знай, а лучше понимай!
Know… and even better, understand!
я буду вспоминать с улыбкой, все свои попытки, все свои ошибки…
“I will remember all my attempts and mistakes with a smile.”
I get the feeling that to be a Russophile is to be viewed as naive… only Russophobes know the real truth.
Positivity = misguided
Negativity = truths
The only stuff you read in the Western press about Russia is:
2. Not a democracy/is a dictatorship/Putin is Brezhnev
6. Economy comparable to Rwanda
8. Plane crashes
Not to say that none of those are untrue or un-newsworthy. But where do you read about the positive things in Russia? We are all probably guilty of dismissing positive news about Russia as propaganda. I think it’s time that the Western press started to take more of a balanced and fair stance in reporting about Russia, and for Western audiences to jettison long-held opinions formed in the Cold-War era. Not every Russian is a spy. Not every aviation accident happens in Russia. Vladimir Putin has in fact helped to improve the lives of many of his country’s citizens - a fact often overlooked in the West in favour of comparing him to the stagnator general Leonid Brezhnev - or, worse, Joseph Stalin.
This coincides with another major gripe of mine - the assumption that every other country in the world should be just like us (and by us I mean, USA, Britain, Europe, Canada, Australia…), and if they’re different that means they’re doing it wrong.
Democracy does not necessarily coincide with freedom and success.
Russia wouldn’t ordinarily stack up to be considered a Western-style democracy, and yet, having lived there, there are not that many differences between their lifestyles and ours. They have wholesome food on the table, they go out to bars and clubs, they spend extravagantly on clothes and shoes, they carry around iPhones and iPads. Yes, some people live in poverty and have a difficult life, just like in the West. Yes, there is massive inequality, just like in the west. Yes, those living in larger cities tend to have a higher standard of living than those in small, provincial towns, JUST LIKE IN THE WEST.
So before you read the next “holier-than-thou” article written in a Western newspaper by a (probably) Western journalist, take the time to examine the other side of the story.
Oh, and watch out for that spy just around the corner.