Photo by Michael Parulava on Unsplash

For Russia to win, it needs to lose

Why even a frozen conflict destroys Russia.

Yaakov C Lui-Hyden
11 min readSep 4, 2023


First something I came across yesterday.

The Albanian Prime Minister just told this joke:

The Prime Minister of Russia says to Putin “Mr Putin, we have a problem. We have too many time zones in Russia. I call my wife on holidays to wish her goodnight and it is already morning. I call Olaf Scholz to wish him happy birthday and he says that is tomorrow, I call Xi Jinping to wish him a new year and he says it is still the old year.”

Putin says “ I know, I called Prigozhin’s family to offer my condolences and his plane hadn’t taken off yet.”

Yesterday was my 7 year anniversary of doing my own Von Trapp family, leaving Russia over the Caucaus Mountains to the Republic of Georgia. Mind you, they did try to stop me leaving which was ironic and the Russians questioned me at the border and put me in a room full of Uzbeks and Chechens. The Georgian side was certainly much easier, less than 20 seconds and a “Welcome to Georgia” and a stamp allowing me 360 days visa free in the country.

The last 6 months in Russia was hell, I had had 5 of my friends deported and not much to do with politics but running afoul of some businessman or another in a Mafia state. I knew the rules of this Mafia state and taught English to Police officers, Prosecuters, knew the Governor, went hunting and fishing with a lawyer and a judge. A former boss of mine came after me, who had bribed two FSB lads with regular laptops and iphones. They soon dragged me to the local FSB headquarters for questioning, trying to recruit me to spy on an American friend of mine(who sadly and genuinely died of Covid some years later). They created fictitious problems for me they offered to solve and when I said I have everything covered with my lawyers they gave me fake deportation documents giving me 3 days to leave the country.

I knew those documents were fake as they lacked the amount of stamps that Russians love to put on every document. Bizarrely, they let me leave with this document after getting two girls from the street to sign to say I had refused to sign it. I showed it to my lawyer who called the Immigration (FMS) chap whose name was on it and had “signed it” for him to deny he knew…



Yaakov C Lui-Hyden

Yaakov is a world traveller and is accused of being an Australian. Published several novels. He writes about travel, writing, geopolitics and trading.