Cover Osteuropa 12/2023

In Osteuropa 12/2023

The Joke as Barometer of the People’s Mood
Putin, the War and the Situation in Russia

Christine Engel

Deutsche Fassung


Political jokes are an indicator of society’s mood within a country. In Russia, this genre reacts briskly and sarcastically to political developments, be it the 2020 constitutional referendum, Western sanctions, or the partial mobilization for the war against Ukraine. The figure of Vladimir Putin looms over everything. In jokes, he cuts a poor image: he is seen as aloof and mendacious, cynical and cold, and his efforts to communicate with the population lead to nothing.

(Osteuropa 12/2023, pp. 35–56)