Category Archives: children

EDITORIAL: Yanukovich to Putin — Drop Dead!

EDITORIAL

Yanukovich to Putin — Drop Dead!

“I have never recognized Abkhazia, South Ossetia or Kosovo as independent states. This is a violation of international laws and norms. According to international law, any violation of the territorial integrity of any state is forbidden.”

If you think that was the President of Georgia talking, or some other ardent Russophobe, think again. It was Russia’s so-called “friend” in Ukraine, Victor Yanukovich.

Oops!  Just when the Russophile hoards were sure they had won a major victory in Ukraine with Yanukovich’s elevation, he bursts their bubble with a highly sharpened pin.

And let’s be perfectly clear:  The President of Ukraine has called the Prime Minister of Russia an international criminal. His words might just as well have been spoken by Mikheil Saakashvili!

If even so-called “Russophile” Yanukovich has such a negative attitude towards Russian aggression against Georgia, then surely  no more final condemnation of Putin’s barbaric policies could be imagined.

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EDITORIAL: Russia Brutalizes its Children

EDITORIAL

Russia Brutalizes its Children

The sensational case of Torry Hansen, the Tennessee nurse who sent her rebellious Russian adopted child back home on a plane by himself, has caused a backlash in the Russian government leading to a savage crackdown on American adoptions by the government and a frenzied torrent of venom from Russian nationalists (Russians, of course, can’t be judged on identical or even worse individual acts of horror by their citizens, but Americans, of course, can be).  To say the least, this response is deranged.

According to UNICEF, as of 2007 Russia had four million orphaned children. Contrast this with the United States, which has only 2.8 million orphans despite having a population more than twice as large as Russia’s.  This means that the per capita rate of child alienation in the United States is over 80% lower than in Russia.  Of course, with an adult lifespan two decades shorter than an American’s, Russian parents simply aren’t likely to live long enough to take care of their children, to say nothing of being far more likely to abuse and brutalize them if they do.

Even the likes of Pravda recognizes that the number of orphaned children in Russia is soaring out of control, even according to the Kremlin’s own data. Here’s what a Russian orphan can expect from life if, like one out of four, he ends up in a state facility:

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EDITORIAL: Russia Faces the Apocalypse

EDITORIAL

Russia Faces the Apocalypse

One of the bicycle bomb scenes in "pacified" Grozny last week, courtesy of the Moscow Times

One of the bicycle bomb scenes in "pacified" Grozny last week, courtesy of the Moscow Times

Last Friday, a pair of bombings swept through the Chechen capital of Grozny while the streets were full of people eating their lunch.  Each bombing was carried out by a suicide attacker on a bicycle riding up to a police checkpoint.  Four more police officers were killed, making a total of sixteen over the course of a week.  Add to that the massive car bombing in Nazran, Ingushetia which killed two dozen and injured well over a hundred, and you have a clear picture of apocalypse in Russia.

And that was only the beginning.  The same day that the cyclists were doing their bloody work in Grozny, something even more terrifying happened.

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The Horror of Being a Child in Putin’s Russia

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The conditions were unlike anything Jody Payne had ever seen.

Russian children as young as 6 were living in orphanages — dark, institutional buildings — with inadequate food, hand-me-down clothing and little love or emotional support.

And most would fall into crime, prostitution or drugs when they left the orphanages at age 15 or 16, Payne would learn after stumbling onto a Web site in 2003 detailing the orphans’ plight.

“It was one of those things that when you read it, you need to do something,” said Payne, 38, of Brighton, a sixth-grade teacher at Novi Meadows Elementary School. Payne began visiting orphanages in the country in 2004 and created a summer camp for children.

He is planning his fourth trip this summer to continue the camp for about 40 children at two orphanages in Kostroma, located outside Moscow.

Payne is taking a fellow teacher, Tom Michalski, along. They are trying to raise $14,000 to help pay travel costs and purchase bicycles, clothing and other items for the children. They’ve raised about half through private donations.

“Their lives have been a lot of false promises,” Payne said of the children. “And they are so desperate for love and attention.”

Novi Meadows students are donating cans and bottles — Michalski calls himself “dime-at-a-time Tom” — and there’s a bowl-a-thon scheduled June 1.

According to statistics from the Russian Ministry of Education, there are about 700,000 orphans in Russia. About 90% were taken away from abusive, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, according to Payne’s Web site. Payne said most receive the equivalent of an eighth-grade education.

“I really believe we can make a difference,” said Payne, who added that he helped one former orphan pursue a nursing career and helped another get a heater for an apartment.

Michalski, 29, of Walled Lake said he decided to make the trip after hearing Payne talk about his experiences.

“I really started to care about these kids,” Michalski, said. “I wanted to help.”

In 2004, Payne visited an orphanage in Svirstroy, a village about 150 miles from St. Petersburg. He spent six weeks helping set up a job skills program through a now-defunct charity, but the program never quite got off the ground.

He turned the program into a summer camp because he said the orphans needed attention and adult role models. He returned in 2006 and 2007 to an orphanage in Kostroma.

This summer, Payne and Michalski say they will take the children who rarely leave the orphanage swimming and to a local market. Payne said he plans to bring his laptop with DVDs dubbed in Russian so the children can watch movies. Payne said he often just sits and listens to the children, who talk incessantly in Russian — even though he barely understands a word.

“I give them the attention they never get,” Payne said.

The Horror of Being a Child in Putin’s Russia

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The conditions were unlike anything Jody Payne had ever seen.

Russian children as young as 6 were living in orphanages — dark, institutional buildings — with inadequate food, hand-me-down clothing and little love or emotional support.

And most would fall into crime, prostitution or drugs when they left the orphanages at age 15 or 16, Payne would learn after stumbling onto a Web site in 2003 detailing the orphans’ plight.

“It was one of those things that when you read it, you need to do something,” said Payne, 38, of Brighton, a sixth-grade teacher at Novi Meadows Elementary School. Payne began visiting orphanages in the country in 2004 and created a summer camp for children.

He is planning his fourth trip this summer to continue the camp for about 40 children at two orphanages in Kostroma, located outside Moscow.

Payne is taking a fellow teacher, Tom Michalski, along. They are trying to raise $14,000 to help pay travel costs and purchase bicycles, clothing and other items for the children. They’ve raised about half through private donations.

“Their lives have been a lot of false promises,” Payne said of the children. “And they are so desperate for love and attention.”

Novi Meadows students are donating cans and bottles — Michalski calls himself “dime-at-a-time Tom” — and there’s a bowl-a-thon scheduled June 1.

According to statistics from the Russian Ministry of Education, there are about 700,000 orphans in Russia. About 90% were taken away from abusive, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, according to Payne’s Web site. Payne said most receive the equivalent of an eighth-grade education.

“I really believe we can make a difference,” said Payne, who added that he helped one former orphan pursue a nursing career and helped another get a heater for an apartment.

Michalski, 29, of Walled Lake said he decided to make the trip after hearing Payne talk about his experiences.

“I really started to care about these kids,” Michalski, said. “I wanted to help.”

In 2004, Payne visited an orphanage in Svirstroy, a village about 150 miles from St. Petersburg. He spent six weeks helping set up a job skills program through a now-defunct charity, but the program never quite got off the ground.

He turned the program into a summer camp because he said the orphans needed attention and adult role models. He returned in 2006 and 2007 to an orphanage in Kostroma.

This summer, Payne and Michalski say they will take the children who rarely leave the orphanage swimming and to a local market. Payne said he plans to bring his laptop with DVDs dubbed in Russian so the children can watch movies. Payne said he often just sits and listens to the children, who talk incessantly in Russian — even though he barely understands a word.

“I give them the attention they never get,” Payne said.

The Horror of Being a Child in Putin’s Russia

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The conditions were unlike anything Jody Payne had ever seen.

Russian children as young as 6 were living in orphanages — dark, institutional buildings — with inadequate food, hand-me-down clothing and little love or emotional support.

And most would fall into crime, prostitution or drugs when they left the orphanages at age 15 or 16, Payne would learn after stumbling onto a Web site in 2003 detailing the orphans’ plight.

“It was one of those things that when you read it, you need to do something,” said Payne, 38, of Brighton, a sixth-grade teacher at Novi Meadows Elementary School. Payne began visiting orphanages in the country in 2004 and created a summer camp for children.

He is planning his fourth trip this summer to continue the camp for about 40 children at two orphanages in Kostroma, located outside Moscow.

Payne is taking a fellow teacher, Tom Michalski, along. They are trying to raise $14,000 to help pay travel costs and purchase bicycles, clothing and other items for the children. They’ve raised about half through private donations.

“Their lives have been a lot of false promises,” Payne said of the children. “And they are so desperate for love and attention.”

Novi Meadows students are donating cans and bottles — Michalski calls himself “dime-at-a-time Tom” — and there’s a bowl-a-thon scheduled June 1.

According to statistics from the Russian Ministry of Education, there are about 700,000 orphans in Russia. About 90% were taken away from abusive, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, according to Payne’s Web site. Payne said most receive the equivalent of an eighth-grade education.

“I really believe we can make a difference,” said Payne, who added that he helped one former orphan pursue a nursing career and helped another get a heater for an apartment.

Michalski, 29, of Walled Lake said he decided to make the trip after hearing Payne talk about his experiences.

“I really started to care about these kids,” Michalski, said. “I wanted to help.”

In 2004, Payne visited an orphanage in Svirstroy, a village about 150 miles from St. Petersburg. He spent six weeks helping set up a job skills program through a now-defunct charity, but the program never quite got off the ground.

He turned the program into a summer camp because he said the orphans needed attention and adult role models. He returned in 2006 and 2007 to an orphanage in Kostroma.

This summer, Payne and Michalski say they will take the children who rarely leave the orphanage swimming and to a local market. Payne said he plans to bring his laptop with DVDs dubbed in Russian so the children can watch movies. Payne said he often just sits and listens to the children, who talk incessantly in Russian — even though he barely understands a word.

“I give them the attention they never get,” Payne said.

The Horror of Being a Child in Putin’s Russia

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The conditions were unlike anything Jody Payne had ever seen.

Russian children as young as 6 were living in orphanages — dark, institutional buildings — with inadequate food, hand-me-down clothing and little love or emotional support.

And most would fall into crime, prostitution or drugs when they left the orphanages at age 15 or 16, Payne would learn after stumbling onto a Web site in 2003 detailing the orphans’ plight.

“It was one of those things that when you read it, you need to do something,” said Payne, 38, of Brighton, a sixth-grade teacher at Novi Meadows Elementary School. Payne began visiting orphanages in the country in 2004 and created a summer camp for children.

He is planning his fourth trip this summer to continue the camp for about 40 children at two orphanages in Kostroma, located outside Moscow.

Payne is taking a fellow teacher, Tom Michalski, along. They are trying to raise $14,000 to help pay travel costs and purchase bicycles, clothing and other items for the children. They’ve raised about half through private donations.

“Their lives have been a lot of false promises,” Payne said of the children. “And they are so desperate for love and attention.”

Novi Meadows students are donating cans and bottles — Michalski calls himself “dime-at-a-time Tom” — and there’s a bowl-a-thon scheduled June 1.

According to statistics from the Russian Ministry of Education, there are about 700,000 orphans in Russia. About 90% were taken away from abusive, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, according to Payne’s Web site. Payne said most receive the equivalent of an eighth-grade education.

“I really believe we can make a difference,” said Payne, who added that he helped one former orphan pursue a nursing career and helped another get a heater for an apartment.

Michalski, 29, of Walled Lake said he decided to make the trip after hearing Payne talk about his experiences.

“I really started to care about these kids,” Michalski, said. “I wanted to help.”

In 2004, Payne visited an orphanage in Svirstroy, a village about 150 miles from St. Petersburg. He spent six weeks helping set up a job skills program through a now-defunct charity, but the program never quite got off the ground.

He turned the program into a summer camp because he said the orphans needed attention and adult role models. He returned in 2006 and 2007 to an orphanage in Kostroma.

This summer, Payne and Michalski say they will take the children who rarely leave the orphanage swimming and to a local market. Payne said he plans to bring his laptop with DVDs dubbed in Russian so the children can watch movies. Payne said he often just sits and listens to the children, who talk incessantly in Russian — even though he barely understands a word.

“I give them the attention they never get,” Payne said.

The Horror of Being a Child in Putin’s Russia

The Detroit Free Press reports:

The conditions were unlike anything Jody Payne had ever seen.

Russian children as young as 6 were living in orphanages — dark, institutional buildings — with inadequate food, hand-me-down clothing and little love or emotional support.

And most would fall into crime, prostitution or drugs when they left the orphanages at age 15 or 16, Payne would learn after stumbling onto a Web site in 2003 detailing the orphans’ plight.

“It was one of those things that when you read it, you need to do something,” said Payne, 38, of Brighton, a sixth-grade teacher at Novi Meadows Elementary School. Payne began visiting orphanages in the country in 2004 and created a summer camp for children.

He is planning his fourth trip this summer to continue the camp for about 40 children at two orphanages in Kostroma, located outside Moscow.

Payne is taking a fellow teacher, Tom Michalski, along. They are trying to raise $14,000 to help pay travel costs and purchase bicycles, clothing and other items for the children. They’ve raised about half through private donations.

“Their lives have been a lot of false promises,” Payne said of the children. “And they are so desperate for love and attention.”

Novi Meadows students are donating cans and bottles — Michalski calls himself “dime-at-a-time Tom” — and there’s a bowl-a-thon scheduled June 1.

According to statistics from the Russian Ministry of Education, there are about 700,000 orphans in Russia. About 90% were taken away from abusive, alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, according to Payne’s Web site. Payne said most receive the equivalent of an eighth-grade education.

“I really believe we can make a difference,” said Payne, who added that he helped one former orphan pursue a nursing career and helped another get a heater for an apartment.

Michalski, 29, of Walled Lake said he decided to make the trip after hearing Payne talk about his experiences.

“I really started to care about these kids,” Michalski, said. “I wanted to help.”

In 2004, Payne visited an orphanage in Svirstroy, a village about 150 miles from St. Petersburg. He spent six weeks helping set up a job skills program through a now-defunct charity, but the program never quite got off the ground.

He turned the program into a summer camp because he said the orphans needed attention and adult role models. He returned in 2006 and 2007 to an orphanage in Kostroma.

This summer, Payne and Michalski say they will take the children who rarely leave the orphanage swimming and to a local market. Payne said he plans to bring his laptop with DVDs dubbed in Russian so the children can watch movies. Payne said he often just sits and listens to the children, who talk incessantly in Russian — even though he barely understands a word.

“I give them the attention they never get,” Payne said.