They’re Just being Russians
“I have never seen anything like this, I have never even heard of anything like that. I can’t recall such things happening in the NHL. And they couldn’t happen there because of the rules.”
That was former Pittsburgh Penguins NHL star Jaromir Jagr last week, commenting on a savage brawl during a Russian professional hockey match that lasted only four minutes. During warm-ups, a Neanderthal player for the Vityaz Chekhov team fired the puck at the head of an opposing player. Then, just minutes into the game, both benches cleared and war broke out on the ice, resulting in a barbaric 691 penalty minutes and $133,000 in fines. With every player on both teams packed into the penalty box, the game could not continue and was cancelled, fans having seen less than 10% of they match they paid hard-earned cash to watch.
What can we say? We told you so? That hardly seems adequate to cover the stunning display of animalistic violence on display here, or the extent to which, remembering the inhuman murders of civilized members of Russian society under Vladimir Putin, from Statovoitova to Estemirova and beyond, this bloodletting is characteristic of Russian society as a whole.
Right about now, the has-been Jagr is wishing he’d stayed in the Great White North in his rocking chair.
The latest report on freedom and civilized society from Freedom House blames Russia, China and Venezuela for leading the world back into the dark ages of authoritarianism. The report excoriates Russia for continuing its slide into totalitarian despair, labeling Russia an “unfree” state with “a downward trend arrow due to a presidential election that was neither free nor fair.”
But is anyone in Russia concerned? Do they care that, as FH states:
Women in Russia have particular difficulty achieving political power. They hold none of the key positions in the federal government, and the female governor of St. Petersburg is the main exception at the regional level. Domestic violence continues to be a serious problem, and police are often reluctant to intervene in what they regard as internal family matters. Economic hardships contribute to widespread trafficking of women abroad for prostitution.
They don’t. They care no more about their country’s imagine before the slack-jawed world or about their own plight and the future of their children than did those brutes who shut down the hockey contest.