Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 25

Differences between Moscow and Kiev over the fate of the Black Sea Fleet have spawned their own grim humor. The May 25 Pravda Ukrainy featured the following anecdote: Ukrainian defense minister Shmarov reports to President Kuchma, who is shocked by Shmarov’s condition. “What happened to your face and clothes?” Kuchma asks. “Were you out on maneuvers?” “Not at all,” responded Shmarov. “I was just dividing the Black Sea Fleet with [Russian defense minister] Pavel Grachev.”

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