On Tuesday, February 26, the disgraced Ukrainian Olympic team returned to Kiev's Borispol airport neither a welcoming committee nor a bronze medal to show for their (admittedly mediocre) efforts. Had brass medals been awarded to fourth place finishes, Ukraine still wouldn't have stepped onto a single podium in Salt Lake City.
The same day the conquered delegation's plane touched down, one Borodinkov, the Minister for the Press in Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID), declared me persona non grata, rejecting my attempt to enter the country in order to cover the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Ostensibly, the reason I was denied a visa is that Borodinkov believes me to be employed by the CIA. The absurdity of such an allegation hardly justifies a response; do I look like Daniel Pearl? Where are my federally issued Lands-End reversible fleece vests, my long-range Japanese name brand cameras, multisystem Rolexes and argyle socks with coded dental records sewn onto the tag? Perhaps Borodinkov was simply recalling his glorious youth as a KGB apparatchik when, posing as a journalist, he cavorted around the Soviet Bloc and then projected his nostalgia-soaked memories onto me.
Ah, but there is one key difference! Borodinkov, life-long stooge and bootlicker, no doubt gets wood when he remembers the superpowers' spy games that he still imagines himself part of, and he deludes himself into thinking that the game continues on in his irrelevant excuse for a successor state. Borodinkov, along with his fellow sovki across the USSR, was caught unprepared when the rug was pulled out from under him ten years ago. And, true to the culture of lumpen bureaucrats from which he sprang, he maintained his superpower delusions in a world that now pays less notice to his race than ever.
In spite all the evidence to the contrary, in spite of the fact that our military is now occupying no less than four of the former Republics, with three more Republics pissing themselves in magnificent anticipation of NATO's November ascension talks, in spite of the fact that there was no need for subtlety when we ordered pricey shipments of S-400's and other high tech goodies from the reeling military industrial complex of a failed state, only to cancel payments after we received just enough specimens to dissect, in spite of a thousand other bitch slaps, Borodinkov still believes the espionage duel continues full tilt.
His illusion is made all the more pitiful by his Ukrainian citizenship, his residence in a country with literally nothing worth spying on. Its entire corps of weapons engineers wasted most of the 1990s developing a single conventional cannon and turret for its T-84 tank in order to be able to produce the machine independently of the Russians. The engineering elite spent the better part of a decade designing a hollow tube, and Borodinkov is concerned about American spies? The country's arms exports consist of low-tech Blue Light Special toys that only a banana republic intent on slaughtering unarmed civilians economically would ever consider buying.
Any geopolitical thought Ukraine might once have warranted dried up in the wake of the 1993 decision to give her nukes to Russia. In exchange for less than what the U.S. spends annually developing new flavors of freeze-dried food for its cannon fodder, Ukraine let its only trump card slip through its fingers.
But wait! There was one stagnant member of the nomenclature catapulted into a high position after the ranks thinned with the greedy and ambitious moving into private enterprise, and to that one man's mythic imagination I am a spy, a tit-for-tat answer to Robert Hanssen.
I don't revel in Borodinkov's flight of fancy comparing me to Hanssen. Hanssen, the docile Christian who gave thousands to a stripper who couldn't have passed the street-whore bar in Moscow and whom he didn't even fuck once? I am hardly flattered. Yet, to Borodinkov, the only difference between Hanssen and me is our level of play. If Hanssen was a pro starter, I would be playing right field for the minimum required three innings in a Midwestern girls' peewee league.