Russia freaks me out

The idea for this post spawned last fall. I didn't really want to post it, because it's a big fat generalization and that generally isn't right. However, in one short year, I've gathered up all kind of news tidbits about Russia. After reviewing the literature, Russia does in fact freak me out. Check out some of the following resources.

There are a variety of podcasts I listen to and many times the most interesting stories are those I hear about foreign lands. As you can imagine, Russia tends to come up. I listened to an astounding report called Domestic Violence A Silent Crisis In Russia. This podcast taught me that in Russia, domestic violence is really considered part of marriage that remains behind closed doors, almost like it's not an actual crime. In order for the authorities to take action, the woman that makes a complaint must be so battered that her injuries would prevent her from working for TWO WEEKS. What the hell kind of crime gauge is that? It was particularly heartbreaking because the report, if I recall, ends with a story of a girl who finally divorces her abusive husband, just to be too poor to move out of their apartment.

Around Olympic time, Russia invaded this little country Georgia. Then they started talking junk to Poland about the missile defense system. And I mean junk like, "We will f*ck you up if you let the Americans build those missile defense systems there."

It just keeps coming. Frontline had a synopsis and video called "Russia: Putin's Plan." Although it's really freaky and packed tight with strange propaganda, you realize this man's sway and power in Russia. The entire clip is worth a watch. In January of 2009, I listen to NPR's Foreign Dispatch podcast and heard how the Russians were cooking up an energy crisis in Europe because of their little tiff with Ukraine.

Over the weekend I finally saw a title that made me realize why I started writing this post over a year ago. The BBC headline I read on my phone was: "Democracy 'not needed' in Russia." Well, ok, fair enough. At this point, I think I am comfortable saying that Russia freaks me out.

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