Look, Russia is an accident-prone nation. Guns just go off sometimes.

Russia is just full of disturbing stories today, but the story with the greatest gallows humor was the “accidental” shooting — in the back of the head — of an independent journalist in the North Caucasus.  I, for one, would love to be a fly on the wall a listen to how this investigation will ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast.

Russia is just full of disturbing stories today, but the story with the greatest gallows humor was the "accidental" shooting -- in the back of the head -- of an independent journalist in the North Caucasus.  I, for one, would love to be a fly on the wall a listen to how this investigation will play out:  IVAN:  OK, so how did this happen, Sergei?  SERGEI:  Look, we had him in the back of the car, but then he was complaining about this spring that pokes out of the seat cushion... he had a point, that thing drove all the other accidental shooting victims really crazy.  Hits you right in the sciatica.  So we stopped the car and switched seats so he could sit in the front passenger seat.  And then I was doing that thing with my gun, you know, where I do my Sipowicz impersonation? IVAN:  That always kills.... SERGEI:  Right!!  He was laughing, I was laughing, and then we hit that darn pothole on the road out of the Narzan airport, and BANG!  Just like in Pulp Fiction.    IVAN:  OK, but you hit the pothole twice, right?  SERGEI:  Oh, sure, because we retraced our steps to figure out what the heck happened the first time. IVAN:  (snaps notebook shut) That's good enough for me! Readers are encouraged to script their own explanation. 

Russia is just full of disturbing stories today, but the story with the greatest gallows humor was the “accidental” shooting — in the back of the head — of an independent journalist in the North Caucasus.  I, for one, would love to be a fly on the wall a listen to how this investigation will play out: 

IVAN:  OK, so how did this happen, Sergei?  SERGEI:  Look, we had him in the back of the car, but then he was complaining about this spring that pokes out of the seat cushion… he had a point, that thing drove all the other accidental shooting victims really crazy.  Hits you right in the sciatica.  So we stopped the car and switched seats so he could sit in the front passenger seat.  And then I was doing that thing with my gun, you know, where I do my Sipowicz impersonation? IVAN:  That always kills…. SERGEI:  Right!!  He was laughing, I was laughing, and then we hit that darn pothole on the road out of the Narzan airport, and BANG!  Just like in Pulp Fiction.    IVAN:  OK, but you hit the pothole twice, right?  SERGEI:  Oh, sure, because we retraced our steps to figure out what the heck happened the first time. IVAN:  (snaps notebook shut) That’s good enough for me!

Readers are encouraged to script their own explanation. 

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner

More from Foreign Policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping give a toast during a reception following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 21.

Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?

The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.

Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.
Xi and Putin shake hands while carrying red folders.

Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World

It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.
Russian President Vladimir Putin greets Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

It’s a New Great Game. Again.

Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.

Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.
Kurdish military officers take part in a graduation ceremony in Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, on Jan. 15.

Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing

The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.