Seven things Russians need to understand about their country and themselves now

A Russian tank, which served to defend the state's Far Eastern border and a symbol of its military power, simply abandoned to rot in its position (Image: dementievskiy.livejournal.com)

A Russian tank, which served to defend the state's Far Eastern border and a symbol of its military power, simply abandoned to rot in its position (Image: dementievskiy.livejournal.com) 

2017/02/15 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Many of the problems Russians now face are rooted in their firmly-held misconceptions about the nature of Russia and Russian national identity. To help them out, Dmitry Olshansky, a columnist for “Komsomolskaya pravda,” identifies seven things that he says Russians must recognize about Russia and themselves.

  • First of all, he says, “Russia is a small country. It only seems large on a map.” [Stress here and below is added.] Most of the territory within its borders is inhospitable to life. Indeed, Russia’s “biggest deficit” is warmth and the sun. A few small islands in warm seas would mean more than vast Arctic wastelands.
  • Second, Olshansky continues, “Russians are a small people.” Given the demographic disasters of the last century, Russians are so much smaller than they should be that they need to be entered into “the Red Book” of peoples who require special protection to survive. “We need rules of life as in a preserve,” i.e., no migrants and no competition from stronger cultures.
  • Third and despite what Moscow claims, “Russians live worse than all others on Earth,” the result of “the combination of the [Russian] climate and the [Russian government].” The climate is “unbearable,” and the state administration is “at an African level and with African attitudes toward human life.”
  • Fourth, “Russia is not the Russian Federation.” Within the borders of the country, Russians have no place of their own; and abroad, there are many ethnic Russians. As a result, “the genuine national borders of Russia and the genuine borders of its cultural and political existence do not have the slightest relationship to those of the Russian Federation.”
  • Fifth, “Russians are a stateless people,” very similar to the Kurds or Palestinians although they are in a somewhat better position because the whole word recognizes that they don’t have a state of their own, something few recognize as being true of Russians. Moscow makes this worse by focusing and spending abroad and not on its own citizens.
  • Sixth, “the main drama of Russian history is the gap between the individual and the state.” There is no state that has achieved so much territorially, militarily and culturally that at the same time has treated its own people so shabbily, concentrating all power in the hands of a few at the center and leaving everyone else struggling for existence.
  • And seventh, Olshansky concludes, “the main Russian problem is the absence of a nation.” The commentator says that “there is a people but there is no nation,” and the state is “alien” to it. As a result, there is no common language between the people and the state, the sine qua non of a political nation.

Related:

Edited by: A. N.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Mephisto

    it is a poor nation. Serfdom under the Tsars ==> Bolshevik revolution ==> Putin. They had no historic opportunity to develop a healthy national identity. Their national identity is derived from the feeling that other nations fear them. Fear is respect in their eyes.

    • Alex George

      And in contrast, the city council in Mykolaiv Ukraine is now broadcasting its meetings online: https://news.pn/en/public/177393

      Its a long slow road, and there is still a long way to go, but little by little, transparency in government is coming to Ukraine.

  • Alex George

    This is hard-hitting stuff from one of the most widely read newspapers in Russia. But its really just what many supporters of Ukraine have been saying all along. The Putin trolls live in denial about these things, but some Russians understand them:

    * Russia is a small country. It only seems large on a map.
    * Russians are a small people
    * Russians live worse than all others on Earth
    * Russia is not the Russian Federation
    * Russians are a stateless people
    * The main drama of Russian history is the gap between the individual and the state
    * The main Russian problem is the absence of a nation

    If Russians generally did grasp these things, Russia would get on a lot better than it does with the rest of the world.

    • zorbatheturk

      This article certainly hit the nail dead center.

  • Kruton

    Correctimundo!!!!

  • Czech Mate

    Ha ha, I agree with every word there yet this effort is doomed to fail, at least for now. They will not summon up the courage to look at them the way they are.

    But if you take it from another angle, therein lie all the weaknesses of ruSSkies. That’s why they can never win only spread misery and destruction for all.

    • Alex George

      True. If Russians took this seriously they would understand how Putin’;s foolish foreign ventures are crippling their economy, when they need to be building it.

      Russia’s orders for medals for Syrian service have doubled in a year, indicating that its troop commitment there has doubled: https://www.unian.info/world/1777031-russia-orders-over-20000-medals-for-participants-of-syria-war.html

      Bad news for the Syrian people and bad news for the Russian people, but good news for Ukraine. The more money and resources Putin spends elsewhere, the better

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        It’s also an indication that things are not going as planned in Syria for the dwarf. If he needs more troops and /or mercenaries there then despite the show of withdrawing units and claiming “It’s over” it most definitely is NOT over and probably even escalating.
        The dwarf may well be sucked into a second Afghanistan.

        • zorbatheturk

          With over 300 anti-Assad Syrian rebel groups with plenty of weapons out there, Syria is not over by a long shot.

  • Dagwood Bumstead

    A bit OT, but the IS-3 in the photo deserves to be in a museum, not left to rust away. I’m sure that there are several museums and private collectors that would love to have it.

    • Mephisto

      accoring to the Czech wiki (there is not an English one) only 1300 pieces of the IS-3 tank were made. So it is kind of rare. A pitty letting it rust.
      https://cs.wikipedia.org/wiki/IS-3

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Other sources quote a figure of around 2,300 but no matter. It’s a fairly rare beast and should be preserved- something Dwarfstan is so obviously incapable of.

    • Brent

      BUT…it’s more symbolic that it is a rusting worthless hunk of junk like Russians have let their state become under Putin’s mafia….

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        True, but that only works if it’s seen regularly by thousands. It’s in a remote spot on the current Dwarfstan-Chinese border (soon to be moved hundreds of miles to the north) and hardly anybody visits it. Best to put it in a western museum where it can be viewed by many, with photos to show where it was simply abandoned umpteen years ago. I’m not sure whether the Bovington Tank Museum has an IS-3, but if not I’m sure they would love to add it to the already extensive and impressive collection!
        And I wouldn’t mind owning it myself- the very thing to take for a quiet Sunday drive in the country……

  • zorbatheturk

    A most excellent article highlighting the conundrum that is ruSSia. As I have said before, ruSSians are white Nigerians. Which is not really a compliment.

  • Brent

    The author may have missed some key elements of the “true Russia”…
    1) Russians are mindless sheeple that can’t think for themselves and they will believe whatever lies their leaders tell them
    2) Russians choose to be lead by lying thieving criminals
    3) Russian culture is based on stealing as they have none of their own to brag about
    4) Russians don’t value human lives
    5) Russians will eat any garbage their leaders tell them too
    6) Russians are a dying demographic with short life spans and will soon be an even bigger mongrel race once their future Muslim and Chinese overlords take over their country
    7) Most mindless Russians will never be welcomed in the rest of the World if they continue to devolve into a subhman species https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/423aaced7e0670db5d0ed730cfa3b876cfd1e16f421b09c77d6a5203c4066216.jpg

  • zorbatheturk

    A ruSSian is a shitizen of the Republik of Putinistan. The official emblem is an empty vodka bottle superimposed over a red swastika.

  • Dirk Smith

    Spot on. Just like their little bitch, Serbia.

  • Andrew Chimplewsky

    PAUL A. GOBLE the LYING TROLL is gonna explain Russian something… what a JOKE!!

    • Andrew Chimplewsky

      RUSSIANS are the LARGEST DEMOGRAPHIC GROUP IN THE WEST!!

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        No, they are not. The Germans are. And Russia = Dwarfstan isn’t in the west at all, so it doesn’t count.