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Ukraine's President Is Taking Military Advice From A Doll

"It has become a tradition," Petro Poroshenko said. "I come to work, take the doll, and think what I must do today to protect the country."

Posted on December 8, 2014, at 7:14 a.m. ET

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko proudly displayed a Cabbage Patch Kids-style ragdoll on Friday that, he said, is now giving him military advice.

It has become a tradition: I come to work, take the doll and think what I must do today to protect the country.

Petro Poroshenko@PoroshenkoEngFollow

It has become a tradition: I come to work, take the doll and think what I must do today to protect the country.

8:27 PM - 05 Dec 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The doll was a gift from Ukrainian soldiers fighting at Donetsk airport, one of the key flashpoints in eastern Ukraine's half-frozen conflict. Soldiers die there almost daily despite a shaky ceasefire deal concluded in September.

The "cyborg" nickname given to Ukraine's volunteer fighters and soldiers, Poroshenko said, has "become [a symbol] of the unflappability of the Ukrainian spirit."

It remains to be seen whether the advice the doll gives him is any good.

Mikhail Palinchak / Via Facebook: petroporoshenko

Immediately after meeting the soldiers from Donetsk airport, Poroshenko presided over a Ukrainian citizenship ceremony for Sergei Korotkikh, a Belarusian fighter in the far-right Azov volunteer battalion. Korotkikh was formerly a member of a neo-Nazi group called the National Socialist Organiation and is wanted in Russia on charges of setting off a bomb near the Kremlin in 2007.

But the doll can hardly do any worse than Valeri Heletei, a former Ukrainian defense minister who infamously called a journalist when Ukrainian troops were caught in a Russian ambush to ask her for artillery coordinates.

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