Monday, August 9, 2010

Forest Fires in Russia: When Will the Russian People Finally Have Enough?

As horrible fires devastate the European paart of Russia, it is becoming more and more obvious how corrupt, inept, and contenptuous towards its own people is the Russian government led by the prime-minister Vladimir Putin and his puppet Dmitri Medvedev. 

The fires are moving closer to the nuclear facilities and the danger of a nuclear accident is growing in spite of the half-hearted attempts by the authorities to protect at least these crucial nuclear facilities.

A thick smog has descended on Moscow, forcing hundreds of offices to close down. People have taken to wearing masks and pouring water in the streets in an attempt to protect themsleves at least somewhat form the noxious fumes. The air in Moscow has become ten times more toxic than usual.

As a result of horribly repressive governments that have ruled them for centuries, the Russian people have learned to put up with pretty much anything. There is no viable resistance movement to oppose Putin's shameless authoritarianism. Everybody knows that the elections are so corrupted as to be nothing but a formality, yet people make jokes about it and do nothing. Every kind of repression has been visited on the Russian people in the past century, yet they bear up and carry on heroically.

I strongly believe that the Russian people deserve better than the profoundly corrupt system that robs them blind, guarantees them no human rights or dignities and in return only offers them jingoism, chauvinism, and neo-Nazism as consolation prizes. This is why I want to believe that maybe these disastrous fires and the complete indifference of the Russian government towards the people's suffering will finally serve as a wake-up call for the Russians.

According to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the Russian president was greeted in Nizhni Novgorod by the citizen's irate promises to "hang him by the balls." Hopefully, the Russian people will finally find the strength to carry out this promise.

At this point, the Russian government is conducting business as usual by concealing the number of victims of this tragedy:
New revelations suggest Moscow's record heatwave and heavy smoke from forest fires may be far deadlier than Russia has admitted so far. Extreme heat and heavy smoke from forest and peat fires has doubled Moscow's death rate, according to the head of the city's health department, Andrei Seltsovsky. Mr Seltsovsky has revealed about 700 people are dying a day, which is twice the usual number. "In usual times 360-380 people are dying each day. Now it is around 700," he said. There are also reports the city's morgues are running out of room. The increase coincides with a record heatwave and the shroud of heavy smog in the city.  But Russia's federal health ministry has disputed the figures.
The cynicism of the Russian government is, as usual, undefeated. I hope that the people of Russia will finally decide that they have had enough.


Richard said...

The Russian people appear to be intent on making life in Russia hard. I visited Russia in 1998 and it was in chaos. Street vendors were refusing Rubles while accepting any other currencies offered, most of the cops were drunk and a menace to civilians, and the water was dangerous (life threatening) to drink. We revisited Russia in 2005 and found that the currency situation was more or less in order and the cops were less of a threat (bribery was still the way to deal with Russian cops). On the other hand the Russian people continued to passively put up with conditions that would not be tolerated any where else in Europe. Dealing with Russian locals on many different levels (my wife, like many Poles, speaks excellent Russian) we found them inflexible, incurably suspicious, and completely at sea when forced to act independently.

Clarissa said...

That's a characterization I have to agree with 100%.

Anonymous said...

Oh and guess the mayor's comment regarding the situation?

No comment was offered because he left the city to go on vacation! haha :)