioned in response to righting an historic wrong.”
Please note it is April Fool’s Day. This is not War of the Worlds.