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Warning: This column, while gluten free, contains terribly cheesy puns. If you are offended by low and unsuccessful attempts at humor, kindly go  directly to the crossword puzzle.

Vlad Putin has cut the cheese. Then he cut the Spanish ham and the  Polish apples out of the Russian diet. Vlad has blacklisted products  from Europe and America in retaliation for the ongoing sanctions imposed by the West after his Ukranian invasion. 

What kind of guy hates innocent cheeses? As a wise man once told me about someone else, “The man ain’t got no God in him.” 

Vlad is an anti-Cheddarite. He is a natural-born cheese killer. Perhaps as a child he was abused by a Gorgonzola cheese. Vlad’s deep seated dairy fears cause him to see Muenster cheese as a monster threatening Mother Russia. Clearly, Vlad suffers from Post Traumatic Cheese Disorder.

Vlad exudes serious food issues. It wasn’t enough for Vlad to eat the Crimea and swallow the eastern Ukraine. He is binging and purging western food products to show the decadent capitalists he can’t be swayed by the West’s puny sanctions. Vlad is taking out his wrath on guiltless cheeses and cheese smugglers who have dared to bring Edam into the Eden that is Russky territory.

As Willie Nelson would say, “Mammas don’t let your babies grow up to be Russian cheese smugglers.” The Russian secret police, the FSB, recently proudly announced it had crumbled a “criminal cheese ring” that had smuggled in more than 500 tons of cheese worth more than $30 million on the Russian blue cheese black market. 

Before the smugglers could yell “Cheese it, the cops,” the FSB arrested six Cheese Heads of the Gorgonzola crime family. These cheesy criminals are now facing up to 10 years in the slammer with no expectation of early release for Gouda time.

In early August, Vlad ordered a bulldozer to crush a giant pile of cheese near the town of Belgorod, Russia. To make his point to his loyal Western-imported cheese-hating Russian citizens, he had the cheese squashing televised nationally. Vlad’s Anticheese League spokeswoman, Svetlana Zaporozhchenko was quoted as saying, “The destruction has been completed, and after it (the cheese) is destroyed it is buried.” 

Perfectly good cheese, tortured and then buried alive. Vlad has become the ISIS of Parmesan, mindlessly destroying innocent cheeses. After the offending cheeses were buried, Putin presented the world with a Feta accompli. The UN Security Council has denounced Putin’s war against cheese as acts of fromagicide and culinary crimes against humanity. This situation is double plus ungood for Russian cheese lovers who are having to use inferior Russian cheeses to make their pizzas. The horror. The horror.

Rudolpho Asiago, chairperson of the European Union’s People for the Ethical Treatment of Cheese (PETC) has issued a strongly worded statement condemning Vlad’s Cheese Pogrom as “violating all international standards of dairy product decency.” Mr. Asiago called for a worldwide movement to condemn Russia to stop the exploitation of cheeses and “Give cheese a chance.” 

Mr. Asiago urged the world community to remember that “Cheeses have rights, too. Russia must stop all acts of cheese cruelty and comply with the standards set by the International Cheese Liberation Front. Only prejudice allows us to deny to cheeses the rights we expect for ourselves. Whether the cheese is based on cow, sheep, or goat milk, prejudice against cheese is unacceptable. If you wouldn’t eat Limburger cheese, why eat Monterrey Jack, Swiss or Brie? “

Let us consider the words of Monty Python as applied to the cruelty that is Putin’s anti-cheese campaign. “Every cheese is sacred/Every cheese is great/If a cheese is wasted/Mozzarella gets quite irate/Every cheese is wanted/ Every cheese is good/Every cheese is needed/in your neighborhood.”

You can turn the page. Or you can adopt a cheese today. Don’t let the cheese stand alone. Only you can prevent fromagicide.

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