[Sounds familiar?]

To The Citizens of the Ukraine:

In the light of your failure to elect a proper President of the Ukraine and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective today.

His Excellency Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin will resume presidential duties over all oblasti, autonomous republics and other municipalities. Except Chernobyl, which he does not fancy. Your new prime minister (Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkhov for the 97.85% of you who are not aware there is actually such a post) will appoint a Minister for Ukrainian affairs without the need for further elections. The Supreme Council and the Cabinet of Ministers will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a Russian Autonomous Republic, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. You should find the page with "democracy" defined in your dictionaries, tear it out and eat it.

2. There is no such language as "Ukranian". We will let dictionary makers know on your behalf.

3. You should learn to distinguish the Moskva and Leningrad accents. It really isn't that hard.

4. The State Television channel shall cast Russians in their programmes as superheroes striving to improve the world.

5. You should relearn your original national anthem, the "Hymn of the Soviet Union".

6. You should stop competing in international sporting events. Most people do not know where you are anyway.

7. You will no longer be allowed to own heavy armor, warships or combat aircraft.

8. August 24th is no longer a public holiday. November 27th will be a new national holiday, but only in Russia. It will be called "The Couldn't Tell the Candidates Apart" day.

9. All non-Russian cars are hereby banned. We need to sell these things and nobody else will buy them.

10. You will learn to make real blini. Those things you call pancakes fries are not blini. They are unpleasant and rubbery.

11. As a sign of penance 5 milligrams of radioactive iodine per pancake will be added to all blini made within the Ukranian Autonomous Republic, this quantity to be doubled for blini made within the city of Kiev itself.

12. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling Vodka is not actually Vodka at all, it is antifreeze. From December 1st only proper Russian produce will be referred to as "vodka", and Ukranian distillations of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as "Poison".

13. From December 1st we will harmonise taxation. Citizens of the former Ukraine will pay Russian taxes. Russian citizens will pay Ukranian taxes instead, but since the Ukraine will be abolished that will be effectively zero.

14. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using tanks, missiles or helicopter gunships. The fact that you need so many weapons shows that you're not adult enough to be independent.

15. Please tell us what happened to Anastasia Romanov. It's been driving us crazy.

We will shortly be contacting you with reference to conscription and transfer to Chechnya.

Thank you for your cooperation.