A Story from a Resident of Ukraine

Several weeks ago, in the early days of the War in Ukraine, a friend contacted me. She had received a piece of writing from her contact in besieged Ukraine. Would I consider using my editing skills to enhance the author’s version written in rather broken English? With the author’s agreement, I agreed to undertake this task, gratis of course, in order to do my small bit in publicising the true and terrible plight of the Ukrainian people. I do not know what has happened to “Oleksa” (a nom de plume) after these terrible weeks of bloodshed and destruction.

Here is the story:

The Hairdresser 

by Oleksa Ruchka

Photo by Katie Godowski on Pexels.com


A million dollars reward can tempt even an honest man to commit a murder. A million dollars is nothing in California, but in some areas not far from Moscow, it is still a huge sum of money. However nobody cares about this in a totalitarian state. 

If you have nothing, then who needs your death? Only a leader of the state, who needs it to implement the idea of world domination. You live in a village or in a town; you earn a bottle and a piece of sausage to maintain your homeostasis. You are an ordinary mother from russia, which lost the right to start its name with a capital letter because of hundreds of Ukrainian children murdered and thousands of houses besieged with rockets. 

If your sons died in Ukraine, eagerly carrying out denazification and fighting for the “russian world”, it is your fault. Read Kipling’s book about Mowgli, then turn on the TV and take another step closer to Kaa, (the snake) because you are a Bandar-log (monkey). However, not all Bandar-logs are the same; some may undergo a strange transformation.

We have no idea what could happen if the thankless people who serve us, for example street cleaners, go on strike. Imagine that grandmothers in orange vests suddenly stop pushing brooms. Imagine that hairdressers stop work forever. Imagine that all the cooks start cooking only at home for their own needs, and the drivers of trams become taxi drivers. Not to mention the plumbers – the result is obvious:  the world will drown in excrement.

The idea of oligarchs without gardeners, personal drivers, hairdressers, cooks, majordomos, masseurs, pool cleaners, pilots, yoga instructors is unthinkable. If the servants disappear, the emperor will go wild, trying to turn on the gas and to fry his scrambled eggs for breakfast. In this case, it is easier to eat a raw egg, complete with the shell.

These inconspicuous people literally support the existence of humankind. The ancient rulers of the Aztec state were aware of this, so their emperor even ploughed the first furrow in Spring, to honour those who will then grow the crop, thresh the grain, and bake the bread that will be on the emperor’s table. Perhaps this is a bad example, because the Aztecs sacrificed hundreds of innocent people to the gods, although the tradition of ploughing the field without a tractor by the First Person of the State looks quite attractive!


Putler stands in front of the world map, holding a red marker in one hand and a spray of red paint in the other. He has many dreams, but this is the main one: to paint the whole world in red. It is clear that his country is well populated; however, the population is not as big as in China, India or the United States. He circles the borders of the enemy countries with a red marker, naturally starting with the USA. Then he sprays Northern America red. Europe, Israel, Syria and several other countries in the Middle East come next. Crimea and an Eastern part of Ukraine were turned red on this map eight years before. Putler puffs out his cheeks and extends the red paint over the east and north of Ukraine, close to  Kyiv. No one dares say to the subhuman that his troops are at a standstill, instead of advancing towards his goal of “Kyiv, a mother of Ruthenian cities.” 

Putler lacks the courage to go to Google to read the true news of the war. He distrusts the comments of Yandex and russian TV about the invincible march of the troops that carry the idea of “russian peace” to Ukraine, because he knows that this lie was created by him. Thus, the “invincible” troops melt away, while his favorite generals report cheerfully that they are two days away from victory. They attribute minor deviations from the schedule to an unexpectedly large number of cursed russian-speaking Ukrainian Nazis among the local population. No one dares to tell Putler the truth; the truth might result in a sudden death penalty. 

However neither the number of soldiers killed, nor the price of military equipment lost,  infuriate him as much as the loss of two more hairs from his head. He orders his secretary to call the hairdresser, biting his lip furiously.


It should be said that in the southern Urals there was a lack of good hairdressers. Anyway  who needs them there? Even the women wear fur hats all winter long. Katya easily got the job of Putler’s hairdresser. Because servants have to be in the bunker with the nuclear button, her main advantage was that she was not ill with sexually transmitted diseases and COVID. Another strong point was her brilliant CV: her great-grandfather trimmed Lenin’s beard, her grandfather took care of Stalin’s moustaches, and her father cut all the secretaries-general hair except for Khrushchev, because the latter was bald. 

After that, her dad was exiled to the southern Urals for his hard work, on suspicion of disloyalty. So Katya was born there, went to school, got married, divorced her alcoholic husband, and had twin sons. They were her pride. She managed to put into their heads the idea of “russian peace” together with all the other delusions which result from professionally made tons of mass media rubbish poured into the heads of gullible Bandar-logs.

After listening to their mother, the sons happily went to serve in the army, and Katya asked her client, a general, to help the children join the elite air-mobile troops. Katya hated the damned Ukrainian Nazis, who terrorized almost the entire fraternal population of Hohland. 

The word “Ukraine” was somehow difficult for her to pronounce throughout her life, despite the fact that she had many relatives there, who she often visited. She never needed to say “thank you” for their borsch, and sang with them about red ruta while drinking. She spoke russian with them, as they did with her. However, out of sight she called them “hahols”. In fact, all her life she was annoyed by the fact that her roots were Ukrainian, the only spot on her perfect biography. Well, who wants to be a “hahol” in the vast expanses of russia, where even Asians are russians there?

The previous afternoon, Katya’s son suddenly called and said that his brother Lesha was no more. He had evaporated through an accurate shot of a Javelin in the tank he was riding; not even ash remained. At the sound of the explosions, Vanya, her other son, hysterically told his mother that this was a real war, not training. That his joyful cries in russian like: “Brothers, we have brought you russian peace and freedom!” caused only one answer from the locals: “Put your russian world in your ass and fuck off back to russia!” Then he burst into tears and said that he was scared, and did not want to die, because there was nothing to eat. Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of an explosion. Katya realized that Vanechka had also died for such a wonderful “russian world, where all are brothers.” She had lost in one second two beautiful sons, who were sent to a victorious messianic special operation. In the evening Katya got very drunk.


Katya was asleep and had a vivid dream, where she was on the deck of a yacht floating in the boundless blue Caribbean Sea. Just as in true paradise, there was everything she needed on this huge luxurious yacht. She lay down on a deck chair in a chic swimsuit, sipping a pina colada. There was no one around her but the waiter, a handsome mulatto man with snow-white gloves and a white towel over his elbow. The man stood in silence, like a faithful dog waiting for the wishes of his mistress. He was wearing nothing but thongs. Katya basked in the sun and her body, rubbed with sunscreen, reflected the sunshine. Suddenly, a white gold-plated telephone, decorated in retro style, rang.

Katya listened to this annoying sound, which broke her dream. This sound dispelled all dreams, chasing away the sea, the yacht and the waiter. The sound was unique, from a special phone from the bunker of Putler. This sound meant she must pick up the phone on pain of death. Katya jumped out of bed, frantically searching for the source of the call, flipping through the dishes that had not been washed from yesterday morning’s drunken spree. Finally, she flew to the dressing room, decorated after the style of Louis XIV, and sang with a gentle voice into the recovered mouthpiece:

– Hello-o-o.

– Why didn’t you answer for so long?”

– Oh, I slept and had a sweet dream.

– What the hell – a dream! Be here in five minutes. The car is on its way. Our god looked in the mirror this morning and saw that two more hairs had fallen out of his head. He got so angry that he ran around his favourite thirty-meter table ten times. You can’t even imagine how he swore; even hardened criminals wouldn’t repeat it. 

– I’m ready.

Katya was always ready. She looked to see if her hands were shaking, patted herself on the face to come to her senses, put on make-up in a second, flew into her overalls, not forgetting her panties and bra, which according to ancient female tradition were twice as small as the area they were supposed to cover. She had just packed her bag of hairdressing tools when the doorbell rang. A hard-faced driver, an FSB colonel wearing a black leather jacket, was standing in the doorway. The driver scanned Katya from head to toe, silently nodded and escorted her to a car with opaque 

windows. She sat next to the driver, trying not to think about all she had lost, because she had to control her body. She looked furtively at the hard-faced man and noticed that his hands were shaking and his lips were trembling. The driver suddenly stopped the car, slammed the door, stood on the sidewalk and smoked a cigarette in one puff. Katya got out and asked:

– Petiya, what happened?

– My son died yesterday during a special operation, together with the General. Sorry, let’s go now.

-Oh, so sorry. My sons were also killed by the damned Bandera people,” she cried.

-Are you stupid? Whoever the hell Bandera people are, they were almost not there in the East until we took Crimea. We gave birth to them ourselves.

– Well I saw on a TV show how Ukrainian Nazis tortured the civilian population.

-Are you crazy? It’s not them, but we, our russian world! Our children are shelling hospitals, churches and schools. And now my Wowka has gone. Shut up and listen. I heard that a million bucks award is promised for his head.

-Whose head?

– Turn on the brain along the way and think.

They got in the car and drove on in silence. At the entrance to the bunker, the guard waved them in with a trembling hand without a word.

It was not easy to get to the bunker. It was necessary to pass purgatory – a full examination, including all potential orifices for explosives – anus, vagina, ears, etc. Everyone had to go through the purgatory: caretakers of dogs and cats of Putler, masseuses, plumbers, park designers, even generals and oligarchs. During the search, Katya noticed the strange behavior of the controllers. Some had trembling hands, and some had teary eyes. She passed the procedure without any problems, because she had cut Putler’s hair more than once. The worst was, as usual, the check of the hair dryer and clipper. A young security guard disassembled the tools, but had no idea why extra screws appeared, when he joined the parts back. The guard was also not very steady with his hands, and his eyes were suspiciously wet. 

Finally, Katya got to the salon. Everything she needed was there – a marble washbasin, a silver mirror, an anatomical chair made to the exact size of the dictator, and a foot massager, which cost as much as a Lamborghini. Katya took a deep breath, exhaled, and here he came: Putler. Small, angry and with narrow Asian eyes and with remnants of hair on his head, which Katya repeatedly styled, reviving it by various miraculous ointments.

– Hello, – Katya said, putting a smile on her face.

– So what’s wrong with my hair? – hissed the subhuman, flopping into his chair.

– There will be more them now than ever, – sang Katya.

– Well, look, you’d better know…

– What should I know? – Katya asked politely.

– Well, what happens to those who work poorly?

– I promise to do my best, as always, Vladimir Vladimirovich.

– So, I am watching you. Hundreds of candidates are waiting for your job to become vacant.

As Katya started to work, she put a towel with two-headed mutants embroidered with gold threads around the neck of the subhuman. She began to rummage carefully through every hair of Putler’s thinning hair with her gentle hands. She plugged the clippers into the socket, turned it on and then off, then took a hair dryer, stretching the cable to evaluate its length. Katya took the scissors, straightened his hair a little, and looked at the bald crown covered with remnants of hair. She thought to herself that only the most miserable men in the world hide their baldness with remnants of their hair. She looked into the eyes of the guard, who was accustomed to watching the haircut process, and saw anger and mute approval in his usually indifferent eyes.


Putler closes his eyes, enjoying the gentle touch of Katya’s careful fingers, and stretches out in his chair. He puts his feet into the extravagant massage machine and enjoys the sensation. Suddenly Katya takes the hair dryer, wraps a cord around the despot’s neck and quickly tightens it so that the bastard does not have time to react. She pulls the hair dryer cord around Putler’s neck so quickly that he does not even flinch. The subhuman chaotically twists his arms, trying to find salvation, but in vain. The security guard helps to tighten the cord. Unlike in the movies the agony does not last long because the carotid artery, obvious to the guard from Judo practice, is blocked so tightly. According to physiology the carotid artery cuts off the blood supply to the head in seconds. The inferior being no longer twitches, so Katya tightens the cable around the despot’s neck even harder. 

Why does Katya do this? Well, what should any mother do with a subhuman, who has caused the death of her children for nothing – or if a million dollars reward is set for the monster’s head ?


The tyrant is dead. At that moment, a waiter comes into the room with a cart carrying a plate of black caviar. He looks silently at Putler and  throws the black caviar, which is no doubt poisoned, into the garbage can. Katya pulls out her phone and takes a selfie with the body of the subhuman, then takes one with the guard. The waiter, a gardener, and other FSB-tested servants of Putler’s also take selfies one by one. It is impossible to take a group selfie, because of the huge size of the room.

However if we talk about the financial reward award, it was not so big per person: only one thousand dollars each.


“Putler” (Putin+ Hitler) is a neologism, as well as the word “Ruzis” (short for russian+nazis), which has only recently appeared on the English-language Internet. Actually, this story is primarily about this bastard and his entourage. It is a fantasy about killing the subhuman. 

It turns out that while I was writing this work, he fired a thousand employees who were suspected of being seduced by the million dollars appointed for the despot’s head. 

Staff should be paid better!

© Oleksa Ruchka, Ukraine, March 2022

edited by Dina Davis MA DipEd DipBookpub&Editing                             

Categories: Ukraine

1 Comment »

  1. A powerful piece of writing, and an honour for you to assist in bringing ti to the English-speaking world.


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