EDITORIAL: When is a Russian not a Russian?


When is a Russian not a Russian?

Professor Andrei Geim

Last week a “Russian” won a Nobel prize for Physics.  Two of them, actually:  Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. They invented a new material so strong that a single layer of it stretched across a coffee cup could support the weight of a tractor trailer pressing down on a pencil point.  Yet, it’s also the thinnest material ever made.

It will surprise no regular reader of this blog to learn, however, that neither one of them is really Russian.

Any Slavic Russian could tell you that about Geim just be seeing his last name. Instantly, they’d say:  “He’s not Russian, he’s Jewish.”  And Geim is even less Russian than that, because he fled Russia many years ago, defected  from his native land and became a Dutchman.  He performed his path-breaking research not in Russia but in Great Britain, working there with Novoselov at the University of Manchester.

Upon learning of his victory, Geim immediately trashed Russian science, saying it was “fifty years behind the times” and saying the entire national apparatus was plagued by critical structural faults that could not be cured any time soon, leaving no doubt as to why he no longer dwells there.

In our lead editorial in this issue we cite an article in the Moscow Times by former Duma member Vladimir Ryzhkov, who writes:

What’s more, Russian and foreign “historians” who reinforce the myth of Russia’s historically predetermined path toward enslavement and authoritarianism make their own intellectual contribution to the continued suppression of human rights in Russia today. They are providing a valuable service to Putin and his cohorts. But they should also remember that each new article or book that promulgates these sham theories leads directly to two  main consequences: Russia’s continued backwardness, poverty and enslavement and an increase in Russians who immigrate to the West seeking a free and prosperous life.

Geim is a perfect example of Ryzhkov’s point.  Shocked and offended by Russian racism and corruption, Geim fled the country and became a huge success. Had he remained in Russia, he would have been surely crushed by Russian barbarism, and the world might never have benefited from his discovery.

There are many, many other stories just like Geim.  The loss of people like him explains why Russia remains such a totally pathetic, backward and failing nation, while tiny Great Britain can sport a GDP that easily rivals that of “mighty” Russia.

60 responses to “EDITORIAL: When is a Russian not a Russian?

  1. Andrei Geim – ethnic Jew (according to the team, still, judging by the name, may easily be, say, Russian German), Dutch national.

    Konstantin Novoselov – Russian national, ethnic Russian.

    2nd ethnic Russian, Russian national to win Nobel prize in Physics for the last 10 years.

    Both recieved their education and started their scientific careers in Russia.

    Most of their colleagues working on the same project are also ethnic Russians, Russian nationals.

    Fckd up as usual, team.

  2. And here’s how you do this, according to Geim’s own words our team thoughtlessly links:

    “He says that getting an undergraduate degree in Russia is much harder than in most western countries, because the course is more comprehensive and goes into greater depth. He says he may have learned a lot more than he really needed to, but the course was so tough that many people simply dropped out, or even cracked under the strain.[…] I would say that people work 10 times harder than in any UK university, even Oxford and Cambridge. Many of the things I learned I never used in my professional life, but I guess it helped develop some of my axial lobes.”

    10 times harder, huh? No wonder they get Nobel prizes…

    • And yet some more quotes of him:

      “Против дарвинизма не попрешь, в науке идет процесс естественного отбора. Такое образование, как на Физтехе, не получишь ни в Гарварде и ни в Кембридже

      “It’s a pure Darwin theory, you can’t avoid it. There exists a process of slow natural selection in science. You won’t ever recieve an education of PhysTech [Moscow Physics&Technics Institute] level in Harvard or Cambridge.”

      “Мы заставляли летать пауков, червяков, каштаны, орехи, шишки, кузнечиков, клубнику, капли воды”

      “We have made things fly: spyders, grasshoppers, warms, chestnuts, nuts, cones, strawberries, a drop of water.”

      “Made things fly”, team?

      • But you certainly would get a better level at MIT.

        Havard and Cambridge have never been noted for their science faculties.

        You are comparing apples and oranges dtard.

        • @”Havard and Cambridge have never been noted for their science faculties. You are comparing apples and oranges dtard.”

          Please tell that to 2010 Nobel prize winner in physics.

    • Well, if what he said were literally true, or if it really mattered, then there would have been 10 times as many Russian Nobel prize winners as there are UK winners. You know it’s not so. I don’t even mention American Nobelists here, you know that they win almost every year. How the heck do they do it if they have inferior education.

      • @Well, if what he said were literally true

        He lies, of course, this dirty little Jew Nobel prize winner.

        But now you’re here to expose his lies, finally!

        • As a Jew myself, I find you feeble attempt to make a joke quite offensive (if that was an attempt to make a joke). Shame on you. However, who said Mr Geim was lying? I didn’t say that. People make various statements, they exaggerate things to make a point, they use hyperbole, etc. None of these things are lies yet cannot be taken as being literally true, particularly when we don’t know in what context they were said.

          The best proof that Russian academic system is not that good is the fact that the very same man who made this statement left Russia for good and is now a Dutchman. What is the point of that great education if to make use of it one has to leave the country?

          You have not answered my question: why, with 10 times better education, you don’t have ten times better results?

          • Nice to be talking to a Jew antisemite:) (joking, and please, please don’t take offence)

            @who said Mr Geim was lying?

            You, actually. Here:

            if what he said were literally true, or if it really mattered, then there would have been 10 times as many Russian Nobel prize winners as there are UK winners

            Earth is flat, if the phrase above does not say his words are not “literally true”.

            the fact that the very same man who made this statement left Russia for good and is now a Dutchman. What is the point of that great education if to make use of it one has to leave the country?

            Definitely you confuse education system and research funding system. The first one is better in Russia, the second is better in the EU, no doubt. We will need to walk this road for decades to study your ways of funding the perspective research and using results afterwards.

            @“why, with 10 times better education, you don’t have ten times better results?”

            We do. Look at the team he works with – 8 of 10 are Russians.

            It’s just results of education are brains, not money. You make money better. Russians create better brains.

            • One or two good schools do not make an education system; and I don’t see people from the West (or from Japan or China) flock to Moscow en masse for superior education. I realize you feel this famous Russian pride and lost the sense of reality.

              What are you talking about “8 out of ten” Does Russia have ten times more Nobel winners than Britain? Or not?

              • @One or two good schools

                You know what, I was thinking of moving to work in Australia several years ago, and considered making a work permit there. I found out that education got in about 200-250 Russian universities (across all Russia) is recognized and accepted by the Australian emigration authorities.

                Sure they accept those “1-2 good schools” and another 200 “bad schools”, right? It’s just those “bad schools” are still “better” than most Australian universities?

                @What are you talking about “8 out of ten”

                My post reads: “Look at the team he works with – 8 of 10 are Russians.” Does the meaning of the phrase escapes you?

  3. Dim,

    Degrees (along with everything else) are FOR SALE in Russia. One introduction to the filth and corruption of Russia is in school, where kids go home and inform their parents that they have to pay to get a decent grade.

    Now let me guess the location of which hospital you would like to be operated on, from which country you would buy a car, whose food you would rather eat or finally, whose police you would rather call? The answer is definitely NOT Russian!

  4. @guess the location of which hospital you would like to be operated on

    Stupid, I have seen my pregnant friend from St.Petes coming from London where she lived and teached students with her husband, to complete all analyses she had to do.

    She spent about USD150 to make analyses in one of Moscow’s best clinics, and they asked for more then USD4,000 in London, in a common district hospital…

    And a “free” doctor in UK inspected her *mouth*, asked about her relatives’ ilnesses, and said “well, if you face any issues, come back”. She said, like, hey, I face an issue right now – I’m pregnant actually, on 4th month, maybe we could do any analyses, like of urine, of do an X-rays? And the doctor answered, we’re not supposed to do this until there are any complications.

    She goes to Russia to not *wait* for the complications, completes all analyses, hears everything’s ok, and, feeling safe, gets back to the UK.

    • Is your point that Russia has a medical system that is superior to the British one?

      • In Russia you can do much more of smaller money. Quite a similar case is Singapore — many Chinese go to the mainland China for medical tests. British medical system sucks. The best one is Germany where your insurance covers everything.

        • I can imagine that Germany has a better system than the UK, but that’s the comparison between two civilized countries, not with Russia. I have my doubts that too many Englishmen go to Russia to have their bloodwork done.

          Besides, the UK has the National Health Service and everybody is covered and nobody pays anything at all (the drawback is of course the quality and the rationing). Every British person is covered. So the story about $4000 charge for analyses does not ring true. To say nothing that the figure is grotesquely large. It would not be near to that even in the U.S.

          • You may doubt whatever you want, RV. I just told you exactly what I saw with my own eyes. She moved from the UK to Russia twice during her pregnancy – notwithstanding long flights – to get a better healthcare.

          • Say, 3D Sonography prices are about USD300-400 (BP) in London. In a moderately priced clinic.

            In Moscow it costs about USD60-70. I guess there is a difference in price. 2d sonography is free for any pregnant woman.

            As to any technique that would not require proprietary equipment and software, the difference would be more substantial, as Russian doctors simply don’t charge that much, and there are plenty of them (actually twice more per 1000 people than in the UK and the US) – remember the talk about the Russian education system?

            http :// http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_phy_per_1000_peo-physicians-per-1-000-people

            As to the NHS (Foreign nationals always receive free treatment for emergencies, including all accidents and emergency psychiactric treatment) – I guess pregnancy just wasn’t the case somehow.

        • The things you can do for ”small money” in Russia are a significant part of the problem.

          Vodka, cigarettes, prostitutes, black pr and hit-men to name a few.

          Mind you, maybe medical tourism is a good business idea for Russia? Might have to hide the ashtrays under the chamber-pot though!

  5. $4000 for analyses in London? Analysis of what, Pluto’s inner core? Absolute rubbish.

    A simple google search of “degrees for sale in russia” reveals it all, as well as the rather interesting juxtaposition of the following two links:

    1: Beautiful Russian Girls of Model Quality, Russian Girls Dating …
    http://www.elenasmodels.com/ – Cached – Similar

    2: [PDF] Corruption in Russia’s Doctoral Education

    Now that’s quite a ”pregnant” sequence is it not Dima?

    • $4000 for analyses in London? Analysis of what, Pluto’s inner core? Absolute rubbish.

      Women think otherwise.

      “in 2005 45.8 million Americans do not have health insurance. If this figure includes you, you can anticipate an average hospital bill of $5,000-$10,000 for a vaginal delivery. Add at least $2,000 if you need a c-section. These figures do not include the medical costs associated with nine months of prenatal visits, ultrasound costs and other lab costs. If your baby is born premature or with health problems, neonatal costs can range from a few thousand for a short stay to more than $200,000 if you baby is born more than 15 weeks early.

      http :// http://www.privatehealth.co.uk/private-healthcare-services/private-maternity-services/private-maternity-costs/#3d

      A private 3D or 4D ultrasound scan will last around one hour and cost around £200 to £300.

      What if you need two at different stages? One to understand the sex, another to see if the child develops ok?

      That’s one analysis of about 10. Some of them should be taken several times.

      Once again, she is not subject to NHS care. And a free physician (whatever that means) denied to make the simpliest tests.

      • I know much better than you what problems we have with health care delivery in the U.S. and what the costs are. But this is not the topic. Yet, I have never heard of Americans going to Russia for medical treatment. Some go to Thailand, Mexico, even India, for certain things like cosmetic surgery, but not to Russia.

        And if you saying that the quality of health care in Russia is the same as is in the West, you are simply delusional. Your false patriotism really makes you unhinged. Even most Russians will laugh at your assertions.

        • RV, if you think the US has a better quantitative healthcare coverage than Russia, you are highly delusional. Both the UK and the US have twice less physicians per 1000 population, than Russia does.

          As to the quality of this coverage, I don’t know any sound parameters that may measure it. If you do, you’re welcome to present any. Not the costs, of course.

          • When Yeltsin had a hard attack, there was no Russian doctor good enough to treat him. Well, if you want to be treated by Russian doctors in a Russian hospital, then of course you have a right to choose it

            • Sure thing, Ron, you know better of Yeltsin issues than most Russians, of course. However, let me point one thing: there were extra-class doctors, but they lacked the cutting-edge technology.

              As to the Russian doctors and Russian hospitals, you know nothing of it, let’s just close the theme.

          • Well, given that Russia has one of the highest death rates from cancer in the world, and third world level death statistics for men…….

            Hopefully you will be as below average in that regard as you are in everything else Dmitry.

      • Well, when you say she is not “subject” to NHS care, is that because she chooses not to be, or because she is ineligible?

        • It’s because
          1) it’s not for foreigners, except emergencies, which pregnancy is not;
          2) it’s only about basic (really basic) things, and making more complex analyses will demand visiting a private doctor. Prices for both Russia and the UK are above.

          I don’t think there was something wrong with this girl who wanted to pay 10 times less for her analyses and flying back to Russia two times during her pregnancy.

  6. By the way Dtard, cancer mortality rates are far higer, and survival rates far lower, in Russia than in western nations including the UK

    Cancer mortality rates in Russia are among highest in the world. Mortality from all cancers in Russian men (212 per 100 000 population) is much higher than in men in the US (162 per 100 000 population), Canada (161 per 100 000 population), in Great Britain (170 per 100 000 population), or other western countries.


    • I’d rather see a source of the statistics. The real source. Right after that, I’m ready to discuss anything you want, but not before.

  7. Then there are maternal death rates, really your friend, if she had a brain would rather stay in the UK, sometimes you get what you pay for….

    Maternal death rates
    85 Russia: 44 per 100,000
    121 United Kingdom: 7 per 100,000


    • Since my previous post didn’t pass premoderation, the maternity death rates in Russia are 22, not 44 per 100,000. You are mistaken, as usual.

      Twice lower than you claim, 2,5 times lower than in Georgia, 2 times lower than Estonia and Latvia from your table. The number I quote is for 2007.

      As to the prices of analyses, which were the matter of my post from the very beginning (and which you prefer not to discuss, not surprisingly), they are cited above.

      http: // http://www.rg.ru/2009/04/29/sertificat.html

      • Well then it must have gone up again, because in 2009 they were saying this:

        By comparison, the maternal mortality rate in Russia is 28 deaths per 100,000 births. In Ukraine, it is 18 deaths for every 100,000 births.


        • Once again, you need to stop listening to what the RFE/RL say. Don’t rely on the CIA to get a better knowledge of Russia.

          PS. No, that was not the CIA failure. It was yours. You failed to mention the RFE/RL told you about the numbers from 2005. Just need to read more carefully.

          So, 2009 – 22, 2005 – 28. Georgia “much higher” in both cases.

          • Yes Dtard, but once again, I am not Georgian.

            Though I do respect them as people and understand the horrors they suffered after more than 200 years of Russian imperialism.

            Considering what was done to them by Russia, I am amazed that they are in such good condition as they are.

            After all, look at the horrors of central Asia for what Russian imperialism was able to inflict, or the north Caucasus for that matter.

            • Name one horror, please. And I’ll do with those of 20 years of independence.

              Name one else for Central Asia, please. Then I’ll do with those of 20 years of independence.

              And then we’ll compare, if you please.

              • Really Dtard, are you so subhuman in your education that you have not read about any of Russia’s colonial crimes in the Caucasus (including Georgia), the massacres, forced deportations and repressions committed by Russia in Georgia, starting in 1812, and continuing right through to today?

                The fact that between the Bolshevik invasion of 1921 and 1952 Georgia lost 1/3 of its population to Russian repressions, deportations to Siberia, and other terrors imposed by a man who is still a hero of Russia.

                Huge numbers of people were killed by Russian occupation forces during the anti-communist uprisings from 1924-1932.

                Huge numbers were killed or deported to Siberia.

                And of course we have the current Russian led ethnic cleansing in Abkhazia and South Ossetia…..

                • Do you think you’re my Paramount pictures?

                  I said, NAME one horror. N-A-M-E.

                  • And< andrew, care to explain how exactly it ended up with "horrors" when we were discussing the medicine in the thread? Ever heard of "changing the theme is an argument of a demagogue?"

      • And even so, she would be 3 times as likely to die in Russia as she would be in the UK even at 22 deaths per 100,000.

        Given the mortality figures vary from 24-28 per 100,000 (Your 22 is not really substantiated by your link), 24 being the USAID figure, while 28 being the figure quoted at the UN conference last year.


        • To start with, do you understand the difference between “making analyses” and “giving birth” at all?

          @”Your 22 is not really substantiated by your link”

          My number is well substantiated by the source, the phrase in the first paragraph, but you just can’t read Russian, can you?

          “Мы сравнили данные за последние 30 лет и можем сказать, что в 1980 году во время родов умирали 68 женщин на 100 тысяч родивших, в 2000-м их было 39,7, а в 2007-м (за 2008-й еще нет статистики) – 22”, – рассказывает Валентина Широкова. Похожая динамика – по детям. В 2000 году смертность в первые дни после рождения составляла 15,3 на тысячу малышей, в 2007-м – 8,5.

          “We have compared the data for the last 30 years, and […] in 2007 (we have no data for 2008 yet) – 22 [women per 100 000 died during the process of giving birth].”

          • No, just that I would like to see some internationally verified numbers rather than some Russian lying away as you usually do.

            • Where do you believe international organizations take numbers from? From the RFE/RL as an ultimate source?

              And what do you think Russian hospitals do with corpses they underreport? Claim these people were abducted by aliens?

              Don’t make everybody laugh with these claims, please. 22 is 22. 2007. Now it’s 2010, and the actual number is yet another 20-30% less.

  8. 2002?

    1) That was 6 years before she came to Moscow and 3 years before Russian healthcare system underwent a massive reform.

    2) Russia is big and hospitals in Moscow and St.Petes were the ones to be reformed first.

    3) Russia is big, and even in 2002 there were N.Caucasian republics with Islamic majorities, where more women, compared to the Russian average, decided to give birth at home.

    4) She came to Moscow to make analyses, not to give birth, reasons being a) she would not of course take a flight on 8th month, and b) she had no apartments to live in Moscow for several months. She lived in London at the time with her husband, and decided to give birth there.

    But why would Andrew give himself a labour and think of such things…

    As to the real (2009) maternal deaths level in Russia, in 2009 that was twice lower than the number you provide: 22 per 100,000. Still high, but seems quite a progress for 7 years.

  9. Funny. No, seriously.

  10. Even your sarcasm is pathetic.

    Is it not a fact that speaking Russian makes your teeth fall out?

  11. …and often the first accusation from a delusional piss-ant.

  12. Oh dear, is that really the best you can do Gregor?

    Glad I wasn’t half-way up a ladder when I read that.

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