Russia's military occupation of Crimea and its president's pronouncements on the crisis have provided a rich satirical vein for humorists to mine, as these cartoons, collages, and captioned photos show.
British satirical magazine "Private Eye" played on the timing of Putin's Crimea foray, noting that it coincided with the run-up to the March 7-16 Paralympic Games.
Putin, looking through binoculars at the "Winter Paramilitary Games," says: "I think Russia is going to win the shooting."
This one continues the Olympic theme:
Some cartoons, like these two, take aim at Russia's denial that its forces are occupying facilities in Crimea:
Russian cartoonist Sergey Yelkin on Ukraine pic.twitter.com/2QA0Dxczmr— Yulia Bragina (@YuliaSkyNews) March 5, 2014
Many of Russia's claims about the political upheaval in Kyiv and its takeover of Crimea have been challenged -- and debunked. This cartoon puts it bluntly, casting Putin as Pinocchio, the wooden puppet whose nose grows when he tells a lie....
...while this joke suggests Crimea's pro-Russian leaders are acting in lockstep with the Kremlin. It appeared minutes after the Crimean parliament voted on March 6 to join Russia and bring forward a referendum on the issue.
#Crimea authorities have again changed the date for the referendum. It will now take place yesterday— VykintasPugaÄiauskas (@pugaciauskas) March 6, 2014
It was only a matter of time before someone made the "Cry me a river" pun.
This one suggests Putin might have his eye on other former Russian Empire possessions, asking "How's our Alaska doing?"
ÐšÐ°Ðº Ñ‚Ð°Ð¼ Ð½Ð°ÑˆÐ° ÐÐ»ÑÑÐºÐ°?))) pic.twitter.com/diISV54U9p— Ð›ÐµÐ´Ð¸ ÐšÐ°Ñ† (@lady_Katz) March 6, 2014
Our last two feature sinister depictions of Putin -- as a hungry wolf, and as the turret and gun barrel of a tank:
-- Kathleen Moore