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<   No. 955   2005-09-07   >

Comic #955

1 Ginny: I need to return to the Soviet government in Moscow! This obstruction is treason!
2 Train Guy: What you will do? You are one Russian, in Kiev, surrounded by millions of Ukrainians. To Ukraine first we loyal, Soviets never!
3 Ginny: I'm friends with Stalin, you know.
4 Train Guy: Oh, what he will do? Purge entire country?

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Ukraine has had a long and involved history, the important bits of which, for the purposes of this comic, are the incorporation of the territory into the USSR in 1922 under the rule of Stalin, and the subsequent purges in the 1930s in which around a million Soviet citizens died at Stalin's orders. Many of those who suffered this fate were Ukrainians.

Stalin pretty much did purge the entire country.

I probably should add that this was a terrible tragedy. Although I use some awful historical events as background (heck, I have Hitler as a character), and draw humour from them, I in no way intend to undermine or belittle the all too real suffering of innocent people at the hands of these regimes.

It is my general philosophy that humour can help ease despair and loss. That's why I can make jokes based on some of the most terrible events in human history. I've done it before, and I'll do it again. But never feel that I am insensitive to the real world suffering and loss experienced during these dreadful episodes.

2014-11-17 Rerun commentary: This comic has renewed relevance with the current and ongoing (as of late 2014) conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The full politics of the current situation are too complex and unknown to me to make any sensible statement about it.

I just hope that the disputing parties can eventually settle their differences and people can live in peace without the spectre of war hanging over them.

It really would be nice if people could just get along, and not keep bringing up old grudges. Grudges are one of the worst things we do as a species. A grudge makes the grudge-bearer feel bad, and the begrudged feel bad. Nobody wins.

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Last Modified: Monday, 17 November 2014; 02:11:02 PST.
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