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Old 13-04-2007, 02:37   #41
Talyubittu Talyubittu is offline
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Beslan was so sad...I almost cry when I watch t.A.T.u. sing Nichya at the charity event for it.
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Old 13-04-2007, 02:54   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku View Post
Wikipedia has a page about it, it's rather detailed.
Thank you,

Its pretty sad for these things to happen in the world.
Inosent lives are taken away from people.
Why do people have to suffer?
Why so much hate?
Let hate be the enemy and love be the friend.
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Cause you're my rock star in between the set
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Old 13-04-2007, 02:57   #43
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Originally Posted by Amy_Lee_Rocks View Post
Thank you,

Its pretty sad for these things to happen in the world.
Inosent lives are taken away from people.
Why do people have to suffer?
Why so much hate?
Let hate be the enemy and love be the friend.
Вечер без любви
Утро без обиды
ЛЮДИ ИНВАЛИДЫ
ЛЮДИ ИНВАЛИДЫ


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Old 22-04-2007, 00:21   #44
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A recent chilling story about women who were abducted and forced into prostitution by a gang. This gang was stopped but many others are operating in pretty much every Russian city, Russia has become an international hub for girls trafficking.

Over four years Urals gang killed 30 women
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Old 22-04-2007, 02:05   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku View Post
A recent chilling story about women who were abducted and forced into prostitution by a gang. This gang was stopped but many others are operating in pretty much every Russian city, Russia has become an international hub for girls trafficking.

Over four years Urals gang killed 30 women
It's sick.

But what's even worse if that the author was wrong thinking that we here in Moscow get surprised and horrified hearing about such things happening in far province. We don't. We are used to seeing injured, disabled people, pregnant girls and small kids, prostitutes. They all have their 'price', they were either stolen, bought or forced to work for gangs with other methods. You can't live a day without seeing those in the metro trains begging for money they'll have to give to their 'owners' in the evening. And how many girls go for vacations abroad with someone they like and trust and never come back...

It's not everything Russia is about though. This thread overall is quite depressing
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Old 22-04-2007, 02:23   #46
Talyubittu Talyubittu is offline
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True. Nobody ever points out the good in Russia.
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Old 22-04-2007, 08:15   #47
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The scale of the horror has reminded rich Muscovites of the brutal life out in the provinces where low pay and lack of work can drive ordinary people to shocking crimes.
That's just bullshit. There are billions of people in the world who work for scraps (infact the majority of mankind) and they don't all go around murdering young girls. These were just classic psychopaths.
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Old 22-04-2007, 08:46   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie View Post
That's just bullshit. There are billions of people in the world who work for scraps (infact the majority of mankind) and they don't all go around murdering young girls. These were just classic psychopaths.
You are correct. You do not murder someone because you are poor. Thats is completely psychotic. Russian gangs are extremely out of hand and need to be dealt with. Unfortunately with the Government of Russia crumbling before our very eyes, I doub't that will happen.


Putin definately needs out of office. He's the Stalin of Democracy. He's taken the beatiful dream of brining freedom back to Russia, and he's running it into the ground, even if he is doing it slower than molasses.
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Old 22-04-2007, 13:35   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyubittu View Post
You are correct. You do not murder someone because you are poor. Thats is completely psychotic. Russian gangs are extremely out of hand and need to be dealt with. Unfortunately with the Government of Russia crumbling before our very eyes, I doub't that will happen.
This is not really an example of what you usually point out ax an example of 'russian gang'. Criminality and corruptioness is indeed a problem that needs to be dealt with but, as Freddie mentioned already, this example is a clinical case. Those people were more of maniacs than a criminal 'gang'. I don't really think our current government is to blame for all this. The level and frequiency of such crimes hasn't really noticebly increased since Putin became the president. I'd say it's the opposite actually. All these problems are here for a while and this country was a real mess in 90ies when our democracy began to be built. In last decade we became more civilized, more stable as a country and it did affect society in a positive way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyubittu View Post
Putin definately needs out of office. He's the Stalin of Democracy. He's taken the beatiful dream of brining freedom back to Russia, and he's running it into the ground, even if he is doing it slower than molasses.
I hope you realize that no matter how civilized and peaceful we all are, we haven't really left some things behind. The echo of cold war can still be heard. USA, EU and Russia are still important figures on the chessboard this world is and their interests are often quite the opposite. I guess I also don't have to explain you the way media works. They get paid for bringing up scandals and critics. They have no reason in this world to praise the regime of strategical enemies of their country. It doesn't mean they are always wrong or that they tell you lies all the time. But it does make the whole picture a bit twisted. It's just like this thread. There are many positive things about this country but it only takes listing only neative things (even if they all are true) to give a random outsider an idea of Russia being a big criminal mess under dictatorship of Putin.

As I citizen of this country, I feel more secure and confident about us having a future that it was in pre-Putin Russia. Democracy is a great thing but it can get quite an ugly face in the country that isn't ready for it. Criminality, corruption - these are not the things Putin invented. It's something every president would have to deal with and it was quite hard to pay any attention to such things when political forces aren't any solid and keep confronting each other using all dirty methods available. Jornalists had much more material and objects for criticizing before and the fact that death of Politkovskaya was a 'loud' story here says a lot. This profession was much more risky before. Journalists were killed on regular basis. It always became a habbit hearing such things.

Right now I can do more things without having to pay a proper guy. People around me here in Moscow and relatives in further regions stopped trying to survive. Overall level of our lives became higher. Business companies here aren't playing 100% clean of course but they started paying bit less attention to criminal wars and bit more to their customers. We don't live on the bomb of revolution anymore. We have much more civilized dialogue with the rest of the world and less chances to get involved in new war. Media calmed down. They do provide critics of course but at least it stopped being such an obvious war of pre-paid compromates. I'd say society overall feels more stable and secure nowadays. No wonder Putin does have support of the masses. People of this country haven't seen anyone better for a very long while. He's not perfect of course but his 'strong hand' is something this country really needed.

^^ IMHO
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Old 24-04-2007, 01:05   #50
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Sorry, don't know too much of the man, I was just a kid when he was around but what I saw of him was awesome.

RIP, Boris "Big Ol' Bear" Yeltsin.

Made Russia a republic (albiet, still maintaining most, if not all, Soviet elements), kinda overreacted to Chechnya, and probably should have asked China for some lessons in de-regulation. Remember kids, next time you want to de-socialize a country, start with the economy first then slowly spread it to civil liberties. And an oligarchy is not a free market.

Last edited by PowerPuff Grrl; 24-04-2007 at 01:43.
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Old 24-04-2007, 02:16   #51
haku haku is offline
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Well, due to my old age, i was already around when Yeltsin was in power and the man was such a breath of fresh air (maybe not up close, lol) from a Western point of view. He was the first (and only up to this date) Soviet/Russian leader who could put a smile on your face and didn't make you feel like he was an absolute enemy ready to destroy you (i remember Andropov, Chernenko or even Gorbatchev from when i was young, those guys were not funny).
During Yeltsin's time, it seemed like the Cold War was really behind us, that Russia had become a friendly country and could even join the Western bloc in international relations, the famous Yeltsin-Clinton laughing moment really reflects how relaxed relations between Russian and the West were at that time.
It's weird to think back of those good times when you compare to what we have now with Putin which is basically Cold War II.

Yeltsin will be remembered in the West as a jovial guy who stood on a tank to defeat a coup. RIP Boris.
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Old 24-04-2007, 02:38   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
This is not really an example of what you usually point out ax an example of 'russian gang'. Criminality and corruptioness is indeed a problem that needs to be dealt with but, as Freddie mentioned already, this example is a clinical case. Those people were more of maniacs than a criminal 'gang'. I don't really think our current government is to blame for all this. The level and frequiency of such crimes hasn't really noticebly increased since Putin became the president. I'd say it's the opposite actually. All these problems are here for a while and this country was a real mess in 90ies when our democracy began to be built. In last decade we became more civilized, more stable as a country and it did affect society in a positive way.



I hope you realize that no matter how civilized and peaceful we all are, we haven't really left some things behind. The echo of cold war can still be heard. USA, EU and Russia are still important figures on the chessboard this world is and their interests are often quite the opposite. I guess I also don't have to explain you the way media works. They get paid for bringing up scandals and critics. They have no reason in this world to praise the regime of strategical enemies of their country. It doesn't mean they are always wrong or that they tell you lies all the time. But it does make the whole picture a bit twisted. It's just like this thread. There are many positive things about this country but it only takes listing only neative things (even if they all are true) to give a random outsider an idea of Russia being a big criminal mess under dictatorship of Putin.

As I citizen of this country, I feel more secure and confident about us having a future that it was in pre-Putin Russia. Democracy is a great thing but it can get quite an ugly face in the country that isn't ready for it. Criminality, corruption - these are not the things Putin invented. It's something every president would have to deal with and it was quite hard to pay any attention to such things when political forces aren't any solid and keep confronting each other using all dirty methods available. Jornalists had much more material and objects for criticizing before and the fact that death of Politkovskaya was a 'loud' story here says a lot. This profession was much more risky before. Journalists were killed on regular basis. It always became a habbit hearing such things.

Right now I can do more things without having to pay a proper guy. People around me here in Moscow and relatives in further regions stopped trying to survive. Overall level of our lives became higher. Business companies here aren't playing 100% clean of course but they started paying bit less attention to criminal wars and bit more to their customers. We don't live on the bomb of revolution anymore. We have much more civilized dialogue with the rest of the world and less chances to get involved in new war. Media calmed down. They do provide critics of course but at least it stopped being such an obvious war of pre-paid compromates. I'd say society overall feels more stable and secure nowadays. No wonder Putin does have support of the masses. People of this country haven't seen anyone better for a very long while. He's not perfect of course but his 'strong hand' is something this country really needed.

^^ IMHO
I agree whole heartedly. Except for one thing...
Quote:
Democracy is a great thing but it can get quite an ugly face in the country that isn't ready for it.
Every country, every person, and everything deserves democracy and freedom. It is not democracy that turns an ugly face on the country it's being brought into, it's the country that turns against democracy.

______

Boris Yelstin...so so sad
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Old 24-04-2007, 06:09   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talyubittu View Post
Every country, every person, and everything deserves democracy and freedom. It is not democracy that turns an ugly face on the country it's being brought into, it's the country that turns against democracy.
I didn't mean that democracy can be bad on it's own. I meant than in situation we had here after USSR collapse, such things as chaos, loyality to criminal things as so on were considered a part of democracy. By saying 'country that is not ready for democracy' I first of all meant the 'country that can't draw a strict line between democracy and something else, country where some proper democratic things don't work due to other factors that have to be dealt with first'.


Yeltsin indeed was an open-hearted, easy and somewhat funny person. He's been a part of the nation more than a president. He made many things that will be remembred as political mistakes but it's a big sress being a president of one of the biggest countries in the world coming through major changes. I don't think many people will have a chance to prove they can do better in similar situation. It happens once in many centuries.

R.I.P., Boris Nikolaevitch



I wouldn't compare him to either Putin or Gorbachov though. It's not only 'easy personality' that makes a good president. Grobachov and Putin are quite 'fun' on their own. They are just different.
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Old 27-04-2007, 13:49   #54
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Estonia removes Soviet memorial (and Russia goes insane over it)

Putin steps up missiles warning (and talks of "mutual destruction" like in the good old days)

We are now officially in Cold War II.
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Old 28-04-2007, 01:59   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku View Post
Estonia removes Soviet memorial (and Russia goes insane over it)
One important thing the author of the article forgot to mention is that all this is happening with 9th May coming in less than 2 weeks... Victory Day one of the biggest and most important holidays in this country.

I don't know how important memories of the WW2 are in France but here it's considered one of the most painful and important events of 20th century. We've lost millions of people in this one. Almost every family in this huge country lost someone dear to them in this war. Our grandparents still have a lot of painful stories to share and scars to show. Landscape in some parts of the country still looks different from what it was before the bombing took place.

We, younger generation of russians, grew up in the atmosphere of deep sorrow and respect when it comes to WW2. 1941-1945 is the date everyone knows from a young age. We all saw a lot of movies about that time, learned our history lessons and yeah, call us stupid, but we treasure monuments reminding us of that time. And on 9th of May you don't really get surprised seeing a young punk-kid giving a flower to the old person he doesn't even know and saying 'thank you'.

Those people that were burried there in Estonia were not really communists or stalinists. They were fighting against a fierce power that tried to take over the Europe. They were fighting for their own land and people, for estonians, for the rest of the Europe and we don't really know how many silient heros found their last 'home' there. Removing the monument just because some unwanted people choose to meet near it and the authorities of the city can't find a couple of police guys to watch them is a choice that's really hard to understand. It does seem vandalic, disrespectful and unhuman. Monuments in general are known for being an attraction for various groups. Let's get rid of them all?

Saying that russian reaction on this is 'going insane' was rather cold-hearted and makes it sound like we made a big deal out of nothing. Mind you, Estonian officials knew exactly what russian reaction would be. And if they thought dealing with this reaction was easier than dealing with a small crowd of nationalists that gather there from time to time, I personally start to believe it's a 'provocation'.

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Originally Posted by haku View Post
Putin steps up missiles warning (and talks of "mutual destruction" like in the good old days)

We are now officially in Cold War II.
Putin said what Bush would say if we suddenly 'felt insecure' and decided to place a couple of such bases somewhere in Latin America. Look at the map and check where USA, Russia and Poland with Czech Rep are situated. Administration of USA was acting rather agressivly in last years. They got out of several agreements they found 'uncomfortable' for them, they attacked Iraq without really asking for permission from the rest of the world. I'd be really surprised to see Putin happy about them planning to place their bases in Eastern Europe. What other reaction would you expect?

Cold War hasn't began today and it wasn't Putin who've started it. It's just how things are done in modern world. Everyone tries to push their interests as far as possible. It's not a game of one and not even a game of two.
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Old 28-04-2007, 06:17   #56
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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
I don't know how important memories of the WW2 are in France
The 8th of May is a holiday here but it's more focused on reconciliation and honoring the loss on both sides (and for most ordinary people it's simply a 4-day sunny weekend and they don't think of war at all). As you may know, France and Germany reconciled very quickly, they both founded the ECSC (ancestor of the EU) in 1951, only 6 years after the war. Now over 60 years have passed, we've just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the EU and most people see WWII as a long gone historical event.

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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
Those people that were burried there in Estonia were not really communists or stalinists. They were fighting against a fierce power that tried to take over the Europe.
That's how Russians see it, but that's not how Europeans see it. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 in which they agreed to divide up the countries situated between them (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland), and Estonia fell in the Soviet half of the cake. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia as soon as 1940, and the following years the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany fought over that piece of land, it was simply two totalitarian states fighting for supremacy over a land that did not belong to them in the first place, and the well being of Estonian people were the least of their concerns.
From an Estonian point of view, both occupations were equally illegal, unwanted, and ruthless. It's understandable that they consider this monument as a symbol of Soviet occupation.

It's to be noted that the annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania by the Soviet Union was never recognized by Western countries, from 1940 to 1991, they were officially considered sovereign countries under Soviet occupation.

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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
Putin said what Bush would say if we suddenly 'felt insecure' and decided to place a couple of such bases somewhere in Latin America. Look at the map and check where USA, Russia and Poland with Czech Rep are situated. Administration of USA was acting rather agressivly in last years. They got out of several agreements they found 'uncomfortable' for them, they attacked Iraq without really asking for permission from the rest of the world. I'd be really surprised to see Putin happy about them planning to place their bases in Eastern Europe. What other reaction would you expect?
I can be accused of many things, but not of being pro-American. I mentioned in the USA thread that i didn't agree with the expansion of the US missile shield in Europe. That being said, Russia has to come to terms with the fact that countries like Poland, Czechia or Estonia are now EU and NATO members and no longer Russian satellites, there is and will be EU and NATO military in those countries, it's only normal.
I'm a reasonable person though, i don't agree with those who think that the EU and NATO should expand even further East to Ukraine or the Caucasus, i think the EU and Russia can be satisfied with the Finland-Romania line as the new Iron Curtain.
Russia really shouldn't feel threatened anyway, it's by far the largest country on the planet with 17 million km2 of territory, the EU is only 4 million km2, 4 times smaller! When i was young i had to live with the Red Army stationed only 1000km from where i lived pointing nuclear missiles at us… So i think Russia can live with the EU and NATO as a neighbor (Russian still has enough fire power to annihilate the entire European continent in a couple of hours anyway), especially since the EU and NATO are nowhere near as aggressive as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were in the old days, Russia has really nothing to worry about.
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Old 28-04-2007, 08:56   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haku View Post
That's how Russians see it, but that's not how Europeans see it. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 in which they agreed to divide up the countries situated between them (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland), and Estonia fell in the Soviet half of the cake. The Soviet Union occupied Estonia as soon as 1940, and the following years the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany fought over that piece of land, it was simply two totalitarian states fighting for supremacy over a land that did not belong to them in the first place, and the well being of Estonian people were the least of their concerns.
From an Estonian point of view, both occupations were equally illegal, unwanted, and ruthless. It's understandable that they consider this monument as a symbol of Soviet occupation.

It's to be noted that the annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania by the Soviet Union was never recognized by Western countries, from 1940 to 1991, they were officially considered sovereign countries under Soviet occupation.
You'll be surprised probably but they do teach us this side of WW2 as well at history lessons I like believing I'm not some kind of brain-washed fanatic when it comes to this. Soviet government was really far from saints for sure and they commited many crimes against a lot of people including their own. USSR would most likely attack Hitler if the guy wasn't faster with this.

But you see, people that did sign those agreements weren't even present there on the battle field. Those were ordinary people dying there, ones that thought they were fighting for something different from 'getting control over Estonia'. They were fighting against fascist occupants, against brutal force that attacked their homeland, killed their children and destroyed their cities, they were clearing their way to Berlin to fully defeat 'the evil'. It's those people that were burried there and the monument was for the soviet soldier, not soviet regime.

Of course it would be great if this war never began. But things we wish and things that really happen aren't always the same. Estonia is a small country and they had no power to protect themselves. There was not so many options. If soviet army never got there, it would be Hitler to feel there at home. Would they rather prefer that? When it comes to Western Europe it surprises me a bit how easy politicians & media turned USSR into one big evil. Yes of course the regime was bad. But we were allies in that war and without soviet army the result of this war could be really different. Most of west-european countries didn't have enough power to give Hitler a real fight. He wasted a lot of resources fighting on the East. And now everything is forgotten, words 'soviet' and 'communist' are like a curse, Germany easily got back to 'friends' list and all soviet army did in this war is occupy poor Estonia along with whole Eastern Europe. This is how they teach kids in USA that it was actually America to defeat mighty Hitler in that war, I guess.

Dead people should be respected, graves shouldn't be vandalized and monuments that are important for millions of people including over 1/4th of your own population should stay where they are if you don't have a real excuse to remove them. 'Nazis like to meet there' is a very poor excuse in my eyes and it's definitely not worth hurting feelings of millions, organizing political scandal and getting all those demonstrations there in Estonia. And doing this right before the 9th May was well.. just lame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haku View Post
I can be accused of many things, but not of being pro-American. I mentioned in the USA thread that i didn't agree with the expansion of the US missile shield in Europe. That being said, Russia has to come to terms with the fact that countries like Poland, Czechia or Estonia are now EU and NATO members and no longer Russian satellites, there is and will be EU and NATO military in those countries, it's only normal.
I'm a reasonable person though, i don't agree with those who think that the EU and NATO should expand even further East to Ukraine or the Caucasus, i think the EU and Russia can be satisfied with the Finland-Romania line as the new Iron Curtain.
Russia really shouldn't feel threatened anyway, it's by far the largest country on the planet with 17 million km2 of territory, the EU is only 4 million km2, 4 times smaller! When i was young i had to live with the Red Army stationed only 1000km from where i lived pointing nuclear missiles at us… So i think Russia can live with the EU and NATO as a neighbor (Russian still has enough fire power to annihilate the entire European continent in a couple of hours anyway), especially since the EU and NATO are nowhere near as aggressive as the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact were in the old days, Russia has really nothing to worry about.
I'm quite indifferent to this 'game' personally. I reacted only because I'm one of the few if not the only one respesentative of another side of what you call 'Iron Curtain' here. The way you put it in your message above, it sounded like it was Putin's words that officially started the Cold War II. Big lot of readers of this thread have no other sources of information but western media when it comes to such things. So I just felt like reminding it's something that never stopped and something Mr.Putin would feel bored playing alone.

USA and Russia are strategical opponents.
NATO and USA are allies.
NATO and Russia are strategical opponents.
USA was behaving rather agressivly lately.
USA can use NATO's military bases in critical situation.
NATO coupldn't stop USA from starting the war in Iraq.
USA are planning to build those bases on their own, not as part of NATO (ie they aren't asking for permission of all other members of NATO)

Putin is a president of Russia who has to push interests of this country forward and follow our military doctrine that has NATO and USA as our strategical opponents.
Putin no likes when NATO expands to the East (it's against stragical interests of Russia)
Putin says 'no thanks' when USA suggests to put a part of their nuclear system so close to our borders and so far from their own (it's against strategical interests of Russia)

It's cool if we all were friends and could come to agreement and cooperate against threats that are real rather than strategical. But 'friendship' is something that must come from both sides, you know. Putting a knife to someone's throat is quite a bad way to become friends. If USA puts their bases close to the borders of Russia for strategical reasons (there's no real need to this, right?), Russia minds a lot for same strategical reasons. It's not that hard to understand the reasoning of our authorities. If we are to come to agreements, it has to be voluntary, not because we are in a weak military position. Putin isn't that wrong saying those bases are a step in direction of 'mutual destruction' because it's definitely not a step in the opposite one.

Of course it's not about really pushing buttons and having a war. But strategical power is quite a good argument in many economical and political discussions. These are the rules of the game. So I don't really get the fuss about this 'beginning of the Cold War II'. For me everything happening now is neither surprising nor illogical.

I don't know and don't really care who's right and who's wrong here. I'm just saying that both sides have their reasons.
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Old 28-04-2007, 17:25   #58
haku haku is offline
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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
When it comes to Western Europe it surprises me a bit how easy politicians & media turned USSR into one big evil. Yes of course the regime was bad. But we were allies in that war and without soviet army the result of this war could be really different. Most of west-european countries didn't have enough power to give Hitler a real fight. He wasted a lot of resources fighting on the East. And now everything is forgotten, words 'soviet' and 'communist' are like a curse, Germany easily got back to 'friends' list and all soviet army did in this war is occupy poor Estonia along with whole Eastern Europe.
The fact that the Red Army is not celebrated as an heroic force in the West is because the Red Army behaved as badly as the Nazi Army during and after the war (i posted in another thread this article about how the Red Army systematically raped millions of women and girls in Eastern Europe).
The Allied Armies on the western front defeated the Nazis and restored democracy and freedom everywhere they went, they did not abuse or oppress the local populations, and they gave back control to local democratic governments after a few months or a few years at most. The Red Army on the Eastern front defeated the Nazis as well but the similarity ends there, the Red Army abused and oppressed local populations, it installed puppet dictatorial regimes and continued to occupy Eastern Europe for 50 years, it crushed any attempts to restore freedom (Prague, Budapest) and democrats were persecuted.
Understandably this has left a lasting resentment in Eastern Europe, sure the Red Army defeated the Nazis, but what it did after that was just as bad as Nazis.

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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
USA are planning to build those bases on their own, not as part of NATO (ie they aren't asking for permission of all other members of NATO)
Absolutely, and that's why i am opposed to the project. If the missile shield was a NATO project, i would support it, but not as a unilateral US project. That being said, the missile shield in Europe is no threat to Russia, the shield would only harbor a dozen interceptors (which are conventional weapons, not nuclear) while Russia has thousands of nuclear missiles, you don't stop thousands of missiles with a dozen interceptors.

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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
Putin no likes when NATO expands to the East (it's against stragical interests of Russia)
The EU is simply creating an area of peace, democracy, and wealth for European people, and NATO is now mostly a US-EU military alliance, neither organization is meant as a threat to Russia (NATO no longer specifically targets Russia as an enemy, this doctrine was abondoned after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact).

Europe used to be divided between Western and Eastern Europe, this was an unnatural division and it was only normal for the EU (and NATO) to expand to the East up to the border of the former USSR. I do understand that it's difficult for Russia to accept the loss of its former satellite countries and that's why i do not support any further Eastern expansion of the EU (and NATO) to countries which were formerly part of the USSR (with the exception of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because their annexation by the USSR was never recognized by the West). I think this is an acceptable compromise for the EU and Russia.
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Old 28-04-2007, 22:26   #59
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Originally Posted by haku View Post
The fact that the Red Army is not celebrated as an heroic force in the West is because the Red Army behaved as badly as the Nazi Army during and after the war (i posted in another thread this article about how the Red Army systematically raped millions of women and girls in Eastern Europe).
The war has an ugly face. Hatered, sorrow, revenge, hunger, fear, tiredness - all twisted by propaganda. Those people had their own excuses to commit crimes no excuse can justify. But it was happening in all armies, including Allies. Because the war is like that. And there were other stories with great sacrifices made, unbelievable acts of kindness and love to humanity. It's also true for all armies including German one. Just because western media is more interested in writing about one kind of aspects of the soviet army doesn't mean others never existed. I have no reasons not to believe the article you linked here. I just hope you realize that your view on story is pretty much one-sided due to having only western sources of information.

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Originally Posted by haku View Post
The Allied Armies on the western front defeated the Nazis and restored democracy and freedom everywhere they went, they did not abuse or oppress the local populations, and they gave back control to local democratic governments after a few months or a few years at most. The Red Army on the Eastern front defeated the Nazis as well but the similarity ends there, the Red Army abused and oppressed local populations, it installed puppet dictatorial regimes and continued to occupy Eastern Europe for 50 years, it crushed any attempts to restore freedom (Prague, Budapest) and democrats were persecuted.
People in charge often make their decisions with reasoning that's quite far from human one. All governments had their interests and limitations. Everyone took what he wanted and what he was allowed to take. Authorities often have no right to be human when it comes to pushing the interests of their country. Idealizing someone in this war is just wrong. Yes USSR did use the opportunity to gain control over Eastern Europe. Because they could and no one said 'no' including USA that had nuclear monopoly back then. I'm personally against such kinds of actions but I'm also against one-sided view on the history.
Stalin's regime is something russians suffered from just as much as those people in Eastern Europe. It was unhuman in many ways. But people that fighted against Hitler and believed they are doing a good thing were human and importance of soviet army in that war shouldn't be understimated. History should be full and not twisted.


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Originally Posted by haku View Post
Understandably this has left a lasting resentment in Eastern Europe, sure the Red Army defeated the Nazis, but what it did after that was just as bad as Nazis.
They don't selebrate the Victory Day anymore. At least it's not as important as it was in USSR times. They decide to remove the monument for the soviet soldiers that died there because it reminds them of soviet regime and nationalists use it as a place for their meetings. But at the same exact time here in year 2007 they officially allow the celebration of the Day of Waffen SS Legioners. Now that doesn't bring up any painful memories and they politely ask nationalistic parties that plan demonstrations for the day to 'please behave and express their opinion (they have democratic rights for) in a civilized way'.
I've recently had my ways crossed with ways of some young citizens of Poland. I don't remember what I said exactly but it was something innocent like us having a lot in common in our languages and cultures. The reaction was them furiously demanding for me to never never never use names Poland and Russia in one sentance. And it happened more than once in last year. Different people, all pretty young and not exactly stupid but full of hate. I wonder what they write in books nowadays.
And how about forbidding russian language in latvian schools? And have you heard what young Ukrainians feel towards Russia now with all those 'revolutions'?

There's something really fishy going on and I find it quite scary. Some countries are running full-speed into direction of democracy. But they use soviet-like propaganda to achieve the result. They twist history, deny the culture, raise up hate. It's not my idea of democracy and seeing this being praised by western media doesn't make this media any trustworthy in my eyes.

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Originally Posted by haku View Post
Absolutely, and that's why i am opposed to the project. If the missile shield was a NATO project, i would support it, but not as a unilateral US project. That being said, the missile shield in Europe is no threat to Russia, the shield would only harbor a dozen interceptors (which are conventional weapons, not nuclear) while Russia has thousands of nuclear missiles, you don't stop thousands of missiles with a dozen interceptors.

The EU is simply creating an area of peace, democracy, and wealth for European people, and NATO is now mostly a US-EU military alliance, neither organization is meant as a threat to Russia (NATO no longer specifically targets Russia as an enemy, this doctrine was abondoned after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact).

Europe used to be divided between Western and Eastern Europe, this was an unnatural division and it was only normal for the EU (and NATO) to expand to the East up to the border of the former USSR. I do understand that it's difficult for Russia to accept the loss of its former satellite countries and that's why i do not support any further Eastern expansion of the EU (and NATO) to countries which were formerly part of the USSR (with the exception of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania because their annexation by the USSR was never recognized by the West). I think this is an acceptable compromise for the EU and Russia.
It's not about loosing satellites, it's not about believing that the war is about to start, it's not about being paranoid. It's us, civil citizens to 'like' or 'dislike', 'be afraid' or not. Military guys have no right to think this way. They must make sure that if something happens, the country won't find itself weak and helpless. It's their job. They can't rely on good will of current governments of other countries. This all can change in no time.

USA being the big military power they are, plan to put their bases close to our borders without asking for anyone's permission (not for the first time). Things add up, USA expands their military force. Those bases of course are not a big threat on their own but they are a part of a big military system and in case war happens, they will give USA just another advantage. Russian military guys can't pretend it's cool because they can't afford being not prepared for such situations even if they don't expect the war anytime soon.

Plus the more powerful strategically the country is, the louder its voice is on political and economical field, the easier it is to push its interests forward in many discussions that aren't military related, the more independent it is. We don't want to see the infamous World Arbitor to 'help' us in solving our inside problems one day. Of course with these bases or without, we still have the magic red button, multi-million population and a lot of military devices. But it's a step in direction that goes against our interests. That's why we do mind.

Western Europe wasn't behaving agressively for quite a while now. I guess if USA was out of NATO, it would be much easier for us to get along. I don't really notice much paranoia when it comes to European countries. But your military systems can be used by USA and this country loves getting its nose in everyone's business lately without caring what the rest of the world thinks. You don't appear too peaceful and harmless when you are together.
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Old 29-04-2007, 11:40   #60
simon simon is offline
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Originally Posted by la aurora View Post
The war has an ugly face. Hatered, sorrow, revenge, hunger, fear, tiredness - all twisted by propaganda. Those people had their own excuses to commit crimes no excuse can justify. But it was happening in all armies, including Allies. Because the war is like that. And there were other stories with great sacrifices made, unbelievable acts of kindness and love to humanity. It's also true for all armies including German one. Just because western media is more interested in writing about one kind of aspects of the soviet army doesn't mean others never existed. I have no reasons not to believe the article you linked here. I just hope you realize that your view on story is pretty much one-sided due to having only western sources of information.
Actually, it doesn't work that way in the west. Unlike in the USSR and Putin's Russia, alternative viewpoints aren't suppressed by the state. There is a lot of self-criticism about things that were done in the past, such as colonialism. Many countries that were once ruled by Britain removed all the memorials the British put up. Britain doesn't do anything about that. British people don't get angry that people in those countries aren't grateful for having been colonised.

It's absurd to make out that what the western allies did is equivalent to what Stalin did in eastern Europe. Did the US and UK deport millions of people to their death in labour camps?

The western allies did do things that were wrong, but nothing they did was comparable with what Stalin or Hitler did. Stalin was as evil as Hitler and he killed a lot more people. For the Estonians, the Soviet occupation was at least as bad as the Nazi one.

Quote:
People in charge often make their decisions with reasoning that's quite far from human one. All governments had their interests and limitations. Everyone took what he wanted and what he was allowed to take. Authorities often have no right to be human when it comes to pushing the interests of their country. Idealizing someone in this war is just wrong. Yes USSR did use the opportunity to gain control over Eastern Europe. Because they could and no one said 'no' including USA that had nuclear monopoly back then. I'm personally against such kinds of actions but I'm also against one-sided view on the history.
So are you saying the US should have fought a war or used nuclear weapons to prevent Soviet occupation of eastern Europe? That it's their fault that Stalin murdered millions of people in the countries he occupied? The US didn't do that in the countries they liberated and nothing they ever did was anything like as bad as what Stalin did.

Quote:
Stalin's regime is something russians suffered from just as much as those people in Eastern Europe. It was unhuman in many ways. But people that fighted against Hitler and believed they are doing a good thing were human and importance of soviet army in that war shouldn't be understimated. History should be full and not twisted.
But people that fought against Stalin on the German side also believed they were doing a good thing. That doesn't mean there should be statues celebrating their heroism.

Quote:
They don't selebrate the Victory Day anymore. At least it's not as important as it was in USSR times. They decide to remove the monument for the soviet soldiers that died there because it reminds them of soviet regime and nationalists use it as a place for their meetings. But at the same exact time here in year 2007 they officially allow the celebration of the Day of Waffen SS Legioners. Now that doesn't bring up any painful memories and they politely ask nationalistic parties that plan demonstrations for the day to 'please behave and express their opinion (they have democratic rights for) in a civilized way'.
It's completely untrue that the Estonians officially celebrate the Waffen SS Legionnaires. Estonia is a democracy where people are allowed to hold demonstrations. It's not like Russia where anti-government demonstrations are violently broken up and the participants arrested, as happened in Moscow and St Petersburg recently. In a free, democratic country even people we don't agree with are allowed to hold demonstrations. It's scary that you don't understand that.

Quote:
I've recently had my ways crossed with ways of some young citizens of Poland. I don't remember what I said exactly but it was something innocent like us having a lot in common in our languages and cultures. The reaction was them furiously demanding for me to never never never use names Poland and Russia in one sentance. And it happened more than once in last year. Different people, all pretty young and not exactly stupid but full of hate. I wonder what they write in books nowadays.
And how about forbidding russian language in latvian schools? And have you heard what young Ukrainians feel towards Russia now with all those 'revolutions'?
As a Brit, I'll give you some advice. Don't expect people from countries that your country victimised to be grateful for it. I wouldn't dream of telling Irish people or West Indians, for example, that we have a lot in common in terms of language and culture. I know it would be an incredibly tactless thing to say because the strong British cultural influence is due to colonialism and oppression. A bit of contrition about what was done will go a long way. We do it, so you can do it too.

Quote:
There's something really fishy going on and I find it quite scary. Some countries are running full-speed into direction of democracy. But they use soviet-like propaganda to achieve the result. They twist history, deny the culture, raise up hate. It's not my idea of democracy and seeing this being praised by western media doesn't make this media any trustworthy in my eyes.
The Soviet-style propaganda is in the government-controlled Russian media. Russia needs to understand that it has to sincerely apologise for the crimes of the past like Germany did to the Jews and Britain did to Ireland. It's unreasonable to expect people in countries that experienced the horror of Soviet occupation, mass rape, mass murder and mass deportations not to feel bitter about it. Russians getting angry with them for being bitter about what was done just shows insensitivity.

Quote:
It's not about loosing satellites, it's not about believing that the war is about to start, it's not about being paranoid. It's us, civil citizens to 'like' or 'dislike', 'be afraid' or not. Military guys have no right to think this way. They must make sure that if something happens, the country won't find itself weak and helpless. It's their job. They can't rely on good will of current governments of other countries. This all can change in no time.

USA being the big military power they are, plan to put their bases close to our borders without asking for anyone's permission (not for the first time).
Actually, they did get the permission of the countries where those bases are to be located. It would have been more accurate to write: "The US plan to put bases in countries close to Russia that that have been occupied by Russia in the past and joined NATO for future protection. Those countries have the cheek to invite the US to put bases there without getting Russia's permission."

Quote:
Things add up, USA expands their military force. Those bases of course are not a big threat on their own but they are a part of a big military system and in case war happens, they will give USA just another advantage. Russian military guys can't pretend it's cool because they can't afford being not prepared for such situations even if they don't expect the war anytime soon.

Plus the more powerful strategically the country is, the louder its voice is on political and economical field, the easier it is to push its interests forward in many discussions that aren't military related, the more independent it is. We don't want to see the infamous World Arbitor to 'help' us in solving our inside problems one day. Of course with these bases or without, we still have the magic red button, multi-million population and a lot of military devices. But it's a step in direction that goes against our interests. That's why we do mind.
I see. If other countries that have previously been occupied by the USSR want the Americans to protect them that goes against Russia's interests. Well, of course! But try looking at it from the other person's perspective.

Quote:
Western Europe wasn't behaving agressively for quite a while now. I guess if USA was out of NATO, it would be much easier for us to get along. I don't really notice much paranoia when it comes to European countries. But your military systems can be used by USA and this country loves getting its nose in everyone's business lately without caring what the rest of the world thinks. You don't appear too peaceful and harmless when you are together.
The US isn't going to attack Russia. That's a fantasy. You have thousands of nuclear weapons. What Russia is really concerned about is that it won't be able to bully its neighbours as it's doing to Estonia right now.
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