Monday, October 22, 2012

просто мысли

In what has probably been one of the best classes of my undergraduate career so far, Post Soviet Eurasia and the SCO, I was surprised to learn that my professor is a Putin supporter.

In America, we have an extremely media-guided conception of Putin and Russia in general.  Putin is the tyrannical, sometimes joke-worthy, Russia leader who oppresses the miserable people of the regressive Russian society.  In many ways, we hold on to our old Cold War naivety about Russia; we seem to presume Russia is less advanced and that Putin is the modern equivalent of Stalin.

I admit that I did not know what to expect from Moscow when I landed in Sheremetyevo International Airport one month ago.  Family members and friends warned me of blisteringly cold temperatures, an interfering police system, and Putin's "despotic" regime.

Indeed, Russia has its share of problems.  Moscow is not an easy place to love.  The weather forecast predicted snow this upcoming week, people smoke too much, and perhaps Putin has centralized the government beyond America's democratic limit.  However, these obstacles do not mean that Russia is retrograde, nor do they mean that Putin's polices have been ineffective.

Perhaps the big government that Putin created was a necessary step in Russia's development from the collapse of the Soviet system.  I don't know enough about modern Russian government to write as accurately as I would like; however, both inside and outside of class, I'm beginning to explore a reality different from the norm I have been taught.

Russia is a beautiful country and Moscow is a modern city.  Why would the government strive for anything less than the best possible life for the Russian people?
   
просто мысли.


2 comments:

  1. Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. This is exactly why people need to travel more and judge less before seeing and experiencing a country for themselves. You can't truly understand a nation until you set foot on its lands and come face-to-face with its people. As someone who has grown up with split loyalties between the U.S. and Russia, America's harsh views on Russia have always been upsetting to me.

    I love reading your blog for the exact reason that I enjoy seeing your own Americanized views (I don't mean that in a negative way at all!) change as you spend more time in Moscow.

    -Irina

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    1. Thanks Irina! I really appreciate your comment! Being here has been quite the learning experience. I can't believe just how naive I was about Russia before coming here.

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