National pride. After asking Russians about their pride in their country, the Levada Center pollster has discovered a growth of militant attitudes in society and a readiness among citizens to assign civil rights and freedom secondary value. via RBTH.
The top reasons for pride are Russian history (44 percent), the abundance of natural resources (38 percent) and the armed forces (36 percent). Economy, education, the health system and their fellow citizens are not as important for the majority of Russians. […] The idea of what constitutes a great power has changed in the last year. Many citizens have started prioritizing military strength (48 percent).
Although in 2015 respondents believed Russia to be a great power primarily because of the population’s wellbeing and the country’s economic potential, a year later the importance of these factors fell from 58 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2016.
Superstition. According to statistics, more and more Russians believe in UFOs, sorcery and clairvoyance. Such trends result in stagnation both in society and in the economy, experts believe. via RBTH, again.
The growth of magical consciousness was noticed in Russia in the 1990s. Lev Gudkov says that the reason was the collapse of the idea of the self, society and the world and of the value system caused by the fall of the USSR. Masses of people were disoriented and after 70 years of a totalitarian regime their dependence on their surroundings was very high.
In the 1990s the feeling of helplessness increased: “This was compensated by the growth in the demand for miracles, a leader and the transference of responsibility onto that leader,” said Gudkov.
In his opinion, today most Russians expect help from external powers – governmental, chthonic or occult. This is why people do not trust anyone except the president.
New political stars? According to Andrey Pertsev, the Russian electorate has regressed in its demands and gullibility to where it was in the early 1990s, when firebrand politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky had his first success. Russian society has a soft spot for wisecracking politicians who give populist speeches and bash the government, even if they tend to contradict themselves.
The public, disappointed with the government, doesn’t want to hear the truth. It wants to hear established problems discussed using familiar language, and if this criticism mimics the witty sound bites of stand-up comedians, better still.
Russian Harassment and Other Fables. By Philip Giraldi at the American Conservative.
In 1991, Russia was a superpower. Today it is a convenience, a straw man fortuitously produced whenever someone in power wants to justify weapons expenditures or the initiation of new military interventions in faraway places. Much of the negative interaction between Washington and Moscow is driven by the consensus among policymakers, the Western media, and the inside-the-beltway crowd that Russia is again—or perhaps is still and always will be—the enemy du jour. But frequently forgotten or ignored is the fact that Moscow, even in its much-reduced state, continues to control the only military resource on the planet that can destroy the United States, suggesting caution should be in order when one goes about goading the bear.
The New Cold War’s frontline in Crimea. The following piece was written by retired Col. Ann Wright, a participant on the CCI June 2016 trip to Russia. It’s based in part on her observations during the Crimea portion of that trip.
Some with the Crimeans with whom we spoke regretted the loss of contact with the United States and its programs, particularly its exchange programs. One educator lamented the difficulty in finding exchange programs for high school and college students in the Crimea to live and learn in the United States. Graduates of universities in Crimea are finding that some educational institutions outside of Russia are no longer recognizing their diplomas and certificates because of the sanctions.
Really Stupid Thing Said About Russia This Week
The only “leap forward” that can be attributed to Russia is made by its beautiful women who leave the country for Western men.
See you next week.