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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

What's Worse in Russia: Drinking, or Lying about Drinking?

Last week the Kremlin admitted that Russia has 2 million alcoholics, that more than 40,000 Russians are killed each year by alcohol poisoning, according to the Kremlin's data, and it was reported that over the past three weeks 400 people have been hospitalized by alcohol poisoning in the region of Pskov alone, with 15 fatalities. Sound horrific? It would be anyplace other than Russia. In fact, though, this data likely underestimates Russia's problem by several orders of magnitude.

Indeed, the Kremlin's brazen dishonesty is perhaps an even greater problem than drinking. According to experts, "in an adult population where at least three-fourths are drinkers, about 6 percent of the total group are probably alcoholic." That means Russia must have over 6 million alcoholics as defined by Western standards (Russia's adult population is about 110 million), and Russia is one of the most severe abusers of alcohol in the world, so the actual share of its population that is afflicted is probably far greater. So either Russia is defining "alcoholic" in a way so extreme as to exclude two-thirds of the population, or it simply lying about the number. Either way, it's not suprising that the problem only gets worse. At the same time, it's perfectly possible that the government is simply incapable of determining what share of its population is afflicted, and just guessing. This kind of thing is what passes for "social policy" in Russia and explains why the population falls by up to 1 million each year.

The simple fact is that, being governed by a clan of proud KGB spies, not one single word the Kremlin utters can be taken at face value. This lack of credibilty alone is good enough reason to condemn the election of a proud KGB spy as president. Without basic information that is credible, it's impossible to establish a civilized, prosperous society.

8 comments:

Penny said...

By their own admission:

Russia is ranked 136 in the world rating of average men’s life expectancy, the Russian Healthcare and Social Development Ministry quoted by RBC said Wednesday. In the rating of women’s life expectancy, Russia occupies the 91 position.

In the past twelve years, from 1993 to 2005, the population of Russia contracted by four percent, or 5.8 million people. In 2005 the population contracted by 0.5 percent.

http://mosnews.com/news/2006/02/23/lifexpectancy.shtml

From my perch in psychiatry, alcoholism, besides its physical addiction, has a spiritual component which is why AA is more successful than other therapies. The numbers speak for themselves that Russia is a very dysfunctional country where depression and despair are significant. Communism utterly destroyed Russia.

guzhevnikov said...

AA is gradually establishing itself in Russia. But growth takes time. AA refuses outside support, and they believe in attraction, NOT promotion. So, again, growth does take time. However there are chapters all over Russia, and indeed AA offers Russia the best hope to combat this disease.
Russians still rely heavily on punishment and drugs to try to cure the alcoholic.
AA is one of America's great gifts to the world.
More have died in Russia from alcohol than died in World War 2. Amazing, huh. The booze has killed more than even Hitler.

17 ugly raccoons said...

I don't think AA could help. Reasons of alcoholism in Russia are working on higher level than AA. Alcoholism might be cured only by rebuilding of whole society.

And penny, as usual, speaks idiotic things.

If life expentancy and other criterias like number of population started to go a) down b) after collapce of communist society, isn't this logical to conclude that communism worked better than current regime with all its cowtowing before the West, market economy and other cr@p?

So, claiming 'Communism utterly destroyed Russia' is idiocy. I don't like communism in its XX century realization, but it is the matter of principle.

La Russophobe said...

As I understand it, the first requirement for success of AA is to admit you have a problem and can't solve it yourself. It seems to me the Kremlin is directly frustrating this by (a) lying about the dimensions of the problem and (b) propagating an environment where it is tantamount to treason to accept help from foreigners and (c) stifling internal criticism including the crackdown on NGOs.

Penny said...

Hey, sweetie, you asked, you get> The 14 defining characteristics of fascim:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant Sexism
6. Controlled Mass Media
7. Obsession with National Security
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
9. Corporate Power is Protected
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
14. Fraudulent Elections

http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm

Or from a dictionary:

Main Entry: fas·cism
Pronunciation: 'fa-"shi-z&m also 'fa-"si-
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian fascismo, from fascio bundle, fasces, group, from Latin fascis bundle & fasces fasces
1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.

Russia qualifies on almost every count.

Just what part of fascism, Putin's behavior, recent events in Russia and your own fascist attitudes do you not get?

If looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. But, perhaps that's too complicated for you.

Spare me your undereducated drivel. You're the perfect Nazi.

17 ugly raccoons said...

penny: My, at least you did read it. Now, to conclusions.

Please prove that current Russia exalts nation above the individual. Current regime is suppressing Russian nation, trying to prevent building of Russian nation, that's the thing, 'sweetie'. If you are trying to say Putin and his ideology shamans exalts Russian nation (русская нация), ask LR how good is birthrate of Russians, for example, she'll be happy to go on another rant. I'd prefer fascism over Putin any day (if there are no other options), but no luck.

And even almost every count means not every count. It's logic, 'sweetie' again. BTW, 'almost' is incorrect word here. Even half of recited points are not fullfilled.

Spare me your undereducated drivel. You're the perfect Nazi.

Sorry, I have no aspirations for place firmly occupied by you. You are latent Nazi with your biologization of culture, 'russians are animals', 'Ivans' and so on. I wonder if your grandparents were working in concentration camps shooting Russian prisoners. You shouldn't hide it, for you and likes of you it should be sign of honor. Nothing unusual, almost whole Europe in some measure sided with Hitler in attack on Russia (except Brits, Greeks and Serbs). I conclude it is usual for Westerners to to be afraid of Russia and hate her. You are no exception, that's all.

Penny said...

You are a liar. For starters, I never said Russians are animals. Nice try at twisting the truth. I compared Russian passivity to the behavior of sheep and geriatric zoo animals. I'll stand by that metaphor.

I called you a fascist. I'll stand by that one too. You aren't bright enough or educated enough to be a free thinking democratic person.

17 ugly raccoons said...

penny: your (and LR's) extensive use of animal metaphor on Russian population is clear sign of certain attitude, which I name Nazi's. You may stand by that metaphors as long as you wish, Nazi.

You aren't bright enough or educated enough to be a free thinking democratic person.

Yawn. Another of your hollow howling. Care to explain what 'free thinking' means? My mind is free enough to invent something new (I have patents), you are ranting on (and by) stamps from biased press. My mind is free enough to run 110-130th by influence blog in Russian blogosphere (in 1 mln blogs it's not too bad result, if I say so myself, heh), you are mumbling your miserable divinations in comments of some backwater blog of mentally challenged crusader. So I think you'll excuse me if I'll not take your words seriously.

And, as I said, I highly despise modern democracy. It is society where brainwashed fools are ruled by greedy scum.