Putin wants the country to become a pariah to the West. It will allow him to consolidate his power even further, since now he doesn't have to invent external and internal enemies anymore - the West is the external enemy, and anyone who is pro-West is the internal enemy.
These laws seem to be enthusiastically supported by a good majority of the Russian population, judging by the reaction that I've seen in Russian blogosphere so far. There are certainly quite a few citizens not happy about this, but they are the minority by now, and the one that's being labelled "fifth column" at that. So what makes you think that Putin will give a shit about the opinion of some foreigner? If anything, he'll just use your letters as a "proof" that Russian opposition is a CIA- and DoS-backed movement that's there to "destabilize the country", like they've been saying for the last few years.
It's too late for this. I'm just glad that I got out of the country in time.
It's not really a cultural difference thing. It's more like what happened in Germany after WW1.
A lot of people took collapse of the USSR very personally. Then the younger generation heard all the bitter stories about how we had a great empire that was taken away from us. This is fertile ground for any would-be "empire rebuilder", and Putin is milking the opportunity to do just that and enter into the history books (and also crush the opposition) for all it's worth.
I'm a Russian who hates Putin and thinks that the events that are currently unfolding are warmongering insanity that is largely perpetrated by Russia. If I told you that GP is correct in that there seems to be widespread support for all this from most of the population, would you believe me?
Unfortunately, my nation has gone mad, practically wholesale. We've seen it before in Europe, in 1930s. Even the methods are eerily familiar:
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Ukraine is a divided country, but the division is not strictly geographic, and not even strictly across language lines. There are plenty of Russian-speaking citizens who self-identify as Ukrainian and don't want to join Russia. According to the polls, the only region where the majority of residents wants to leave Ukraine is Crimea, in the rest of southeastern regions there are significant minorities (anywhere from 20% to 40%), but they're still minorities.
I only know that Berkut was using nothing more than non-lethal methods against some rioters.
Did you miss all the YouTube videos that have clearly captured uniformed Berkut forces firing AKs and SVDs?
There is no part of the Ukraine where a majority of people want to merge with Russia
According to the poll results that were published a week ago or so (and the poll itself was a week before that), slightly over 50% of Crimea residents want to separate from Ukraine. This is not the same as unification with Russia, but realistically, there's no way they can be independent - they depend too much on Ukrainian mainlain right now for a lot of things (potable water, electricity, gas), and if they reject that then they'll need Russia to supply them with the same.
The only thing Russians look after in Russia are straight white Russians who conform to the will of Putin. Anything else and you're fucked.
That's not true, actually. Chechnya, for example, has been receiving preferential treatment for many years now - meaning the pro-federal government in power there, and people who are loyal to it.
They don't actually care about nationalities and ethnicities at all. What they care about is whether you're a loyal boot licker or not. In fact, being a loyal boot-licker who is not ethnically Russian is, in many ways, preferable, since Russians are the majority in the country, and in case of any rebellion having a russophobic ethnic minority on your side can ensure that they remain loyal to death - much the same logic as Ottoman Janissaries. That's why Chechen OMON was used to break up opposition meetings, for example.
This isn't true. Russia was actually democratic in the 90s, or at least much more so than it is today. Unfortunately, the "democrats" in power turned out to be plutocrats, and they marred the very idea of democracy by association with the mess that they've made out of the country's economy - and so people went and voted for Putin and his "strong hand" in droves.
We had democracy, but we fucked it up.
Not only this -- I suspect that a large part of the 90% drop in complaints has to do with the fact that it makes it a lot harder for people to lie about their interaction with a police officer.
I agree with this, BUT...
Having been a victim of what I definitely consider to be police abuse... in a situation in which video that was clearly being made somehow later "went missing", I also have to agree that this very much works both ways.
I agree with the ACLU, to the extent that I agree there should be independent oversight of these videos, and any "missing" video should be a cause for reprimand at the very LEAST.
Because I also happen to live in an area that has experienced many years of police "incidents" in which innocent people somehow end up injured or dead, but there was no independent investigation, and the internal "investigations" have almost invariably exonerated the policeman, even when no reasonable person looking at the same evidence would (or does) conclude that no wrong had been committed.
I agree that most police are probably fine people. I even have relatives who are or have been police. But the few who aren't good can cause a hell of a lot of damage, especially when there is more than one of them and they scratch each others' backs.
Dissolution of the Soviet Union was not done in a coup. Unlike other countries (like, say, USA), USSR always had the provisions for any member republic to unilaterally disassociate and withdraw - it's just that they were a sham (much like the rest of the constitution) during the rule of the communist party. When the latter started to break down, duly elected governments of Soviet republics withdrew from USSR. In fact, Russia itself withdrew earlier than most others.
Restricted cities don't exist anymore (well, I suppose they might be bringing them back shortly, we seem to be returning back to full-fledged Cold War state of affairs really fast).
Ah, I didn't realize that it is already there. Yes, that makes a lot of sense then.
I never seem to have a need to run a GUI on a remote machine but I use them on my local machine every day
Plenty of people have the need to use a remote GUI, that's why Microsoft made remote desktop. Usually though, you just need one or two applications, and it's more convenient to have them show up by themselves instead of needing to deal with the entire screen of the other computer.
Of course, if all you ever do is admin on the command line, you're not going to need that. You probably don't even need a GUI at all on those servers.
And those bugs will be fixed, either in Wayland itself or in the code it depends on
I'm not convinced that's true.
And just "some X11 developers"? The most prominent supporters of Wayland are major X11 developers who know how broken X is.
Yes, that is the problem. x.org developers aren't known for their project-management skills, and doing a big rewrite of something that basically works is a rookie project-management mistake.