“Russian prostitutes are undoubtedly the best in the world!” Vladimir Putin


An aspect about my job I welcome, is the diversity of people I come across. A while ago, a client asked me why we didn´t offer a version of our website in Russian. I jokingly asked if he was in cahoots with the KGB and intended to set up honey traps. He laughed and told me there was an economic incentive since there is a big Russian community in Berlin. I replied that I was enamoured with Dostoyevsky, especially his “Notes from the underground”, which incidentally has a prostitute as character.

I wasn´t convinced though the girl-next-door we offer a platform appeals to his compatriots in the German capital. Contrary to the bohemian diaspora in the roaring twenties, the current emigrants in Charlottengrad are less artistically inclined and probably prefer the blond barbie type with enhanced breasts.

“How about traditional values?”, I countered. He laughed. “He was in no doubt political correctness, micro-aggressions, trigger warnings and safe spaces would not come en vogue. He also mentioned the propagation of homosexuality was not for tomorrow. Gay sex is not forbidden though. I wisely didn´t mention mister Putin and his bragging about presiding over the world´s best prostitutes.

As if was discussing with a mind-reader, the subject inevitably turned towards politics. I let the customer rant for a while as he pointed out he would have acted in a similar way as Vladimir with regards to Crimea´s annexation.  Contrary to what the West promised when the USSR imploded, NATO was enlarged according to him. Ukraine was also manoeuvred out of Russia´s orbit to facilitate its occidental integration. Secondly, the EU expanded eastward and finally the West backed the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine. Not to mention the social engineering which took place there.

On it went. “The antipathy Putin evokes in the West never ceases to baffle me. Sure, he might be corrupt and is authoritarian. What most people forget though, is that the motherland was bankrupt and needed a strongman to prevent the country from spiralling further down the road when he came into power. Old women, being hungry, had to sell the family jewels for a handful or rubles. The oligarchs on the other hand were able to buy firms for 2% of their intrinsic value. Putin made an end to all that”.

His source wasn´t the “Pravda”. In case I wanted to double-heck, I should consult a “Foreign Affairs” article by John Mearsheimer in its September/October 2014 issue. “Why is the European press always so negative and prejudiced when writing about my home country?  The USA is no less an oligarchy, art and culture are more deeply ingrained in the Russian psyche though”.  Hence, he didn´t appreciate Western-Europa slavishly obeying the USA whereas a case could be built that Russia and “Deutschland” are more natural bedpartners. Ex-chancellor Gerhard Schröder probably agrees…