So now all Russians are evil?

in #politics4 months ago

Full disclosure, being married to a Russian woman does somewhat push me towards bias, but at the same time, I don't think I'm not being balanced here.

We need to be able to make a distinction. There is a Russian Government, one who Putin controls to his whim, that has an agenda, and there are the common folk, the Sergei's, Pavel's, the Irina's, the one's who work a day job, have a small store, sell pirozhkis for a living. They are not in any way shape or form on the same team.

Trained Tribalism

I'm trying to come up with a reasonable explanation as to why Americans seem unable to make the distinction. The only thing I can conclude is that we've been trained, and that word is more than adequate here, to hate the opposite team.

It has to be this same dynamic, this way of living, that pushes us towards the need to always find "the bad guys" and punish them.

The truth of the matter is that today's world is over politicized, and nothing, and I do mean nothing, is excluded from the political spectacle. It's somewhat depressing in my honest opinion, but there is no way to turn around the boat as far as I can tell.


Nothing we can do about the idiots. They are out there, they think they are "Patriots" or "Fighting for Social Justice" or some distorted version of righteousness.

But we, the "normals" should do our little share to not participate of the stupidity. It does not help to boycott a Russian owned business, just because Putin invaded Ukraine. It only hurts our neighbors, who, and this might be shocking to the idiots, did not decide nor participated of the invasion of Ukraine.

I'm afraid that if this continue to escalate, it could become our generation's version of the Japanese camps. If you don't know what I'm talking about, maybe it's something worth a read for you.

Sad days ahead... I guess.



Agreed. The racist discrimination against Russians is strongest from those who love to call everybody else racist.

its a shit show

Anyone that can meet Anka and hate her for being Russian has some pretty serious lessons to learn there. I often find myself pretty miffed by racism in general, but that's really no different. I suppose it's pretty telling how we treat each other in the West though. Half the U.S. demonizes the other half, at least according to our own propaganda, why wouldn't we use others as an excuse to demonize each other further? Oh no one side is pro-Ukraine, oh no the other are all Russian assets. No, they're just humans and many of them are focused on things that don't have any real direct impact on their lives and in this instance, probably wouldn't recognize a Russian person from a typical Caucasian American if they didn't hear the accent. Anyway, give Anka a hug. Much love bro.

will do bro. Much love to you too.

Round them up and throw them all into camps like the Japanese.

Except your Wife; she's cool.

Up-front disclaimer. I am inclined toward the opposite bias as you, for similar reasons: I am a US citizen, a legal resident of Kharkiv, and engaged to a woman from there (with whom I fled to Poland a few days after the war began).

With that aside, I see your point completely. Vilifying an entire population based on the actions of a government, is not completely right or fair. But here are some other considerations.

When we see a Russian twenty-something on Youtube who is breaking down in tears because she no longer has access to Instagram, or a Russian teenager screaming hysterically because McDonalds is no longer there, it does not engender sympathy toward the average Russian. I myself responded to one by saying "I have witnessed my neighborhood reduced to rubble, watched my neighbor strangled after she was forced to watch a column of Russian infantry take turns raping her 14 year old daughter, have pulled the burned and mangled bodies of toddlers out of the rubble of a day-care center that was targeted repeatedly by rocket-fire from a Hind chopper, and have buried friends, future in-laws, and former students, including one who was on face-time with her father (who was in Russia) when her apartment was destroyed on her birthday: February 24. Excuse my lack of sorrow for your 'predicament.' "

When we hear Russians say "we don't want this war but we cannot change it," Ukrainians who risked life and limb and charged unarmed against soldiers with machine guns in 2014 to change their own government, don't feel a great deal of sympathy.

When a Russian woman wearing a $700 dress walks up to my Ukrainian fiancee and me in a mall in Warsaw and, upon seeing the Ukrainian flags on both of our lapels, spits in her face and slaps me in mine while sneering "I hope every one of you Ukrainian pigs is killed! It is because of you that I cannot use my Mastercard now!", it does not endear anyone to the plight of the average Russian who, supposedly, does not sympathize with the war.

When a Russian athlete, bitter over taking third place to a Ukrainian, takes time to scotch-tape a "Z" (the well-documented symbol of support for the invasion) onto his uniform before taking to the winner's podium, it buggers the "it is Putin's war, not Russia's war" angle.

Now I am not here to damn an entire country (in truth I have always really, really wanted to admire Russia), or to insult your wife or her family or her people. But if ordinary Russians want the world to truly believe "this war is not my doing, but the work of a madman named Putin," they really are not doing much to show it.

those who have protested have been jailed my friend... i happen to know this fact too well. There are of course, bad people too.

I'll freely admit that's true. I'm aware of the protests, and of the consequences the protesters have faced. And I'm aware of those who've spoken against it by leaving the country as well. I don't have exact figures but both Finland and Georgia are reeling right now from refugees from Russia (which is a hell of an ironic turn of events to read about from a Ukrainian refugee district in Poland).

I'm simply saying while I sympathize with the latter, I'd have more respect for them if they were the former. But what of the main bulk of the population? Polls taken within Russia show overwhelming support for the war. Now I'm well aware a huge part of that is because everyone in Russia knows their lives are in danger from the FSB if they say otherwise, but it still doesn't change the impression most of my Ukrainian friends have, which is "our lives were in danger during the 2014 Maidan Revolution too. We did it anyway. Why can't you?" Having never had to oust my own country's government, I don't know what to think.
Regardless, the overarching theme here seems to be (at least from what I've seen) that the number of Russians who are not standing behind the invasion, honorable though they may be, seems to be a drop in the bucket compared to those who are. It's not a good image for the country as a singular entity. I'll say that much. And that doesn't come from anti-Russia bias. Frankly, I've been accused of the opposite (I have been frequently told "go back to Russia, Comrade," by other Americans despite having never been there). I'm a lifelong fan of Russian literature and ballet, absolutely adore Russian rock and roll (it's better than anything we've had in the West in any decade except the '80's), spent an entire year studying everything I could find about Catherine the Great and Grigory Potemkin for no other reason than personal interest, and opted to study Russian rather than Ukrainian when I first landed in Kharkiv, because I liked the sound of the language more. I was a huge admirer of Russia up until I was awakened on 24 February by their tanks, and even still I'm saying... well, let's just say this is far from Russia's finest hour.

...I would imagine Germany caught similar flack during (and immediately after) WW2. I know from my experience living in China that Japan still suffers a lot of resentment for the war. A lot of people who USED to think "it's just Putin, not Russia," have been repulsed by all the support the war has gotten from Russian social media (previous disclaimer about fear of the FSB notwithstanding) . I think in the social media age, when those in Russia who DO support the war have their voices amplified (not just by Russia but by the West too, to show "see? It really IS the whole country") it is going to be a long time before Russia lives down the stigma of this, and frankly, I'm too busy attending the funerals of neighbors killed by Russian troops to feel extra sorry for everyday Russians when I say that.

But again, you and I are both trying (not too successfully in either case it seems) to be objective even though we're predisposed to opposite views here, for ironically similar reasons.

putin is corona virus, ukraine flags are masks, russians are anti-vaxxers

I'm an anti-vaxxer and I don't seem to recall when my buddies and I ever blew up a children's hospital. Not sure I can get behind your metaphor.

-Sincerely, a Kharkiv resident who was in China when coronavirus broke out, caught Coronavirus twice and shrugged it off, and had his neighborhood reduced to rubble by Russian troops.

fifth columnist

chuckle Sure, kid. Now then, you're late for your meds. I'd stake a year's pay you don't even know what "Fifth Column" means other than "it's something I was taught to say by the guy who made my tinfoil hat for me."

I am Belarusian.
Of course, Lukashenka called me and asked, brother, we will allow the entry of Russian troops through our territory (sarcasm)
Yes, and I think he himself was put before the fact.
Before this war, many services equated Belarus with North Korea, Iraq, Libya... The same Binance did not allow us to trade.
Now it has gotten much worse. True, Ukrainian exchange services still completely change everything that is possible for the Russian ruble (it’s understandable, because the exchange rate has flown that it’s just madness not to profit from it)
By the way, which is curious, I personally have not heard or seen a single Russian freelance exchange where Ukrainians would be blocked (and even more so their money was squeezed out)
At the beginning of this war, I tried to make excuses and apologize. He tried to explain that I could not influence the situation in any way.
To understand the situation in my country...
If I kill a person, they will put me in jail for 10 years, with good behavior I will be released in 6.5. Moreover, an amnesty is possible in three years.
If I go out into the street with my old national flag, I will sit for 15 years, without the right to an amnesty.
And I absolutely do not understand how I will help Ukraine if I go out to protest against the war and sit down for the same 15 years.
But go ahead... Pour shit on me. I'm reasonable and understand. But the problem is that despite the fact that over the past decade we have been proving to the whole world that we are primarily an IT country, and only then our farmers are still about 70% of the population are rednecks ... And just like that they are listening to how shit is poured over them will come to the conclusion that Lukashenka is right.
And they will vote for him.

man, i don't see how things get any better