Putin: Oh god.

Putin rubs his face in his hands.

Putin: I just remembered, I have to have a meeting with the new US president next month.

General: Sir, don’t stress; let’s just follow the next step of the Gerasimov Doctrine?

Putin: What’s the next step for the Gerasimov Doctrine?

General, looking at his notes: Last week we fired an enormous space gun, so this week we are supposed to capture and torture a young journalist, which will fall under the auspice of weakening the freedom of the press of the enemy society.

Putin: Can’t we do something interesting for once?

General: Instead of the tortured journalist, we could hack a major corporation again.

Putin: That’s not what I had in mind.

General: What do you have in mind, your majesty?

Putin: I want to cultivate our garden. For example, we could reforest all of earth’s deserts. It will be a long project and the West will resist our efforts, but the local people of the countries will appreciate the new vegetation and, ultimately, human life will flourish. There will be less immigration, stronger local economies, and thereby a healthier global economy—all thanks to Mother Russia.

General: How will you water these new plants?

Putin: At first we will capture water using air wells, but eventually, the vegetation will be so substantial, it will create a micro-climate and induce its own rainfall.

General: Um…

Putin: You don’t like my idea?

General: No, no, I do! I love it! I just am not sure that the West will become weaker and more confused if we take this tree-planting approach. How will planting trees help us hack and destroy the West’s society?

Putin: I know; I was just dreaming for a moment. Let’s capture and torture a journalist. Do you have a list of undesirable journalists?

General: Yes, our friend and beloved peer has been having trouble with one Roman Protasevich. He’ll be flying back from Greece tomorrow: we could hijack his plane, force a landing in Belarus, arrest him, torture him slowly, but keep him alive until you speak with the American president in June.

Putin: I guess we’ll have to do that; god, I wish I could just get out in nature with my shirt off and plant some trees.

General: Perhaps a trip to your ancestral dacha this weekend will appease you?

Putin: I guess that will have to do; yes, I’ll take a restive trip to the ancestral dacha this weekend and cultivate that garden since global politics won’t allow me to cultivate on a larger scale. Meeting adjourned.

The end.