Is it real or is it parody?
Chechnya's human rights ombudsman said a group of journalists and human rights activists brutally assaulted en route from Ingushetia this week may have staged the attack themselves.
Meanwhile, the head of the Russian Skating Union said that the reason Russian athletes keep getting busted for doping was because "other athletes" were dosing them with performance-enhancing drugs.
It's all real -- trust me. My imagination isn't good enough to make this kind of stuff up.
And what it shows, yet again, is that Vladimir Putin's regime appears utterly incapable of taking responsibility for anything.
The buck always stops elsewhere.
Victims are responsible for their misfortunes. Everything is somebody else's fault.
The economy is crashing because of a foreign plot. Doping scandals are a conspiracy against Russian sports. Journalists beat themselves up to discredit the authorities.
This is nothing new, of course.
But all the dog-ate-my-homework explanations for the regime's mishaps are becoming increasingly surreal, increasingly bizarre, and ridiculously implausible.
And this is pretty odd when you consider the myth that Putin and company are supposed to be the masters of the universe, they are supposed to be in complete control of everything.
But with their over-the-top rationalizations and conspiracy mongering, they are tacitly admitting that they are actually in control of nothing.