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WHAT'S IT LIKE LIVING IN RUSSIA TODAY?

 
 
steissd
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Feb, 2003 03:06 pm
Not now. Now they are no more significant than their colleagues throughout the world. In the imperial times the authorities patronized arts, music and literature, then it was very honorable to belong to these professions.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 01:54 am
steissd and Docent, I am very thankful for your willingness to share. I love learning about other parts of the world, especially, when it involves first person experiences.

What is the most common way for a professional to travel in an urban setting? What is the most common way for a common laborer to travel in a rural setting? What American tunes are being played on local radio?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 02:28 pm
I second that, Mapleleaf. It's rare for us to get first hand impressions on the internet from countries such as China, India, Russia, and Africa. That's one of the reasons I enjoy world travel; it provides the opportunity to exchange ideas with people in other countries. What is common in all peoples is their wish for a better living for their children. c.i.
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 02:34 pm
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 06:12 pm
Docent P wrote:
During the Yeltsin's period we had very authoritarian, corrupted, non-democratic regime BUT thank Yeltsin he was drunk too often and therefore physically unable to work out every country's problem. That was why some parts of the power were delegated to another government structures and the Duma. Really we got 3 branches of the power. According to one my friend, a professional political expert, the Duma had about 5% of the power (today it's hard to believe but that was a fact!) and the courts - about 1%. If Yeltsin had been drunk 7-8 times more often we probably would have had almost American model of state ruling - 33% for the every power branch. The best ruler for Russia is a non-ruling one.

But the most promising thing was Yeltsin's bad health. He could die any day without leaving his "follower". What would have happened then? IMHO probably we would have had REALLY HONEST elections and therefore THE FIRST LEGITIME GOVERNMENT since 1917! That was a very probable chance for Russia to become a normal country in 1996 when Yeltsin fell into coma and was on a very edge of the death. We could have had new honest elections with Zyuganov (Commy), Lebed (patriotic general) and Yavlinsky (pro-Western liberal) as candidates. According to the polls Zyuganov had no chances to win against Yavlinsky as well as Lebed. So we would have had a more or less democratic President (at least a non-KGBist!) feeling his responsibility to the people elected him and the nation feeling their responsibility for the elected President, for the whole country at last. Yeltsin could really give us a chance to become a nation! But unfortunately this chance was lost due to this damned Dutch doctor


<grins>

Oh my God we're responsible for that, too, huh. Embarrassed

Seriously - for an analysis written mostly in jest, yours gets the relevant points across very well. I totally agree. Perhaps weak leaders would - in spite of the measure of anarchy they create in a country like Russia - be the best way for a country with a near-exclusive history of depsotism to get the chance to develop something like independently functioning, slowly rooting civil society, parliament and parties, justice system etc. Alas. Didnt happen.

In a way though, I think the opportunity may, though it finally disappeared when you say, after 96, have been missed earlier on already. Yeltsin's fault. He came to power on a surge of popular involvement in the democratic cause, there was commitment there. He turned it into cynisim, not just by his corruption and incompetence, but also b/c he passed on the chance to help develop "Democratic Russia" into a socially rooted, properly organised powerful movement, and preferred to play divide & rule instead.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 06:24 pm
Re: "Sex, violance and terrorism must be forbidden&quot
Docent P wrote:
The most noticeable independent producer is Alexander Rogozhkin. He has managed to do impossible in Russia - to make movie without any national budget money.


Thanks for your expose about Russian movies. That's really interesting. I saw Rogozhkin's "Living with an Idiot". It was bizarre, but impressive and revealing. It even played in Dutch (arthouse) cinemas for a while. Especialities of the National Hunt got to the Rotterdam film festival I believe but not to the cinemas - I didnt see it. I didnt even know there were follow-ups.

I kinda had guessed you wouldnt have liked Brat ... ;-). I did, I must say. I thought it was funny in a deadpan, ironic, fast-moving way that I'd never seen in a Russian (or East European, period) film. But yeh, like I said, I'd interpreted as a Russian Pulp Fiction. Pulp Fiction is also a gangsta movie, full of random violence and with little respect to humanistic values, but its' still counted as one of the very best US films of the last decade.

You'll never believe - a friend of my sister, a Dutch girl, totally fell in love with Bodrov Jr. I understand he was a bit of a sex symbol in Russia, but over here anyone I told that this girl fell in love with him, in as far as they'd seen Brat or the poster - fell over laughing. ;-)

Docent P wrote:
>And what aboutv Indian films,

They were popular during the Communist period until 1991. But then thankfully they have totally dissappeared from the screens.


There was this movie ... Bratan. It had this scene, set in - Tadzhikistan? - where the two brothers were in the train, and they looked outside, tiny village in the middle of nowhere - and they saw this man, gesturing wildly and vividly, to a group of onlookers - jumping, crying, shouting - and after a minute or so, there was a subtitle reading: "man reenacting Hindu film" - to, you know, these pple who didnt have TV. That made me smile - I still remember!
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 06:42 pm
Is it true that India out produces all other countries in movie making? c.i.
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Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 07:03 pm
I think this is a really interesting thread! I do not have a lot of knowledge about Russia, so I have been keenly reading.
I'd like to thank DocentP and Steissd for their informative posts, an education for me!
I feel sad when I read Docent saying -
Quote:
I'm sure I won't outlive Putin. These scums can live two times longer than usual persons. During Yeltsin's era I had some hope, now I don't. It's very sad

I really had no idea of the situation over there.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 Feb, 2003 09:30 pm
TK,
Great to see you here...looking forward to your sharing.
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steissd
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Feb, 2003 05:04 am
Well, about DocentP. He obviously belongs to minority that is openly dissatisfied with his President. As far as I know, the broad majority of the polls' participants in Russia are satisfied with Mr. Putin (and this is not the same as 100 percent of popular support to Saddam, verbal dissenters are not prosecuted in the modern Russia, unless they disclose secret documents and collaborate with enemies).
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Feb, 2003 09:39 am
Well, all this is really interesting.

I've had half a dozen co-workers from the former USSR (from a professor of a teacher's college to a nurse) and worked myself for more than one year as a "social coordinator" [that was on another job] in an urban area with about 1.000 resettlers from USSR.
(The latter was, btw, IMH the worst the local government could have done: the really used a closed area - houses of former Belgian, Canadian and British troops in a really 'closed' area - for settlement. Integration was nearly impossible - that was, why I quit that job.)
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Docent P
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 06:02 am
>What is the most common way for a professional to travel in an urban setting?

I everyday get to work by bus. There nothing has changed since the Communist period except the fact that transport has become more expensive.

>What is the most common way for a common laborer to travel in a rural setting?

Usually by bus. If you ask about a remote village that doesn't have a bus line then you can reach it either hitch-hiking or asking your local relatives or friends to travel for you to the nearest railway station by their own or borrowed motor-bike.

>What American tunes are being played on local radio?

I listen only to radio news programs - mostly BBC and Liberty. As about entertainment programs I don't know, probably the same that in America.
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>You'll never believe - a friend of my sister, a Dutch girl, totally fell in love with Bodrov Jr. I understand he was a bit of a sex symbol in Russia,

I remember a popular slogan that recently could be seen on the streets: "Plisetskaya (a ballerina? - I'm not sure) is our hope, Danila is our brother, Putin is our president" Smile

>...this girl fell in love with him, in as far as they'd seen Brat or the poster - fell over laughing. ;-)

I must condole for her because she has very few chances to see Brat 2 & 3. I guess these movies will be forbidden in the West due to their racist nature.

-------------
>Well, about DocentP. He obviously belongs to minority that is openly dissatisfied with his President.

As I noticed at the beginning I never pretend to show all the Russian population's feelings.

>As far as I know, the broad majority of the polls' participants in Russia are satisfied with Mr. Putin

Which is very questionable. Comrade Putin himself would disagree with you. If everyone is satisfied why should the government fight medias, replacing them by propaganda? For example just recently the Novye Izvestia paper was closed for their article "+ putinisation of the whole Russia" (an analogy with the Lenins phrase "Communism is the Soviet power + electrification of the whole country).

> (and this is not the same as 100 percent of popular support to Saddam,

Ok, not 100% but just 99.98% as it was during the Putin's election in one Chechen region. Putin got the highest percentage in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia and the lowest one in Moscow and Petersburg. Seemly the Chechen citizens are the happiest of him in Russia Smile .

>verbal dissenters are not prosecuted in the modern Russia, unless they disclose secret documents and collaborate with enemies).

I just remember that Nikitin's dossier (published abroad documents which he was prosecuted for) were considered secret despite being compiled from different newspapers' extracts. Being asked, how a newspaper could be a secret document, one FSBist said that these separate extracts were not secret but collected together they contain the state secret.

Speaking about the people's love toward Putin I can confirm that there was a short period in 1999 - early 2000 when this guy became very popular. The reason was so called "Moscowian syndrome" - expressed in this phrase "we will elect you dear comrade Putin but please stop exploding us" (the explosion of several dwelling houses in Sep 99 caused almost unanimous conclusion among usual people about the FSB's responsibility). Really there were even serious political experts(!) who insisted that the Chechen War would stop as soon as Putin is elected. Unfortunately these optimist were wrong.

Another category of Putin lovers are youths - really the young generation is the most stagnant, sluggish, undemocratic part of Russian society (I guess as well as in any other country). Once I tried discussing one such guy's logic, then I had this dialog: Why do you like Putin? - Because he is good. - Where have you picked it up? - I know it. - Have you read it in any paper? - No, all the papers are bullsh*t. - Ok, what about TV? - All TV programs are propaganda. - May be you got it from foreign radio "voices"? - No, they are propaganda as well. - Whose propaganda? - Damned capitalists'. - So what sources do you get your info from? - No sources. - Who told you Putin is good? - I know it. ... then see the beginning Laughing . Seemly that guy had already been in the ward 101.

But the situation is rather different than in 1999. Lets see the recent protest actions when pensioners in different regions were sending their pensions' additions to Putin. This story began more than a year ago when Comrade Putin made a loudly declared in his TV speech that thanks to his personal initiative pensioners' life became better up to 40%. The President was a little wrong. It took more than a year for pensioners to receive their first increased pension. But instead promised 40% they were given only 6% - to be exact 1$ more to their previous 18$. Someone decided to post this 1$ to Putin, soon the wave of postings grew up over the all Russia, for example only from Voronezh Putin has received 15,000$. I don't remember any pensioners' protests during the Gorbachev's or Yeltsin's periods in such scales.

Only after reading Mr. Steissd's comments, I have realized how strongly my country has changed for last years.
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>The latter was, btw, IMH the worst the local government could have done: the really used a closed area - houses of former Belgian, Canadian and British troops in a really 'closed' area - for settlement.


I have heard a lot about the rudeness of American embassy workers. Don't you see it as a form of the "white man syndrome"? When "civilizated" colonizers very quickly adopt the worst traditions from indigenes?
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Mar, 2003 11:32 am
Thank you Docent. Very interesting information of the current Russia and it's people. c.i.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Mar, 2003 07:04 pm
Same here. It is always interesting to read your posts, Docent P
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Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 03:08 am
me too
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Mar, 2003 05:45 am
Docent,
What is your take on the present situation in the Middle East? What are the workers' saying?
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Docent P
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 04:55 am
Since Mr. Nimh has been interested in the Nord-Ost trial, I can now report the results - all the claims have been dismissed and Luzhkov has been decorated with the Order of Courage. Really he had to be a brave guy paying 1000$ compensation for every killed.

Besides Luzhkov Putin also secretly awarded for Nord-Ost two FSB generals - the chief of Moscowian FSB (who had to prevent this terrorist action) and the Spetsnaz unit's commander (who is responsible for the killing of about 140 hostages). BTW this new Putin's invention of secret awards which became so popular during the Chechen War is smth really killing me Surprised .

>What is your take on the present situation in the Middle East?

I've already expressed my opinion a bit.

I find it a good idea - recently all the oil sources have been kept by undemocratic regimes (Marxists in Venesuela, post-Commies in Russia, fascists in Lybia, fundamentalists in Saudi, Iraq and Iran). If we get at least one democratic oil-exporter it will make the world more stable.

Another good news - the UN have lost a major part of their power. It means that China and Putin are loosing their main resource to influence on the world. The era of "horse-trading" (as Mr. Nimh perfectly said) is over now!

The only bad thing I see is that Bush has been so delayed. While he has been hearing stupid Shiraq's demagogy Saddam got enough time to prepare to the attack. Since Saddam considers every own citizen as a hostage (like every totalitarian dictator) he may cause big casualties which could be avoided if Bush had attacked 1/2 year ago.

>What are the workers' saying?

Of cource nothing Very Happy . The last dialogue about policy I took part in was 3 years ago (I posted it in the previous message). Every Russian perfectly knows when it's better to keep silence - it's smth like an instinct. The official propaganda is as usually strong anti-American, but it doesn't work successfully. The majority of population has an immunity from the leftist bulls*t (unlike this million of American peacenics). Several protest actions in Russia have attracted only a couple of dozens of people (who just enjoy throwing eggs on American embassy or anywhere else independently of political reasons Laughing ) to each.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 02:41 pm
What kind of TV coverage are you getting of the present attack in Iraq? CNN, etc.
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Docent P
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 03:04 am
>What kind of TV coverage are you getting of the present attack in Iraq? CNN, etc.

CNN?! - You must be joking. Now we have the 1st channel - so called "public TV" (really government's), 2nd - official government channel, 3d - state channel "Culture" (presents the 2nd channel's news), 4th channel - NTV - belonging to the state company Gasprom (presents pro-government view), 6th channel TVS (former TV6) that belongs to state company Lukoil and presents pro-government view as well, 10th channel TVTs - Moscow mayor Luzhkov's official channel (present official government propaganda as well as all others).

I usually pick information up from BBC and Liberty radio channels, which are broadcasting in the shortwave band, and Internet. I see TV news not more than a couple times in a week just to ridicule it.
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Mapleleaf
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jun, 2003 07:26 pm
Docent,
What's happening in your country....see article.

Quote:
In Russia, a 'creeping coup'?

In a no-confidence vote Wednesday, some see a coming showdown between the Kremlin and the oligarchs.

By Fred Weir | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

MOSCOW - An unlikely coalition of liberal and communist legislators is set to launch a no-confidence vote against the Kremlin-appointed government of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov Wednesday. It is the first twitch of parliamentary rebellion since President Vladimir Putin came to office more than three years ago.
Most experts say the no-confidence measure, which the state Duma's pro-Kremlin majority is expected to reject, is just the first shot in a fast-approaching election campaign and is aimed at gaining cheap points for the two main opposition parties, the Communists and the liberal Yabloko group. Between them, the two control about a quarter of the Duma's 450 seats.


FULL ARTICLE
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