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Freshers’ Week Advice with Vladimir Putin

The Print asks Russia’s President and Renaissance Man (his words, not ours) to share his wisdom (again, not our choice of words) with Queen Mary’s latest batch of freshers.

Dear Vladimir,

How do I make friends during Welcome Week? Despite being a really fun and interesting person, I’m scared of rejection. I don’t want to become lonely and friendlesseven though my huge success will probably compensate for it.

Please help!


Dear Josh,

What a relatable letter! Whilst I can confirm that success compensates for a lack of a social circle, it is still nice to have friends. Ones with whom you can go hunting, have a few vodkas and slag off the West.

Being extremely charismatic and charming, I have had no problems here. But for your benefit, here are four Vladimir Putin Approved™ ways to make friends.

  1. Kindness: The simplest and often best idea – just be polite and listen to their problems. Sadly, you will quickly find that we can’t all be Putins: most people are unintelligent and have as much personality as Angela Merkel. Nice as they are, I find people that aren’t me are pretty dull. Keep some coffee handy, it’ll help you stay awake while they drone on.
  1. Intelligence: You must alert your friends to your supreme wisdom, so they know who to come to for advice. In order to become the next Tolstoy/Dostoevsky/Putin, hire an underling to photograph you looking learned. Put the photos on social media; your friends will sleep well knowing you exist. Everyone will admire you and give you an approval rating of 80%, higher than any world leader. Did you notice my cheeky aside? See – it’s always the right time to share your greatness with others!
  1. Laughter: When I’m dead, I will be remembered for innumerable things. My good looks, my political acumen and, most of all, my lit banter. Everyone likes a good laugh, so make sure you always have some acidic one-liners ready to brighten someone’s day. Here’s a sample joke to get you started: ‘Knock knock.’ ‘Who’s there?’ ‘Hillary Clinton.’ ‘Hillary Clinton who?’ ‘Exactly.’
  1. Love: Make sure your friends know you care. If you’re as busy as I am, it’s quite difficult to keep up with the squad. To compensate for this, I like to send my foreign friends little gifts, just so they know I’m thinking about them (and to remind them to think of me a bit more often). Chocolates, cute nick nacks, full scale military invasions – it’s the thought that counts!

So just remember that acronym, KILL, and you might just become as popular as me. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do – don’t ACTUALLY kill anyone! Hahahaha!

Good luck,

Vladimir Putin

4th President of Russia; 1st in everyone’s hearts

Image: Antoniorosset/Wikimedia Commons

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