Tag Archives: russian people

At least 25% of Russians are Criminals

Paul Goble reports on the shocking level of criminality in Vladimir Putin’s Russia (Robert Amsterdam has translated the entire article Goble discusses). Vladimir Putin told Time magazine it’s wrong to think of Russians as being “a little bit savage.” This data shows he’s clearly right. They’re a lot savage.  Note that this information comes from the Kremlin itself, which means two things. First, it’s likely an understatement (after all, even if the Kremlin isn’t lying, think of all those who simply don’t get caught, or bribe their way out of trouble using Russia’s equally corrupt “justice” system). Second, it’s probably a sign that the Kremlin intends a new round of neo-Soviet crackdowns on civil society under the guise of law and order, the same thing Stalin did. And, after all, crime was non-existent in Stalin’s Russia, wasn’t it?

Nearly 25 percent of Russian men have passed through their country’s prison system at some point in their lives, an enormous share of the total and a group whose experiences are shaping Russian society, politics, and even the country’s image in foreign capitals, according to a retired Supreme Court justice. In a recent edition of “Rossiiskaya gazeta,” Vladimir Radchenko provided extensive data to support his argument that the percentage of Russians who are in or who have passed through what he calls “our ‘prison population’” has reached a critical level in terms of its impact on the broader society. The impact of those who returned from the GULAG in the 1950s has received a great deal of attention, but that of those who were convicted or jailed at the end of the Soviet period or since 1991 has received less, Radchenko notes. But he points out that the numbers in each case are large and current judicial arrangements suggest the numbers and impact are on thel increase.

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EDITORIAL: Days of Glory


Days of Glory

Film history pop quiz for Russians:  What movie was made in 1944, directed by Jacques Tourneur (“Cat People” and “Berlin Express”) and starring screen legend Gregory Peck?

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EDITORIAL: Русский пофигизм


Русский пофигизм

Today we report on Русский пофигизм (ROO-skee pa-FIG-eezm), or the Russian national attitude that “I couldn’t care less.” It’s a useful explanation of how Russians can do something so utterly insane as to install ballistic missiles in Ossetia, SS-21 “scarabs,” which can be fitted with AA60 nuclear warheads (we reported this last week, and this week confirmation is breaking across the world’s media in shock; last week, though, some said Russia would never do anything so crazy). And also of why Russian “president” Dimitri Medvedev could conduct himself in such a manner as to cause the U.S. Secretary of State to call him a liar (she declared on Sunday’s Meet the Press in regard to Medvedev’s prior promise of a ceasefire: “Well, I just know that the Russian president said several days ago Russian military operations would stop. They didn’t. This time I hope he means it. You know the word of the Russian president needs to be upheld by his forces.”)

Russia has already destroyed its positive relations with virtually every country on earth, and now it is seeking to make things even worse, potentially leading to a nuclear apocalypse, just to further its crass imperialistic designs. Exactly, in other words, what happened in Soviet times.

How can Russians do such things, and how can other Russians let them get away with it? At least one part of the answer is Русский пофигизм.

If you are a Russian living in Russia aged 37 years, it’s quite likely that your father is dead. If he had you two years after graduating college at 24, that would make him 61 years old at present — and most Russian men don’t live that long.

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Русский пофигизм: Ah, the Glories of the Russian Language!

Michael Bohm, the opinion page editor of the Moscow Times, writing in his own paper (we’ve added rough phonetic transcriptions of the Russian words so that, if so inclined, non-Russian speakers can say them — staff addition, corrections welcome):

I have often heard Russians say, Русский пофигизм неизлечим {ROO-skee pa-FEEK-izm} (The Russian attitude of “I couldn’t care less” is incurable). But from drivers to professors to prime ministers, no one really seems to care much about this.

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EDITORIAL: Leaving Home


Leaving Home

During a stellar floor exercise of the silver medalists at the women’s gymnastics event in Beijing this week, the classic Russian tune “Dark Eyes” reverberated through the stadium.

Team America was on the floor.

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