The Current Situation

Russia has a “burn book”, and San Marino is somehow in it!

Russia has a “burn book”!

Okay, it’s more of an “enemies list”, but I choose to view it as a “burn book” as seen in the 2004 film Mean Girls.

The more formal name for it is a list of countries that have committed “unfriendly actions” against “Russia, Russian companies and citizens”. If you’re a Russian national or organization doing business in one of the countries in the burn book, you’ll need to get special authorization first. Putin is the Regina George of geopolitics, and you can’t hang with anyone s/he has declared a “fugly bitch!”

San Marino made it into the burn book!

The burn book has all the usual countries/regions you’d expect: United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and so on.

Flag of the Most Serene Republic of San Marino.

But also on the list is San Marino. We’re talking about the city-state more formally known as Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino (“The Most Serene Republic of San Marino”), population enough to half-fill Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, fifth-smallest country in the world, and LARPer paradise.

Guaita tower, one of San Marino’s three towers.

It’s been on my “places to visit” list for a little while. Anyhow, San Marino’s inclusion took me by surprise for a couple of reasons:

  1. I didn’t know it was still considered its own nation. I thought it was just a town or county and was always under the impression that their nationhood was kind of tongue-in-cheek micronation, in the same way that Florida’s Key West supposedly seceded from the U.S. and became the “Conch Republic”. But apparently it’s an honest-to-goodness microstate.
  2. If they’re taking action against Russia, I have no idea with what. Tourism is their bread and butter, and I suspect that any sanctions they could impose would have anything more than a symbolic effect.They did have some of the most advanced weapons in the world — in the 13th century:
    Even when they became available, the Crossbow Corps never updated their gear to muskets. Like Obi-Wan Kenobi and the lightsaber, they stuck with the crossbow, “an elegant weapon, for a more civilized age.”The Crossbow Corps are still active, and they’re one the reasons — along with that gorgeous castle — that I’ve always wanted to visit.But they’re definitely not sending crossbows to Ukraine.

Want to know more about San Marino? Check out these videos:

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include their Eurovision song entry:

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