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Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Sunday Photos

A postcard from the unheated, unlighted "school" in Chechnya, courtesy of the Russian Kunstkamera blog (click through the link for many more photos of Chechen schools) by way of Global Voices. GV notes one Russian commenter on Kunstkamera states "So what? It’s okay. In Russia, almost any village school looks like this. There are places that are even worse. And there’s never been any war there." This is the classic neo-Soviet response, the attitude that destroyed the USSR, and it spells doom for Russia as well. A Chechen journalist and blogger responded: "but this doesn’t make it any less outrageous…"

"Russian Mail-Order Brides," an art installation in Toronto,
Canada, based on images taken by the artist from the Internet
(click the image to view it full size).

From English Russia, a massive commercial vehicle driving at speed on a public highway in Russia without it's front wheel and . . .

. . . no, it's not a Mercedez, it's a Suzuki that's been pimped to look like a Mercedez, and it's not a one-off, but a going business in Russia these days, along with massive copyright and trademark fraud of every other describable kind. The saddest thing about these two photographs is not that they can be taken or what that says about the state of Russian society, but that if shown to a Russian they would produce laughter and enjoyment rather than concern for the nation's future. This explains why as many as 1 million Russians are lost from the population every year and why Russians labor for an average wage of $3 per hour.


Anonymous said...

This is Hector,

I must say these is in fact one this informative on this blog. You've stated quite clearly the failure of capitalism in Russia, but avoid using it by substituting with the ridiculous term "neo-Soviet". Russia and the former Soviet Union in general are living proof that capitalism is a failed system. Their lives were no paradise under Stalinism, but at least they had the basic gains of secured jobs, free education, food, housing, and free health care. Thanks to capitalism they've lost all those gain, and received extreme poverty instead.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks to capitalism". You forgot to mention, somehow, that with the dawn of capitalism they lost opportunity to spend wonderful vacation in paradise-like gulag, only becasuse their distant relatives were in hungary 20 year ago. What a trade-off!

Anonymous said...

About the school. Looking through the all photos one can see that the school is under repair which is not finished yet.
What do you mean the school is dark? That we Russian do not have electricity in our country? You can see the wiring is ready but the fixtures are not installed yet in every room. Some classrooms are pretty well painted and clean, some not. This is a war zone. The school was a fighting place. The fact that the school is open is already a good news. As short as three years ago these children did not have that opportunity. And if the Chechen rebels would not get checked the school would not be open too. In the best case the boys would study Koran and the girls would have home schooling about how to be good wives (the first, the second, ...the fourth) for their muslim husbands.
Now the kids are looking happy, they got comprehensive schooling: Math, PE, Literature, Geography. On the pictures # 19-( girls in the Dancing class) and # 26 (the room with a blackboard) all the texts are written in Chechen language.
It takes time to restore everything. And the work is being done.
The pictures were taken at the wrong time to be illustrative.

Though everything which is not quiet good for Russia is good for La Russophobe.

La Russophobe said...


Oh sure it's under construction, as are many buildings in Chechnya, because they've been bombed out by Russian soldiers.

Are you aware that Russia has been convicted many times by the European Court of Human Rights for gross violations of the law in Chechnya, including political murder? It's happened again just last week, look for our report on Monday.

It's simply unbelievable that you do not acknowlege any fault or shortcoming on the part of Russia in its treatment of Chechnya or its war reparations. The killings continue in Chechnya and you stick your head in the sand. Typical neo-Soviet behavior.

The point is that Russian education generally is a nightmare, with teachers being paid slave wages and students being fed a pile of government propaganda detached from reality just as in Soviet times whilst studying under crude and barbaric conditions (check out Grigiori Pasko's post about the streets of Vologda and then think about the schools there). The point is the Chechen life in particular is the worst kind of nightmare imaginable, that Russians are enslaving, torturning and murdering the people of Chechnya. Sorry if we confused you.

Anonymous said...

This is Hector,

Looke, I don't hold any romanticism about Stalinism, and if you've read any of my previous posts you'll clearly see that I hold Stalinism accountable for much of the damage that occured in the Soviet Union that led to its ultimate destruction. Furthermore, you obviously don't deny the gains enjoyed by the people of the Soviet Union before the counter-revolution brought them an endless nightmare of wars, extreme poverty, mafia; without health care, housing, or education. Except to those few who can afford it. So I'm puzzeled as to why you left such a useless comment.

Anonymous said...

The good thing is that damaged schools in Chechnya are usually repairable.
In Iraq, when the insurgents are shooting from a school, the air support called out, and with one 500 lb bomb the whole building gets totally destroyed.