At the risk of offending Russians, I feel I really must chime in on the subject of the quite notable suckiness of their country. I’ll just recount current events which have irked me — if I have to mention everything that has bugged me about the behavior of Russia’s government and the brutality of its culture, we’ll be here all day.
Sure, maybe nobody can pin the murder of Anna Politkovskaya on Vladimir Putin — but then he is the president and he was in the KGB in commie days. If anyone could cover up his involvement in a crime it would be Putin. This is all really irrelevant, because this isn’t any kind of isolated incident in Russia — journalists and businessmen are offed routinely in this mafia playpen.
But truly the proof that Russia is at best a thin mockery of a Western culture is the outrageous way Georgian citizens living in Russia have been treated ever since Georgian authorities arrested four Russian spies. Georgian businesses have been shut down, merchants at markets have been swept from their stalls, and even school children who dare to have “Georgian-sounding” surnames are spied on like ethnic criminals — it’s enough to ask if the gulags will really be reconditioned as theme parks after all.
The plain fact is, anyone who didn’t at least try to run screaming from Russia 90 years ago (like many of my relatives did) had to have been some kind of mental defective. Anyone who stays now, well… I think I have risked too much offense as it is.