Less than two weeks after a BBC journalist accused Russia of turning “humour into a weapon”, the Russian Defence Ministry did the exact opposite as it presented the Russian military calendar for 2019, chock-full of jokes and puns.
One of the photos depicts a Russian servicewoman aiming down the sights of her assault rifle, captioned “Some women can blow your head (mind) away”.
Another features a soldier armed with a machine gun, captioned “Advanced PK (PC) user” (in Russian, the ‘Kalashnikov machinegun’ (Pulemyot Kalashnikova) and ‘personal computer’ (personalny kompyuter) use the same acronym, ‘PK’).
On another page, a missile silo’s lid was described as a ”Hardcore Russian waffle maker” due to its appearance,
while a pair of soldiers in full gear advancing through deep snow was nicknamed “Russian snowdrops”.
And last but not least, a photo of a mobile intercontinental ballistic missile launcher was labelled “Payload delivery to anywhere in the world.”
However, while Russian social media users generally appeared amused by the calendar, The Daily Mail was quick to describe the calendar as “a chilling Christmas greeting to the West” which shows “various examples of Russia's military might with threatening messages about how far the country's missiles can travel.”
The Daily Star followed suit, claiming that the calendar “was unveiled in apparent deliberate timing as the West marks Christmas Day.”