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Thread: Liberties of the Russian people .

  1. #21
    Moderator Lampada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent Tailors View Post
    Hanna, I don't know what country you come from, but if it's Sweden, then (no offence) you should understand that Sweden is not a major power in the world politics and it's very small with a tiny (relatively) population. That means Swedes have no ambitions on the world stage and they tend to keep to themselves. Hence the level of corruption is very low since it's always quieter in a tiny hamlet where you know everyone, than it is in a huge metropolis where many many many warring parties are fighting over influence and resources.

    Russia on the other hand is 1) a major power player 2) is very rich in resources 3) has means to influence world politics 4) very huge and scarcely populated (which means people in different provinces do not really feel connected) And to add more to that, Russia suffered a total state and economy collapse 20 years ago (yes - it shook the very foundations of society and reshaped them - in a bloody and violent way). Also Soviet Socialism was an artificial construct, an experiment going against all human nature which severely traumatized and twisted your average Russian's mentality. Russians are recovering, but it's a slow process, it'll take tens of years (if not a hundred) to change something if nothing happens (like a full-scale war or a natural disaster).

    Also Russia is an empire and all empires are very corrupt by definition. Also Russians generally do not associate themselves with Russia and its future. They hate their country and are always willing to sabotage the state (even if they themselves do not realize it). Also tomorrow doesn't look promising to Russians, so you really want to hoard as much resources as you can to secure your and your family's future.

    But this stuff is really subtle. You wouldn't notice anything like that if you just came and lived in Russia for a while. You would find it very kind, calm and hospitable. I would say I feel much more freedom in Russia than in any EU state. In Russia noone cares about you as long as you're not a threat to others. You can be yourself, not someone other poeple want you to be.

    America is too an absolutely corrupt and cynical state. The only difference is that its average citizen is wealthier and that it didn't have to build its economy from the scratch in the last 20 years, but if America experiences something similar to what Russia had in 1991, mark my words - you'll not recognize it and I certainly wouldn't want to be caught in the middle. It was a wonder that Russia remained a single state, America would not be so lucky.
    It's admittedly just a subjective personal opinion. I disagree with most of it. Not everything is always black and white and that hopeless.

  2. #22
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    I think that is the problem. The problem is with that thinking that Russia is still a world's superpower. USSR was such, but not Russia. I know it's painful for many to admit that and many will go far arguing with the obvious fact -- Russia is NOT a superpower. As soon as our politicians will take this into account things might get easier. I wish they got real. Talk to Russians -- they all think that Russia plays major role in the world. Yes, it tries and perhaps it is now can be called a regional superpower, but it cannot be compared to USA or China. It has many internal problems, and corruption is the major one. But in order to fight with corruption the government should begin with themselves and resign en masse. I think that Russia should put its imperial ambitions aside and stick to domestic problems. Right now, Russia is nothing more than an oil field and nobody does anything to change that. The government seems content with that hoping for some miracle in the future.

    About Zhirinovsky, yes, I voted for him, but not because I am a great fan of his. I've never had any illusions about this man and I knew that he's safe from becoming a president (Could be fun, though). I simply used my vote in order for it not to be miraculously cast for the United Russia in my absence. Nevertheless, despite his general image of a clown, at least some of his ideas make very great deal of sense. I wish they were expressed by someone less odious.

    About the murdered journalists. I can only repeat things I've said earlier. The government doesn't give a damn about what they talk or write. Nothing would discredit them at this point. They will simply tell everyone that things being said are lies and every TV channel will do everything in their power to 'confirm' that. Journalists get killed if they happen to mess with criminals. I may be no great fan of our government, but I simply see no reason for them to kill anyone. They don't need it. No motive. It may appear that some scandalous news make some great impact here, but in reality nobody will even notice it in Russia. People would just shrug it off and return to their business. The government is perfectly safe from the journalists, there are no fourth branch of power here. Some will believe and some will not, but the majority will simply ignore it.
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  3. #23
    Почтенный гражданин Misha Tal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    Another famous video of Zhirinovsky (Warning, a lot of swearing!):

    "Не сметь стрелять по Багдаду. Лучше вместе ...нем по Тбилиси!!"

    Laughed my AZZZZ off!
    "If in the end, Misha, you are destined to lose this game, there is no need for the reason to be cowardice!"

  4. #24
    Hanna
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    At work, so very briefly:
    Yeah, what Ramil is saying is making a lot of sense.

    The UK, where I am currently living, is suffering from the "post - empire" syndrome too..

    Partly people are proud and see themselves as a major power, because of the past, and the English language..
    Partly they know that the UK is only one of the "big 4" in the EU... Or the US knee-dog
    depending on how you look at it.. So national self esteem swings from exaggerated to "we are nothing..."

    Up until recently I had actually thought that Russia was back on track to becoming a serious political power though, under Putin (his good or bad sides aside..)
    Between the USA or China I don't know who I distrust the most. For some reason I don't feel at all as suspicious about Russia.

    But it seems there is still too many problems in Russia for it to make any kind of comeback as a political power to balance out power.
    I admit that I never really saw the USSR in a terribly bad light (maybe naive kid...) so I was pretty shocked when all the "dirt" about it came out in the 1990s.
    And now it's the exact smae story day about modern Russia until finding out from people here that it's really a very corrupt country...
    But like someone said on this forum: You can like a country without liking the way it is run.

  5. #25
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Well, unlike officials and the police, people are generally nice here.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  6. #26
    Почётный участник lemoni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Well, unlike officials and the police, people are generally nice here.
    Well, it's nice to be nice..
    Ученье - свет, неученье - тьма

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    The UK, where I am currently living, is suffering from the "post - empire" syndrome too..
    I'd say russian "siffering" is more related with things inside the country. Russian people "suffer" mostly not because whole world stopped to afraid them, not because they "lost" Ukraine or Belorussia.
    Russian sport has been destroyed. This Winter Olympic Games was the most terrible since Russia has been taking part in it.
    Today in Russia there are more homeless children than in Great Patriotic War time.
    Russia produces only 3% of world science intensive goods
    Moskow State University wasn't included in top-200 universities in this year.

    Personelly i think there are no things in Russia today which russians can be proud of. This is the reason of suffering.

  8. #28
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lampada View Post
    It's admittedly just a subjective personal opinion. I disagree with most of it. Not everything is always black and white and that hopeless.
    I think Vincent had more or less painted the picture as formed by the mass-media. I don't really find a reason to be so harsh on him. It seems he just tried to summarize the pros and cons and therefore ended up with a black-and-white picture.

  9. #29
    Почтенный гражданин Misha Tal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    BUT: I am going back anyway though.. Can't stand London anymore. In April I am OUT of here --- hurrah, at last! And I am taking a big detour East before I go back to Sweden.. More about that in my MR blog that I am about to start.
    You must be awfully tired of the smog and "pavement" and "Good morning!".

    In any other case I would say: "Oh no! Don't do that! Don't move anywhere! Stick to London!". But now that you have a much better place to go, lemme say:

    Good-luck with a new life in your own country!
    "If in the end, Misha, you are destined to lose this game, there is no need for the reason to be cowardice!"

  10. #30
    Hanna
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    @Siberian Bear (where is your avatar??): Yeah, I agree with what you say - it makes a lot of sense. When I was a kid, I sometimes watched TV programmes from Russia (USSR, then) and there were a lot of things that really impressed me. But the news from Russia in the 1990s were definitely NOT impressive. Heartbreaking, rather. It was pretty incomprehensible too: From seemingly well organised country and happy people on TV, to gangsters, humiliation and utter poverty. So I was really happy for Russia when I was beginning to read about good things happening there again: Peoples standards of living improving and projects started that will benefit normal people.

    @Misha: Thanks for wishing me well...

    @Vincent tailors: yeah, gosh of course I know my country is insignificant, and a lot easier to run than Russia! I probably shouldn't even try to make any comparisons.... Russia is the other Northernmost part of Europe though.. apart from Scandinavia... and some of the culture is surprisingly similar - although everything in Russia always seems more extreme and dramatic...

    @fortheether: Ok you have every right to like Ronald Reagan even though few on the forum think very highly of him.... So give a practical example of something that he did that you think was good?



    + I am wondering about all those "Russians" who live in other countries that were previously part of the USSR.... Ukraine, Kazakhstan etc... How much loyalty do they feel towards Russia? What if they were made to choose? For example all those Russians in the Baltic states... Or do they cease to be Russians now and just Russian-speaking Estonians or something like that...?

  11. #31
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanna View Post
    I know my country is insignificant, and a lot easier to run than Russia
    Don't be so agreeable. I think the world will be forever grateful to Sweden for Abba, Roxette, Europe and Ace of Base. There is something in Sweden that gives birth to greatest musicians.
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  12. #32
    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misha Tal View Post
    .. the monkey who is the current president of Iran..
    You are in Tehran and don't afraid to write such things? I myself as the majority of people on this planet think that this Ahmadinejad guy is a moron, but I thought it's very dangerous to say such things in Iran.
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  13. #33
    Завсегдатай Basil77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Don't be so agreeable. I think the world will be forever grateful to Sweden for Abba, Roxette, Europe and Ace of Base. There is something in Sweden that gives birth to greatest musicians.
    You've forgotten about E-type! Really, Hanna, don't be so shy about your country. It's played a very important role in European history and in Russian history in particular. Moreover, I think that Swedish culture and Swedish people are great. Also I like the way how your country is run, I think it's one of the best and fairest societies on the face of Earth. My mom visited Sweden a couple of years ago and she literally fell in love in the country. So you should be very proud to be a Swede! !
    Please, correct my mistakes, except for the cases I misspell something on purpose!

  14. #34
    Почтенный гражданин Misha Tal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basil77 View Post
    You are in Tehran and don't afraid to write such things?
    Afraid? Of what? Trash-talking on the internet? Well, we've said infinitely worse things on the streets, a mere 5 meters from the Revolutionary Guards.
    "If in the end, Misha, you are destined to lose this game, there is no need for the reason to be cowardice!"

  15. #35
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misha Tal View Post
    Afraid? Of what? Trash-talking on the internet? Well, we've said infinitely worse things on the streets, a mere 5 meters from the Revolutionary Guards.
    I gather that all those talks about 'no freedom of speech in Iran' are just those -- talks? Somehow it restores my beliefs in the world order.
    Send me a PM if you need me.

  16. #36
    Властелин
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Don't be so agreeable. I think the world will be forever grateful to Sweden for Abba, Roxette, Europe and Ace of Base. There is something in Sweden that gives birth to greatest musicians.
    I have to agree with you on the musicians from Sweden. I love progressive rock and boy does Sweden have a boat load of great players.

    Scott

  17. #37
    Завсегдатай it-ogo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    I think it's ironic that Ronald Reagan is being discussed in a "Liberties of the Russian people" thread. I know there were many factors in the collapse of communism but isn't Ronald Reagan one of them? We'll never know but if Carter won again and then followed by other "weak" presidents like Obama - would you be able to freely have a discussion on the liberties of the Russian people?


    Main reasons for USSR collapse were internal. At the end of USSR people didn't really believe in soviet ideals, propaganda etc. Everybody became cynic. But yes, maybe external factors played some role. Namely, maybe aggressiveness and insane rhetorics of Reagan prolonged USSR a bit more. He gave many good confirmations to communist propaganda. We'll never know...
    "Россия для русских" - это неправильно. Остальные-то чем лучше?

  18. #38
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fortheether View Post
    We'll never know but if Carter won again and then followed by other "weak" presidents like Obama - would you be able to freely have a discussion on the liberties of the Russian people?
    Well, Misha Tal seems to enjoy the 'free' talk, so why not?

    I'm not sure the reasons for the 'fall of the communism' are quite obvious. Like, look at North Korea. All the so-called 'reasons for the fall' are still there (and perhaps there are even more), but the present regime seems to be rather stable. Some people think at the August of 1991 the SU was very close to abandon the Perestroyka and going back to the roots (=the strong dictatorship).

    Having said that, I remember the early '80s and all I can tell is that the SU seemed to be preparing for a big war. It was apparent the SU couldn't match the SDI and the preemptive strike was required to save the regime. Gorbachev allowed a lot of ugly things to happen, but he didn't allow the big war to start.

  19. #39
    Завсегдатай Ramil's Avatar
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    Sooooo, about SDI, do you really think it was a real threat? Observing US's struggling with ABM now (which is a mush humbler project than SDI was), watching its doubtful effectiveness, I doubt US was capable of SDI in the early 1980s.
    Some say that SDI was a bluff in order to hurl USSR into more expenses it could afford, well, if it was it was a very successful one, I'd say the Soviet leaders believed it. Still, I don't see how KGB missed this fact and generally I cannot imagine a bluff of that magnitude and I find it hard to believe.

    I think USSR was destroyed from within, not from outside. By its own people, not by some clever US president.
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  20. #40
    Завсегдатай Crocodile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Sooooo, about SDI, do you really think it was a real threat? [...] I doubt US was capable of SDI in the early 1980s.
    Honestly, I have no idea. But if you remember the early '80s you'd remember "the Pershing II and the SDI threat" talk was looking for you even if you'd opened your fridge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Some say that SDI was a bluff in order to hurl USSR into more expenses it could afford, well, if it was it was a very successful one, I'd say the Soviet leaders believed it.
    I think so too. At least, that's how it looked from the outside.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Still, I don't see how KGB missed this fact and generally I cannot imagine a bluff of that magnitude and I find it hard to believe.
    I think that question was more of the GRU's competence than of the KGB's, but that doesn't make much difference. I mean, the Cold War era intelligence games are a way too complex for a simple-minded crocodile like myself. There's never an end to it. For example, perhaps the SU preparation for the preemptive war was also a disinformation campaign so that the US would spend more money on the SDI (while the Soviet Leaders spent much less on the 'preemptive war preparation' than the US Government on the 'SDI implementation') and the US government realized that fact ('I know that you know that I know') and spent more money in order to really impress the Soviet Leaders more and the SU made the 'preemptive war' looking more realistic, and so the game of who's fooling whom goes on and on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    I think USSR was destroyed from within, not from outside. By its own people, not by some clever US president.
    Yes and no. I think the clever US president might have significantly contributed to a situation in which it was beneficial for some people to get more independence (=more local power) and sacrifice the power of the USSR. The 'own people' rode a wave (which was partially created by the US president) to their own benefit.

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