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Russian Facts Behaving Badly


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five comments


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According to a quick Google search, the only people called “barbaric” after the Oklahoma city bombing were…Americans, for executing him, by people in other countries.


Waiting lines were common in the Eastern bloc during the planning economy. It was probably an unofficial rationing technique, but more likely (=more often) it was simply the result of poor supply organisation.
Baked bread was a notorious example; the salespersons were apparently busy only for two or three hours per day, having no bread the rest of the time.
It’s reasonable to assume that a person would join such a line; the shops were specialised, after all. You saw a line in a clothes shop – you joined, hoping for some good new clothes.
The lines would dissolve one the products were sold out, of course. Nobody could possibly wait 10 hours: Products were sold out much quicker, and shops had afaik only one shift (8 hrs?), so they would have closed after much less than ten hours anyway.


In Hedrick Smith’s book The Russians, he devotes an entire chapter to standing in line in the Soviet Union. There was a lot to it and it was like a continual purgatory for the people. One example he cited was why people got into and stayed in lines to buy things they didn’t want, their neighbors might want it and would return the favor in the future.

Really the only pertinent fact we should remember about the Soviet Union is that millions and millions and millions of innocent people were murdered by by that entity.


Perhaps this is a dumb question, or just one based on limited understanding of Eastern European/North West Asian affairs, but why is the Cold War back on because Russia invaded Ukraine, but wasn’t back on when Russia invaded Georgia, or for any of its conflicts in the North Caucasus – all of which are almost on the doorstep of a NATO member? Is it because we don’t care about anything Russia does that’s not explicitly European? Do we just not care about Turkey? Is Ukraine just one salami slice too many?


And on a lighter note, ref that poll you link to about whether or not Obama or Putin was the stronger leader, are you sure the respondents weren’t taking that literally? I think Putin could totally beat Obama in an arm wrestling competition. Heck, he can probably bench more than any other G8 leader, assuming that they’d lift his suspension long enough for the contest.