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Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 150

You're right, the new Russian state is authoritarian rather than totalitarian.

Which is to say, it's still shit, it just stinks a little bit less.

I mean, yes, it would probably hurt if it meant anything compared to the simple, plain and stupid fact that the woman I love does not love me... I would not mind living in the pitiest stinking shithole if she did not throw me away. I'm just beyond hurt at this point. That's why I don't feel anything. It's not a problem with your wording or anything.

Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 150

You're right, the new Russian state is authoritarian rather than totalitarian.

Which is to say, it's still shit, it just stinks a little bit less.

Hey, I'm a patriotic Russian, you are offending my country and still I'm talking to you... why? May be that's because I learned not to care about what do other people think about my country. But that raises additional questions, such as when have I reached that point and what motivated me? Holy fuck. You can never be aware of where a political discussion might lead you to. :-) I presume it's just hard to be a self-aware human in general, rather than implying anything directly relevant to the nature of our current political discussion, though.

Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 150

And looking at its direction in the past couple of years, it seems that it's falling back into its old ways (or rather an incoherent mix of old and even older, from Soviet and Imperial times both), which makes me question just where the problem has really been all this time.

I don't think you understand what you are talking about. Do you know what precisely is a totalitarian state? It's a state which concerns itself with things which normally are a matter of a person's free will.

You can see a good illustration of a totalitarian state in movie "Stilyagi", the modern movie set in the Soviet Union:

Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 150

A mindset is not something that changes radically over 60 years.

And there have been plenty of cries along the lines of "Stalin was right" referencing the deportation of Chechens after wars with them in the 90s, and the associated terrorist acts.

Hm, I think that has been _exactly_ the point Russia tried to make since 1990 -- that the problem was with the ideology (a wrong and misguided teaching), rather than the Russian people. Obviously, it doesn't take time to change the _ideology_. And it has indeed changed around 1990. And since that time Russia was indeed a very different country than it was before, in regards of multiple issues, in a broad scope covering a large area from private ownership of business empires and to legality of homosexual relationships.

Comment Re:Bad choice (Score 1) 150

I'd hate to be a Tatar now that they're responsible for turning off everyone's electricity.

Collective responsibility is not a part of the Russian mindset, and moreover the sabotage act itself wasn't perpetrated by the official reps of the Crimean Tatars from the Russia's viewpoint. More like outcast former elites discontented with their present status.

Comment Re:Equivication is standard KGB procedure (Score 1) 150

Those sanctions will remain in place until Putin submits, or his people depose him, and Crimea reverts to Ukrainian control.

It's not about Putin anymore. Joining Russia was promoted by local Crimean activists (yeah, there was an active brewing separatist movement) and popularly supported at a referendum. It might be naught from the international viewpoint, but it's something that cannot be ignored by Russia, regardless of who is its president.

Comment Re:WTF is with the US utility tie-in? (Score 1) 150

1. He has occupied new territory. It's not too hard to hold - the former power has other concerns, most of the population speaks Russian and a lot of them are loyal to Russia. But not all. There's a resistance, and it's getting in his way.

There's no resistance to speak of in Crimea, moreover joining Russia clearly was a decision by a vast majority of Crimean people. The issue is that the referendum was not in accordance with the Ukrainean legislation, hence it's not recognized internationally, but there's no debate that it was a popular decision of the Crimeans.

Comment Re:Corruption? In Russia? (Score 1) 94

In short, the issue of corruption in Russia is typically raised by the people (Browder, etc.) who used to like corruption in that country when it benefited them. Which strongly suggests that they actually care about their lost revenue.

It's detailed in a recent article by Mark Ames -- an American who has actually lived in 1990s in Russia (and ran a local English-language newspaper) and who sheds some light on Browder's past attitudes regarding corruption in Russia.

All the good people on the Web who have suddenly started to worry about Russia, take some interest in learning about 1990s in that country. It's the best part of the story which provides the context for understanding the current affairs.

Comment Re:Twenty five years of science destruction... (Score 3, Interesting) 119

Perhaps if most of the country's wealth wasn't concentrated in the hands of a handful of corrupt oligarchs who live like a modern version of Roman emperors they'd be able to pay researchers a living wage.

Can you imagine that the rise of the class of super-rich was viewed as a huge achievement in Russia's 1990s? Like, we've ditched the ineffective Socialism and now we have the super-rich like the rest of the world! Isn't that the huge progress we've made?

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome. -- Dr. Johnson