The Russian people apparently have a great sense of humor when dealing with their leaders and politicians. These two jokes were repeated in the Time article.
Stalin's ghost appears to Putin in a dream, and Putin asks for his help running the country. Stalin says, "Round up and shoot all the democrats, and then paint the inside of the Kremlin blue." "Why blue?" Putin asks. "Ha!" says Stalin. "I knew you wouldn't ask me about the first part."
(Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev is the president-in-waiting of Russia, hand picked by Putin who will continue to exercise control of Russia in his new job as prime minister.)
Putin goes to a restaurant with Medvedev and orders a steak. The waiter asks, "And what about the vegetable?" Putin answers, "The vegetable will have steak too."