by Dave Essel
The R&F Agency, “established 1989”, claims on its website that it is the oldest immigration consultancy service in post-Soviet Russia. It offers legal and other advice on a whole range of immigration/emigration subjects, from e.g. how to apply for Canadian residence permits to where best in the West to buy housing and businesses.
R&F’s home page goes on to say that “the main thing that distinguishes us from other companies is the asymmetricality of our approach to problem-solving and our non-traditional ways with typical situations.”
And they’re not lying: for the sake of customer-entertainment, the site contains a couple of pages of general interest information. And these stun with their asymmetricality and an approach that is far from the traditional Russian one.
Here, as a teaser for a longer translation from the site that I will be presenting in LR, is what one finds by following one of the less visible links on the site. The site’s authors’ write:
Try typing in any search engine of your choice the words “Russia World Rank [whatever] and you will get this sort of result. Here via Google:
#1 in world for number of billionaires pursued by law enforcement
#1 in world in absolute numbers for population reduction
#1 in world for deaths from cardiovascular diseases
#1 in world for number of air crashes
#1 in world for volume of human trafficking
#1 in world for number of abortions
#1 in world for volume of strong spirit sales
#1 in world for consumption of spirits and alcoholic beverages
#1 in world for growth rate of tobacco consumption
#1 in world for number of underage smokers
#1 in world for for HIV infection growth rate
#1 in world for actual volume of unpolished diamonds exports
#1 in world for imports of Chinese automobiles (1st half-year 2007)
#2 in world for level of bureaucracy
#2 in world for number of suicides
#2 in world for sales and distribution of counterfeit medicines
#2 in world for number of migrants
#2 in world for numbers of incarcerations per 1000 population
#2 in world for production of pirated CDs and DVDs
#2 in world for number of children adopted in the USA
#2 in world for number of people seeking asylum in the West
(#1 is Serbia)
#2 in world for arms exports
#2 in world for firearms in circulation in the country
#2 in world for submarine fleet size
#2 in world for number of journalists killed in the last 10 years
(#1 is Iraq)
#3 in world for number of displaced persons
#3 in world for inflow of migrants
#3 in world for number of cellphone subscribers
#3 in world for automobile theft
#3 in world for child pornography distribution
#3 in world for number of totalitarian sects
#4 in world for zirconium reserves
#4 in world for consumption of light alcoholic beverages
#5 in world for genetic health
#6 in world for use of fashion and medical cosmetics
#8 in world for number of foreign students in the country
#14 in world for state gold reserves
#15 in world for number of internet users
#16 in world for GNP
#21 in world for number of patented inventions
#27 in world for quality of education
#32 in world for quality of environment
#43 in world for economic competitiveness
#51 in world for corruption
#57 in world for quality of life
#62 in world for technological development
(between Costa Rica and Pakistan)
#65 in world for standard of living
#67 in world for development of human potential
#70 in world for use of IT and communications technologies
#97 in world for per capita income
#120 in world for economic freedom
#127 in world for health of population
#134 in world for longevity
#147 (out of 168) in world for press freedom
#159 in world for political rights and freedoms
#175 in world for physical safety of its citizens
#182 (out of 207) in world for mortality rate
As we all know, Googled data and information from Wikipedia sometimes need to be taken with the occasional pinch of salt. The whole idea is that this is presented as a piece of ‘sad fun’ and is all perfectly true in the general sense. Sad and silly Russophiles should refrain from nit-picking as this does not pretend to be scientific.
Interesting list of stats.
Just fyi, the article you recommended we translate has been been posted.
Facts don’t lie, Russia, if it wasn’t oil and gas rich at this time in history would be further down there like every other beat up autocratic oil poor basket case in Africa and the ME. Russia is modeled more like the Saudis where a small elite live very very well and the poor little voiceless worker ants at the bottom are forever stuck in obscurity and a marginal existence and that doesn’t even include the absolute deadness of their mental landscape.
Whatever is left on the Russian carcass after their home grown vulures are done won’t be much. Maybe after a few more generations when the dumber and most passive die off, they can make another attempt at forging a civil society out of the shambles.
How long did it take educated Russians to figure out that Putin represented a big mistake and where was any courage by them displayed except for a tiny handfull to protest? You can’t be risk adverse and simultaniusly corrupt and expect democracy to come into being without some core values and effort.
Let’s hope McCain wins and they get thrown out of the G8. Bush with his naivete really blew it.
Oy vey, how scared are we the russische Untermenschen of being “thrown out of the G8”! “Please, Brer Fox, don’t throw me in that briar patch!” ©
Oy vey, if you don’t like being in, why don’t you just resign? We’ll be happy to throw you a champagne buffet to wish you bon voyage!
В очередной раз благодарю, хорошие что есть такие люди как вы, которые дают дейстивтельно дельные советы:)