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Russia's Falling (or Failing) Democracy?

 
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theWriter
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:10 pm    Post subject: Russia's Falling (or Failing) Democracy? Reply with quote



Russia has been showing an ugly side in numerous ways since the collapse of the Soviet Union in late 1991, the most prominent of these being the handling of the Chechen province.

Chechnya has been--like some issues in the United States--kept behind closed doors for a long time. In the late 1980's, the area tried to break away from its Russian mother, wanting to become a individual state, and got a very adamant "oh, no you did not." Bombing of the area proceeded, and utter chaos ensued. With the bombing of Grozny, and the collapse of the Russian instilled government, Chechnya quickly became a vacuum; Islamic fanatics rushed in from the southern border, seizing Chechnya as an excellent training ground for future insurgency groups, while Russian troops rushed in from the North, quick to take control of the area before it spiraled more out of control than it already was.

The result?

Anarchy.

Chechnya has been amazingly unstable since then. In 1996 they got themselves under their own feet--barely, though, considering the first Chechen war was barely over--but the feet quickly were broken as Russia invaded yet again. The mix then repeated itself: make racial/ethnic vacuum, insert religion fanatics and angry, homeless Chechens, add Russian government, then stir. Threepeat.

1999, the Chechens find themselves in yet ANOTHER war, stuck in the middle as Russia and fanatics duke it out, throwing civilians in the middle of the mix without any regard for their health or safety.

...The problem with the fanatism branches that have jumped into Chechnya is that they have given the reigon a bad name, espeacially so after the brutal bombing of a school in Beslan in 2000. Over 344 citizens died, more than half of them being children.

The country (Russia) was in uproar. How dare insurgents target the most vulnerable of civilians, children? It could not be stood for.

Well, it wasn't exactly the last attack.

Two years later, yet another disasterous crisis. Chechen rebels overtook in a theatre in Moscow and were holding the civilians hostage. After three uneasy days, the Russian police took action, pushing forward with a full-blown assault on the building as well as pumping an "incapacitating" gas into the theatre.

The gas would do more than incapacitate; it would kill. Gas continued to be pumped into the building for thirty minutes before police forces charged in, and by the time all the gunfire had receded, and the majority of the rebels were dead, there would be over 40 insurgents killed and 113 civilians dead--though they were murdered directly from the gas.

Yet another boo-boo on both the side of the Russians and the Insurgents.

More tension.

And thus...

But here's the thing: one of the most alarming things that has arisen from this situation recently has been word of Russian soldiers/KGB men torturing Chechen civilians. A very prominent woman journalist by the name of Anna Politkovskaya had been writing an article on the alleged crimes but was assassinated before it could get out into the public.

The public was outraged; many demanded that a full investigation be pursued as to the woman's death. Putin promised that such an investigation would continue, but many doubted him due to the fact that it was believed he was behind the very movement.

Putin's image wasn't helped much, either, by the very recent death of the Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko from poisoning. Said to have been persuing claims that Politkovskaya had been killed by Putin's own government, Litvinenko allegedly was poisoned at a sushi stop in England with the deadly Polonium-210. He was quickly rushed into Intensive Care at a nearby hospital, where he pointed a dying finger at Putin and told the world outright that he was behind it.

Putin denied it. After Alexander's death, he said that the country was deeply sorry over the man's death. Britain didn't buy it, and are currently throwing themselves into a huge investigation as to where, what, and when the Polonium-210 came through to Britian, and who really was involved.

Russia is throwing itself into a precarious position.

So...that it all that I really have about the main black-eye that the Federation has. Chechnya and events following the splitting up have not done the country any good, and now they are in a hole that somewhat represents the United States in Iraq.

Would you agree or disagree with the above comment and the facts presented? Why?
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Brianhjh
 


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putin is my bishie ^ ^

I can perfectly understand Putin crushing Chechenya time and time over, it's a stupid fucking republic made up of 1 milliion Chechens that no one should care about, EVER. Russia is a federal republic made up of 2 dozen autonomous republics. Russia had held on to them even after the Soviet divorce, which was painful to Moscow. when they lost Ukraine, they lost a perfectly good source of farmland along with few million Russian natives, when they lost Kazakhstan, they nearly lost their spaceport (they didn't), when the lost Belarus, they no longer had a good buffer between Europe and them.

What Russia is afraid of is little tiny republics that keeps climbing up their ankles, wanting independence for SURPRISE! not ethnic or "valid" reason but for religious ones. Any country would too. I'm not saying Putin is a saint, but he has done a very respectable job of brining Russia out of years of deficit and currently the second largest economy in Europe, they'll soon be first if the rate of growth (7-8 percent) is sustained. Putin does this by bringing back the Soviet-Era nationalism and of course, relentilessly crushing opponents, hey, everybody else does it.

Chechenya is nothing like Iraq, because Russia has logistic and nationalistic reason to occupy Chechnya. Chechnya always had contact and citizens from motherland Russia, Iraq on the other hand, can't say the same thing about the United States.

Beside, in terms of videos I've seen from both sides, if I would be tortured to death, I'd choose the Russian soldiers over Chechen fanatics, every single time.
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theWriter
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm not saying Putin is a saint, but he has done a very respectable job of brining Russia out of years of deficit and currently the second largest economy in Europe, they'll soon be first if the rate of growth (7-8 percent) is sustained.


I absolutely agree with the fact he's pulled the country out of the shit hole. I will not, under any circumstances, deny what he has done for the country. We have three Russian exchange students and they believe the man is God. To some extent, they may have a point.

Quote:
Chechenya is nothing like Iraq, because Russia has logistic and nationalistic reason to occupy Chechnya. Chechnya always had contact and citizens from motherland Russia, Iraq on the other hand, can't say the same thing about the United States.


...True, yet again. It wasn't the best metaphor...maybe in the future I'll choose a better one.

To a lesser extent, I sympathize with the Chechen civilians because they are stuck in a shit-hole from all sides. I understand very well that most of the violence emanating from the reigion isn't from the Chechens--it's from fanatics from outside the country (ooh, BIG surprise)--and I also understand that Russia does have the right to keep control of Chechnya. I don't support Chechen separation from the Motherland mainly because--like you said--their reasons aren't exactly the most reasonable, but I believe that the Russians are not perfect in their excuses, either.

Why this Russian Spy thing intrigues me, though, is how seriously England is taking it; I do believe to a great extent it is entirely reactionary, but I am at a loss as to why a it is such a huge deal. There definetely has to be more playing behind the scenes than what it being said.

Quote:
Beside, in terms of videos I've seen from both sides, if I would be tortured to death, I'd choose the Russian soldiers over Chechen fanatics, every single time.


...Haven't had the misfortune to experience that, but--yet again--I'd agree. I read this great book (have you read it?) called Chechnya: Life in a War-Torn Society and it described--in gory detail--the kidnappings, murders, tortures and mutilations fanatics liked to inflict upon the general population.

Yah. Personally I'd leave torture entirely out of the picture, but probably would be better with the Russians than the fanatics...
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Gonzo
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn...they would be far better off if the Soviet Union hadn't collapsed...
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