The Ghastly Horror of Russian Barbarism
It’s really amazing how, no matter what horrific and repugnant thing you may have seen from Russia, the country can always surprise you with something even more vile tomorrow.
What would you say if we told you, for instance, that the bus shown above is “home” to dozens – that’s right dozens – of helpless animals?
What if one of them was a super-famous animal celebrity, who had performed at a nationally famous circus, in feature films and even at the Olympic Games?
What if that celebrity, Katya the Bear, now “spends the long hours jumping up and down in her cage and trying to crack the rusty metal railings with her chipped and yellowed teeth”?
Well, it’s the case. In fact, here she is:
Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s Russia! The animals have no air circulation, no space, no human contact, and are literally being tortured every day of their lives. But, in our view, this is little different from the way in which Russian people themselves live, so it’s really not too surprising.
Russia is a country that is infamous for taking her best and brightest citizens — Galina Starovoitova or Anna Politkovskaya, say — and killing them outright. Others are shunted off to prison or military service, like Boris Nemtsov and Oleg Kozlovsky, and the people of Russia say and do nothing about it, just as they said and did nothing in the time of Stalin.
But somehow, seeing what Russians are doing to these helpless animals, seeing the magnitude of this barbaric inhuman cruelty, is more devastating. Somehow it brings Russia truly into focus, undeniable clarity, Russia as it really is.
It does not have to be this way, of course. There are decent people in Russia, and they could step forward and stand up for Katya, and Politkovskaya, and all the other victims of the Russia that is evil and corrupt. But will they? If not, the judgment of history will be swift and sure.