Linguistic imperialism: The world according to Putin

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WHEN Vladimir Putin justified his annexation of Crimea on the ground that he owed protection to Russian speakers everywhere, this newspaper took a dim view of his line of argument, pointing out that since linguistic borders do not match those of states, it would lead to chaos. We now recognise that this approach to international relations betrayed a deplorable conservatism. Since we pride ourselves on pushing the boundaries in search of a way to clamber out of the box and reach the summit of blue-sky thinking, we reckoned we should grasp the nettle of radical Putinism and run with it. We have, therefore, redrawn the world’s boundaries according to Mr Putin’s principles. We think readers will agree that the resulting map has considerable appeal.Under Mr Putin’s dispensation, things look up for the old colonial powers. Portugal gets to reclaim Brazil, Spain most of the rest of Central and South America and France most of west Africa, which would probably be fine by the locals, since many of their current governments are not much cop. A mighty Scandinavian kingdom comes into being—including Finland, although Finnish is very…

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