If you can’t resist one of the most brazen land grabs of the century, then at least try to expose its shamelessness and iniquity.
That must have been the rationale behind Arjen Lubach’s now viral satirical sketch entitled ‘Putin’s referendum in Ukraine’. The skit, which was aired by Dutch public broadcaster VPRO Woensdag, shows the Groningen-born comedian arguing – in an apparent response to a vote in Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine on joining Russia – that a referendum should also be held on the incorporation of Russia into the Netherlands, considering the long-standing ties between the two countries.
“Historically, Russia belongs to the Netherlands,” a female voice in the number explains in Russian. “It is time we reunited. Our King Willem IV is your king, too. In 1816, Anna Pavlovna, Tsar Paul I’s daughter, got married to Willem II, the forefather of Willem IV.” Ostensibly to support the claim, the video then displays a photo of Willem-Alexander drinking beer with Putin during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
“Granted, he speaks bad Russian,” the accented voice continues. “But he speaks bad Dutch, too. Still, it has worked out just fine for years.”
Lubach also provided an additional argument for Russia becoming part of the Netherlands. “It’s not a coincidence that Putin’s own daughter has been living in Voorschoten for years. Believe me you don’t wanna live there, unless you do that for your real motherland,” the tongue-in-cheek skit continued, showing a typical neighborhood in Voorschoten.
So far, the video has generated about 300,000 views on YouTube, but, as pointed out by the Dagblad van het Noorden, it attracted much higher viewership numbers on Twitter thanks to the fact that it was reposted by Olaf Koens, an RTL News correspondent in the Middle East. On Koens’s account, the skit has already garnered over 1.2 million hits.