Dmitry Astakhov / AFP/Getty Images Dmitry Astakhov / AFP/Getty Images

The typically buttoned up folks at the State Department, plainly frustrated by the Russians’ mendacity over the situation in Ukraine, have taken the unusual step of directly refuting claims made by Loop’s favorite Russian president and former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin.

But before its 10-point takedown, which challenges, among other things, Putin’s claims of a Ukrainian humanitarian crisis (there’s “absolutely no evidence”) and a threat to ethnic Russians (there’s no “credible reports”), State turns to Russian literature to rib the Russian leader.

It’s Russian fiction akin to Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s famous, “The formula ‘two plus two equals five’ is not without its attractions,” State asserts.

But why stop there? Here at the Loop we’ve taken it upon ourselves to suggest five other quotes from Russian literature the State Department may want to keep in its back pocket:

“In this world one has to be cunning and cruel.” – Leo Tolstoy

“A hungry dog only believes in meat.” – Anton Chekhov

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

‘You can dye a wolf, clip a wolf–he still doesn’t look like a poodle.” – Mikhael Bulgakov

And a personal favorite:

“A man who’s active and incisive can yet keep nail-care much in mind.” – Aleksandr Pushkin

But, Loopites, please don’t let us have all the fun. Have a favorite quote from Russian literature? Add it in the comment section below.