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Thread: Tragedies in Russia.

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    Tragedies in Russia.

    Recently in Russia there have been some bad things happening. The train being blown up by terrorists and just yesterday the explosion at the nightclub. I think that its horrible that the chechyen rebels would target a very busy train. What do you think about these tragedies?

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    И это тоже:
    Российская бобслеистка Ирина Скворцова, которая получила тяжелейшие травмы на немецкой трассе, может лишиться ноги.

    Russian boblsledder Irina Skvorsova may lose her legs after being hit by another bobsled. She was on the ice after her bobsled tipped over when she was hit by another sled travelling at approx. 60 mph (120 kmh).

    PS: I'm suspicious of any so-called terrorist acts. Nonetheless, it's terrible loss for those families, whoever did it.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  3. #3
    Hanna
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    I'm suspicious of any so-called terrorist acts. Nonetheless, it's terrible loss for those families, whoever did it.
    But Sperk, who would derail a major train on a key railroad other than terrorists?

    Why they do it is a different story - I thought they more or less already had autonomy in Chechnya... What more do they want? How could they possibly imagine that they'd be better off as a separate state?

    I checked the story about the nightclub - seems it was a combination of recklessness on part of the club management, and bad luck that things went out of hand. What a tragedy.

    Btw - "everyone" knows that the train between St Petersburg and Moscow is called "Red Arrow" / "Krasnaya Strela". Well at least it's one of the "facts" I've always known about Russia... And I have definitely planned to travel on it! How come it is called "Nevsky express" in the news about the bombing. Has it changed names?

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    How come it is called "Nevsky express" in the news about the bombing. Has it changed names?
    Это разные поезда.
    Красная стрела: №1, №2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Arrow_(Russian_train)
    Невский экспресс: №165, 166. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nevsky_Express

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    There has been a lot of attention to the nightclub fire around here. in 2003, there was a fire at 'The Station' in West Warwick, Rhode Island. Many towns and cities have enacted new fire codes (number of exits, sprinkler systems, etc.) for clubs, etc. that hold more than a certain number of people.

    From the Providence Journal, Sunday, December 6, 2009:
    A hauntingly familiar scenario: West Warwick and Perm, Russia fires

    Striking similarities exist between the Russian nightclub fire and the February 2003 Station nightclub fire in West Warwick:

    • Cause: Onstage pyrotechnics triggered both fires

    • Escalation: Flames spread rapidly up flammable foam soundproofing inside The Station. At Perm’s Lame Horse club, it flared across a ceiling made of twigs and plastic

    • Victims: More than 100 are killed and more than 130 injured at Russian club. One hundred died from the Station fire, and more than 200 were injured. Many were trampled or succumbed to smoke inhalation

    • Video: Images of both fires from inside the club were caught on video: in Russia by party-goers at club; in West Warwick by Channel 12 team filming a report on nightclub safety

    • Exits: Russian club had one exit. Twenty-six Station fire victims died in rear section of club with no direct exits; others were piled up at its front entrance.

    • Fire codes: West Warwick fire led to tighter state fire codes. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev demands tightening of notoriously lax fire codes

    • Arrests: Russian nightclub co-owners and director arrested after fire. Station owner Michael Derderian and rock band tour manager Daniel M. Biechele served prison time for involuntary manslaughter. Co-owner Jeffrey Derderian sentenced to perform community service

    • The scene: Flowers and makeshift memorials appear on icy sites soon after both fires

    Compiled by Journal staff writer Karen Lee Ziner

    In 1996, I used to play in a band with some college classmates there on Tuesday or Wednesday nights for fun. I doubt there were ever more than 50 people when we played, but it kinda makes you think. We were always let in on the weekends, even if there was a line outside (probably in violation of occupancy).
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    I don't know about the night club but the blown-up train looks very much like a terroristic act. It's early to make any guesses yet but I fear those tragedies might continue and innocent people will keep dying for as long as Chechnya remains part of Russia -- it's the same situation as with the Basque country and ETA in Spain and France. As long as they have cause in the name of which to commit their crimes, they'll consider themselves martyrs. Our government seems to think that all they have to do is eliminate the militant ringleaders but new terrorists will grow up with the same notion of fighting for freedom... avenging their killed relatives. Of course, even being an independent country might not stop some people from committing terroristic acts -- think Bin Laden and 9/11.

    Well, I do hope I'm wrong. To be sure I am very politically ignorant -- every time I try to understand any such complicated issue I end up with my head spinning.
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  7. #7
    Hanna
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    It's REALLY problematic to ensure fire-safety in old buildings.
    Here in the UK, you often see modernistic fire escape stairs attached to several hundred years old houses. It looks very weird, particularly on private victorian villas... And it is of course very expensive for the owners of the building...

    But, some lives are saved, no doubt.

    I read a very interesting thing about 9/11 -- there was one particular business very high up in the building which had an office manager that constantly ran fire drills (and probably annoyed people no-end...) but in that company nobody died - everyone got out in time. Whereas other businesses much further down had plenty of casualties. Proves that all the hassle can be worth it...


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    Hanna
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by starrysky
    Well, I do hope I'm wrong. To be sure I am very politically ignorant -- every time I try to understand any such complicated issue I end up with my head spinning.
    I was totally confused about Chechnya too - I hardly even knew where it was on the map.... So about 6 months ago I decided to find out more about it.

    I am following the blog of a Swedish journalist who is considered a "Russia expert". He's been active since the early 1980s. (Lately I think he HATES Russia though - everything he writes is very negative.)

    Anyway - he blogs a lot about Chechnya and he is critisizing everything that happens there: The wars in the past, the present situation, all inititives of the Russian federal government and the local government in Chechnya plus lately human rights and the growth of religious Islam.

    One story he wrote was about a visit of a friend of his to Chechnya. In Grozny they found that things had got a lot better for normal people and the capital was being rebuilt with federal money. But there was a bad angle on this too - the president of Chechnya was accused of being too hard and oppressing people. I.e. human rights problems.

    I really don't know what to think of it - but luckily it's not my problem...

    It's very easy to complain at what IS done there, but there is no easy solution, right? Surely mot even the Chechens themselves would want to be their own country...They'd be an incredibly poor and backwards country. Worse than Moldova or Tadjikistan etc.

    I guess all the ethnic Russians who lived there must have left a long time ago...

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    I was totally confused about Chechnya too - I hardly even knew where it was on the map....
    I'm still rather vague when it comes to the geography of the Caucasus region, though I started to have a clearer picture in mind after last year's South Ossetia war.

    Here's a link to a good map in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ch...d_Caucasus.png

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    One story he wrote was about a visit of a friend of his to Chechnya. In Grozny they found that things had got a lot better for normal people and the capital was being rebuilt with federal money.
    Yes, I suppose a lot of money went into rebuilding Grozny. I few weeks ago a huge and expensive mall was opened in Grozny with a skating rink.
    http://www.izvestia.ru/news/news221956
    I only hope there's not going to be another war there so that everything is destroyed and has to be re-built again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    I really don't know what to think of it - but luckily it's not my problem...
    ...
    It's very easy to complain at what IS done there, but there is no easy solution, right? Surely mot even the Chechens themselves would want to be their own country...They'd be an incredibly poor and backwards country. Worse than Moldova or Tadjikistan etc.

    I guess all the ethnic Russians who lived there must have left a long time ago...
    I don't know what to think either. The situation seems to be very similar to the Basque country -- there are also terrorists who claim to act on the behalf of people that in fact don't really seem to want to separate, yet Europe doesn't seem to be doing anything about it. I only feel sorry for the innocent victims of those crimes -- Beslan, Nord-Ost...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beslan_...hostage_crisis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow_...hostage_crisis...
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Зато новости смотреть интересно! Шучу... Просто чувствуешь, что жизнь не стоит на месте, как вода в болоте. Страшно, а мы живем, радуемся...
    Всегда Ваш, Дима!

  11. #11
    Hanna
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    The thing in the Basque country is that some parts of it are really well off - even better than surrounding Spanish areas. The whole situation started because there were several very oppressive regimes in Spain in the past, and the Basques were prevented from speaking their langauge with strict punishment of people who did not comply. I don't think Russia/USSR ever really did anything like that in Chechnya.

    There was a campaign against the Basque culture to try to eradicate it - that's why they got so angry. Later, a lot of people there became revolutionary Communists too - in reaction to the right-wing Franco government that was opressing them. The situation with the Basque areas has calmed down so much only during my lifetime. In the 1980s Spanish people were really scared of ETA but they are not anymore.

    I think the whole problem will disappear completely soon. Basically the Basques have got absolutely everything they wanted apart from their own country. Most of them don't want that anymore. Plus the EU is spending tons of money there to keep people happy. The idea of a terrorist situation in the centre of EU is Brussel's worst nightmare...

    The IRA (Northern Ireland) is another nightmare situation which had no easy solution (cannot change the past...) Most people in the UK were so fed up with it that they would have been happy to let NI go...

    But millions of Brits lived there and had nowhere else to go.. Luckily that has calmed down too now - UK and EU are pouring money into Belfast which is completely rebuilt and apparently incredibly nice now.

    People from Northern Ireland can decide if they want to be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland or the UK - but most chose the UK. In the UK there is an "unwritten law" that you should never discuss "the Troubles" as it's called...

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Одна из женщин, сбитых накануне в Иркутске, скончалась.
    http://www.1tv.ru/news/n156813

    One of the girls hit by a car died. The driver didn't even bother to approach the girls after hitting them. Many walked by and ignored them too.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    The idea of a terrorist situation in the centre of EU is Brussel's worst nightmare...
    Thanks for the info, Johanna. It does look as if things are calming down in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but it was my understanding that ETA continues its activities -- from this quote in wiki:
    In 2006 ETA declared a "permanent ceasefire", after nearly 40 years fighting for independence from Spanish and French authorities and the annexation of all Basque lands to a united, socialist state. In June 2007 ETA officially ended the "permanent ceasefire". Since then it has committed several bomb attacks and assassinations.
    I do think that it should die down eventually, if people are living peacefully and prosperously...

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    I guess all the ethnic Russians who lived there must have left a long time ago...
    Well, according to Putin, there was a genocide of Russians, Ukrainians and other non-Chechen people in Chechnya in the 90s. Around 30,000 people were killed and many more had to flee their homes leaving everything. A lot of Chechens died as well, as a result of the wars. There are some awful things in the wiki article about the ethnic cleansing in Chechnya -- I don't know how true those facts are, since wikipedia is notoriously unreliable, but many of the quotes seem to have been taken from serious newspapers. I'm happy enough to have not been born there and to live thousands of kms away but who knows... we all travel sometimes...

    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%93%...87%D0%BD%D0%B5
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Many walked by and ignored them too.
    And where you found this info? In the article it's written that the ones, who walked by, called the emergency.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Johanna
    The whole situation started because there were several very oppressive regimes in Spain in the past, and the Basques were prevented from speaking their langauge with strict punishment of people who did not comply. I don't think Russia/USSR ever really did anything like that in Chechnya.
    Exactly like that? I guess no. But Stalin departured entire Chechen nation to Kazakhstan in 40th. They were allowed to return only after his death:

    Quote Originally Posted by wiki
    In 1941, during World War II, a Chechen revolt broke out, led by Khasan Israilov. Chechens were accused by Stalin of aiding Nazi forces. In February 1944 Stalin deported all the Chechens and Ingush to Kazakh and Kirghiz SSRs. Up to a quarter of these people died during the "resettlement."[30][31][32] In 1957, after the death of Stalin, Khrushchev allowed the Chechens to return and the Chechen republic was reinstated in 1958, the authority of the Soviet government gradually eroded.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Quote Originally Posted by sperk
    Many walked by and ignored them too.
    And where you found this info? In the article it's written that the ones, who walked by, called the emergency.
    an earlier report showed video footage of people walking by.
    Кому - нары, кому - Канары.

  17. #17
    Hanna
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77
    Exactly like that? I guess no. But Stalin departured entire Chechen nation to Kazakhstan in 40th. They were allowed to return only after his death:
    Ok I see. That's terrible and of course a serious grievance.
    I did not know that - had never heard about it. I was aware that misc. people got deported during the Stalin era, but I didn't know that it had happened to the Chechens.

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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Chechens were accused by Stalin of aiding Nazi forces.
    That's not hard to believe! Stalin was right. The Muslims helped Hitler in the War against us. Soviet Muslims welcomed Hitler as a Liberator when Germany invaded Soviet Union. Hitler also formed Chechen Muslims Units including Muslims from most of the "stan" countries. Hitler formed Waffen SS Units of Bosnian Muslims, led by a Palestinian, The Grand Mufti. The Serbians helped us fight Hitler.......funny how Clinton bombed our friends the Serbs, isn't it?
    Stalin had every right to do what he did to Chechnya. How were the people to live with each other after the Muslims had betrayed the country? I hope Putin crushes, destroys and annihilates these Chechen dogs, too! We don't want another "Beslan"!
    Azerbaidjan SS platoon in Warsaw during the Uprising.
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    The problem with all those conflicts is that their roots are so deep down in history that it's sort of no longer possible to decide who "started it." There has always been trouble and unrest in that region. Chechnya has long been part of Russia, but when there were periods of internal instability in the Russian empire Chechnya always tried to rebel. Initially Russian presence in the Caucasus region and in the Crimea was due to the fact that Turks/the Ottoman empire were constantly raiding Russian and Ukrainian lands, capturing thousands of people and then selling them as slaves. So naturally Russia had to establish some kind of order on its borders. And that's how those regions came under the Russian sway.

    Hatred engenders nothing but hatred. I do think that perhaps it would have been better if they had been allowed to go when the Soviet Union fell. I mean, we really don't have anything in common with them, they're not "brother-Slavs", and we let go Ukraine and Belorussia with whom we have far more ties. Perhaps we could conduct another referendum now and ask Chechens themselves what they want, but very likely the majority would be against seceding; at least that's what they tell me the last referendum showed...

    I personally think they are all fascinating cultures -- Ossetians, the Ingush, Kabardins, Balkars. It doesn't matter that they are mostly Muslims -- Russians never had any problems with other religions or tried to convert anyone (as far as I know). It doesn't do any good to demonize entire nations. I especially like watching concerts when all minorities show their folk dances, in their national costumes -- there was one a few days ago on the Culture channel, I wish there'd be more.

    (slightly off-topic, but anyway) Kabardins:


    P.S. About the deportations... Well, there's nothing laudable in it but they were allowed to return pretty soon and relocations were widespread at that time not only in the Soviet Union -- in the USA, the Japanese were also uprooted and interned in special camps after Pearl Harbour.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanes...can_internment
    Alice: One can't believe impossible things.
    The Queen: I dare say you haven't had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

  20. #20
    Hanna
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    Re: Tragedies in Russia.

    Good post Starrysky! That explains a lot.
    Actually, most European countries have one or more minorities that have been mistreated at different times -- some fairly recently. I won't list any examples I am sure everyone knows plenty. All countries need to have a calm situation at its' borders - The bigger country, the longer the border, the more potential for trouble. In the case of Russia/USSR, being the largest t country in the world, of course there will be some problems...

    Lots of countries did very questionable things during the War, but the allies (excl.USSR) have not had their actions scrutinised and critisised to the same degree.

    I know very well that some terrible things happened in the USSR during the Stalin era. But I am sick of this always being held against modern day Russia and people who are not responsible in any way for Stalin's decisions. Plus, it is also clear that Stalin actually achieved many quite impressive results and improved living standards for regular people even though it was by using ruthless methods. It's understandable that Russians have an ambivalent view of him.

    Also, the part of the world that grew up under strong US influence have had a very negative view of Russia / USSR presented to them via film and media their entire lives. They are bound to be biased against Russia unless they stop to think a bit.

    I agree with Starrysky that it would be good know what the majority of Chechens really think about being part of Russia. Not sure how realistic it would be to have a fair, modern referendum there. I would guess that a majority of regular Russians would be happy to let Chechnya go it's own way if it meant the end of terrorism, wars and other trouble from that area. I can't imagine what kind of future Chechnya would have as a separate state, but that's another question.

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