What's good (and bad ) about Russia?

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#1
Hello all,

I'd like to start a thread here about the Russian Federation and maybe the old Soviet Union as well. Credit goes to Bruce for the idea due to recent posts in another thread, so thanks Bruce, I'll finally get off my a*se and do it. I've been down the rabbit hole with the country for a long time, and due to my known sympathies and political persuasions, I often come across differing views on this forum and in private life.

Very few people I meet here in Australia have any sort of positive attitude toward the Russian Federation. That's understandable considering our upbringing in the thick of the Cold War. And let's face it, the Western press makes more money demonizing Russia than they would publishing anything positive about it. And that's the way the US State Department, the Pentagon, the CIA, NATO, some elements in the EU, and even our comedians (sorry, politicians) like it. Nobody likes opposition.

The fact is, Russia is a parallel universe these days; everything we do, they do too, but in a slightly different way. They have the same problem we have in trying to get their kids to put the smart phone down and go outside and kick a ball. The same issues that are important to us are important to them. They love their children just like we do. The only real difference is that we drink beer and they drink vodka. And they eat much more cabbage than we do.

Over some time, I can post up some videos and things that might give an insight into life in the current day Russian Federation, covering life, culture, politics and anything else. I'm certainly not in the league of Noddy or Alice and don't see it through rose coloured glasses, so please feel free to post the good, the bad and the ugly about the Russian government, my mate Putin, the excesses of the Soviet Union or anything else that floats the collective boat. As you might guess, most of my posts will probably be pro Russian, but I would really welcome objective criticism and posts from the other angle as well. Maybe most forum members wouldn't be interested in the subject, but if 10% find something interesting or educational, then the thread will be worthwhile.

Cheers, Willie.
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#2
I'll kick off the thread with patriotism which is a lot stronger in Russia than here.

This is a real anthem:


Notice the policeman walking through the crowd. I think his job is to shoot anyone not smiling or singing loud enough.


And our greatest version:

Footy players are the best mime artists in the world.
What patriotism. Almost brings a tear to my eye, this advance oz song.


Here's the original lyrics:

Australia's sons let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,
To trace wide oceans o'er,
True British courage bore him on,
Til he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England's flag,
The standard of the brave;
"With all her faults we love her still"
"Britannia rules the wave."
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We'll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England soil and Fatherland,
Scotia and Erin fair,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore,
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Though oceans roll between,
Her sons in fair Australia's land
Still keep their courage green.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

We had to shorten it so the world would think we were some sort of proud independent nation, and not British lackey's.
Even our shortened and sanitized version is a national embarrassment. ' With golden soil and wealth for toil, our home is girt by sea'. Crikey, what were we thinking. At it's best it's a really bad song. Anybody who thinks this is an anthem should visit their GP and get some tablets straight away. I don't think the rest of the world would give a stuff whether we were girt or got paid to do some work. I have a question - can anyone provide an example of a worse national anthem in the world of nations? If there is one, it must be a shocker.

To prove my point, how many Australians know the words and genuinely want to sing it out loud with national pride in their heart. Most of us are like the footy players. If we really have to, we'll wiggle our lips a bit and pretend we like it. It's embarrassing to the max. We deserve a national anthem.

As far as I'm concerned, they can stick this really bad song up their clacker. My home's not girt by anything and it's a given that I earn wealth for toil. We have industrial relations laws that ensure that. So what does one of the world's worst songs masquerading as a national anthem mean to most Australians? Sweet FA really. Most of us embarrassingly go along with it in the hope someone one day will have the balls to push for a real anthem.
Why not have a stirring anthem that truly reflects the Australian nation and our people as it is today. Forget the British, gallant Cookie, girt, wealth, yellow sand etc., why can't we have an anthem that all Australians, no matter their background, can be proud of. One that all footy players know the words to. Let the footy players sing out aloud. At the moment, when they try to lip sync to our shocking excuse for an anthem, they have the same embarrassed and awkward look on their faces as our dogs do when you catch them having a crap.

Rant over and no apologies for being opinionated. I've noticed when we suppress our opinions and be too politically correct, this forum runs the risk of being like a lot of others that are dead boring. So if you like our stupid song, fire away. I'm all ears.
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#3
And on to politics.

This clip is Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova at a function dancing to Kalinka. She's one of the most powerful non elected people in Russian politics. If you don't know of her, don't be fooled by this clip. She's the hardest nosed political spokesperson on this planet. The politician or journalist that can beat her doesn't exist as yet. In Russia, PC hasn't come up with the person tag at this point in time. Men are men and women are women, hence her title spokeswoman (shock, horror. Sexist Russian bastards).

It's common knowledge that Putin loves women and women love him. But this is no dolly bird appointment. The fact is that out of 145 million Russians, she's at the top of the game. Nobody in the country can do the job as well as her. In other videos in her job capacity, she comes across as hard with a capital H.

Maria's background is in that horror decade in the 90's after the Union had collapsed. The former Soviet Union was bankrupt and the newly formed Russian Federation was under virtual total American control due to the foreign grants given to them to survive. Every Russian government department had American advisors embedded writing the new laws of the RF ( the yanks called it guiding them to democracy). But the fact was that the original Russian laws and constitution were drafted by the Americans thanks to the drunken traitorous fool Yeltsin. The laws were designed to line American pockets.

During that time, most Russians were struggling with the fundamentals, like how to get food to feed the family. Maria Zakharova grew up in that period, and being a bright student, was lucky enough to get a scholarship to attend university. At the time they had an incentive system at the universities. If you could achieve certain high standards of study, you were given food stamps. So that's how Maria, who was living with her parents and siblings, fed her family. With hard work and dedication. And it got her where she is today. The toughest and most astute non elected political representative in the world.




Later, I'll post some of her press conference clips. It's an interesting comparison with our milk sop pollies with the standard noddy or two in the background bobbing their heads incessantly with every idiotic word the fools utter. And our press should shoulder some of the blame. Why can't they just tell the idiot politicians to piss the noddies off. A real genuine politician doesn't need a clown or two standing behind them nodding their heads. In Russia, they don't lower themselves to crap like that. If a pollie wants to say something, they'll man up and say it straight out. No noddies, no minders, just straight talk. It's their culture.
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#4
Russian contemporary music.

This is confirmed proof that the orange haired republican clown did collaborate with the Russians.
Forget the US inquiry, this is proof, straight up, no fake news.

 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#5
More Russian music.

This is one of the worst examples of conditions in Russia today - girls forced to sing in Federation Square.

 

kgwilson

Active Member
#8
I'll kick off the thread with patriotism which is a lot stronger in Russia than here.

This is a real anthem:


Notice the policeman walking through the crowd. I think his job is to shoot anyone not smiling or singing loud enough.


And our greatest version:

Footy players are the best mime artists in the world.
What patriotism. Almost brings a tear to my eye, this advance oz song.


Here's the original lyrics:

Australia's sons let us rejoice,
For we are young and free;
We've golden soil and wealth for toil,
Our home is girt by sea;
Our land abounds in Nature's gifts
Of beauty rich and rare;
In hist'ry's page, let ev'ry stage
Advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing,
Advance Australia fair.

When gallant Cook from Albion sailed,
To trace wide oceans o'er,
True British courage bore him on,
Til he landed on our shore.
Then here he raised Old England's flag,
The standard of the brave;
"With all her faults we love her still"
"Britannia rules the wave."
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

While other nations of the globe
Behold us from afar,
We'll rise to high renown and shine
Like our glorious southern star;
From England soil and Fatherland,
Scotia and Erin fair,
Let all combine with heart and hand
To advance Australia fair.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

Should foreign foe e'er sight our coast,
Or dare a foot to land,
We'll rouse to arms like sires of yore,
To guard our native strand;
Britannia then shall surely know,
Though oceans roll between,
Her sons in fair Australia's land
Still keep their courage green.
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair.

We had to shorten it so the world would think we were some sort of proud independent nation, and not British lackey's.
Even our shortened and sanitized version is a national embarrassment. ' With golden soil and wealth for toil, our home is girt by sea'. Crikey, what were we thinking. At it's best it's a really bad song. Anybody who thinks this is an anthem should visit their GP and get some tablets straight away. I don't think the rest of the world would give a stuff whether we were girt or got payed to do some work. I have a question - can anyone provide an example of a worse national anthem in the world of nations? If there is one, it must be a shocker.

To prove my point, how many Australians know the words and genuinely want to sing it out loud with national pride in their heart. Most of us are like the footy players. If we really have to, we'll wiggle our lips a bit and pretend we like it. It's embarrassing to the max. We deserve a national anthem.

As far as I'm concerned, they can stick this really bad song up their clacker. My home's not girt by anything and it's a given that I earn wealth for toil. We have industrial relations laws that ensure that. So what does one of the world's worst songs masquerading as a national anthem mean to most Australians? Sweet FA really. Most of us embarrassingly go along with it in the hope someone one day will have the balls to push for a real anthem.
Why not have a stirring anthem that truly reflects the Australian nation and our people as it is today. Forget the British, gallant Cookie, girt, wealth, yellow sand etc., why can't we have an anthem that all Australians, no matter their background, can be proud of. One that all footy players know the words to. Let the footy players sing out aloud. At the moment, when they try to lip sync to our shocking excuse for an anthem, they have the same embarrassed and awkward look on their faces as our dogs do when you catch them having a crap.

Rant over and no apologies for being opinionated. I've noticed when we suppress our opinions and be too politically correct, this forum runs the risk of being like a lot of others that are dead boring. So if you like our stupid song, fire away. I'm all ears.
Nope I hate it too & the other thing I can't stand is that pathetic chant "Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi". What the hell is that all about?

Anyway written by Bruce Woodley of the Seekers many years ago & recently revived for ABCs self promotion video clips this is a far better and more accurate anthem for Australia. AAF is crap.

I am Australian

I came from the dream-time
From the dusty red-soil plains
I am the ancient heart
The keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shores
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I've been
The first Australian

I came upon the prison ship
Bowed down by iron chains
I bought the land, endured the lash
And waited for the rains
I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife
On a dry and barren run
A convict, then a free man
I became Australian

I'm the daughter of a digger
Who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman
On the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the Depression
I saw the good times come
I'm a bushie, I'm a battler
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

I'm a teller of stories
I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira
And I paint the ghostly gums
I'm Clancy on his horse
I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed Matilda
I am Australian

I'm the hot wind from the desert
I'm the black soil of the plains
I'm the mountains and the valleys
I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky
The rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

"I am, you are, we are Australian"
 

Marty_d

Well-Known Member
#9
Nope I hate it too & the other thing I can't stand is that pathetic chant "Aussie Aussie Aussie oi oi oi". What the hell is that all about?

Anyway written by Bruce Woodley of the Seekers many years ago & recently revived for ABCs self promotion video clips this is a far better and more accurate anthem for Australia. AAF is crap.

I am Australian

I came from the dream-time
From the dusty red-soil plains
I am the ancient heart
The keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shores
I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I've been
The first Australian

I came upon the prison ship
Bowed down by iron chains
I bought the land, endured the lash
And waited for the rains
I'm a settler, I'm a farmer's wife
On a dry and barren run
A convict, then a free man
I became Australian

I'm the daughter of a digger
Who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman
On the long and dusty road
I'm a child of the Depression
I saw the good times come
I'm a bushie, I'm a battler
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

I'm a teller of stories
I'm a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira
And I paint the ghostly gums
I'm Clancy on his horse
I'm Ned Kelly on the run
I'm the one who waltzed Matilda
I am Australian

I'm the hot wind from the desert
I'm the black soil of the plains
I'm the mountains and the valleys
I'm the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky
The rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land
I am Australian

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

We are one, but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We'll share a dream and sing with one voice
"I am, you are, we are Australian"

"I am, you are, we are Australian"
Yep - I reckon we'd have the coolest national anthem on Earth if we picked that one.
 
#11
I don't find the current anthem particularly offensive and I think we are right up our own posteriors if we think any people from other countries give a toss about it. In anycase, at the Olympics, Comm Games and the like, it is only an instrumental rendition that is played and I see many athletes who have earned the right to have it played while they are up on the podium sing it out. Would I sing it with national pride? Definitely - have done in London in one of the Walkabut pubs and in the Church on Aussie Day - along with around 150 other Aussies on each occasion (well, I claim to have sung it - but trust me - I can't sing). And your land has to be girt with something, using the Old English definition, of which one of its meanings is encricled. Yes, it is going to be a bit embarressing if you allow the singer of the quality in the clip you posted sing it.. and the players were probably looking pretty uneasy about it more than the anthem itself. And on other national anthems, I would assert most people (except the yanks) don't know the second verse to their anthem. God Save the King/Queen only has two verses - but even at the Proms, they only sing the first one.

As for Russia - you are entitled to your opinion. When I was a teenager in the very late 70s/early 80s, my best mate was a Russian immigrant. Through him and his family, I met many other Russian immigrants and their families and I cannot recall one of them longing to go anywhere near the place. The stories his family told be, even if embelished was that of a regimented life with little real freedoms.. outward corruptions and continually looking over ones shoulder. My stepmother was Latvian (at the time part of the USSR) but lived in Moscow before she moved to Aus. Her memories were a little fonder, but she always compared Australia and its way of life favourably..

There are many good things about Russia. I can say the fairer sex are quite fair on average... The education is excellent; the people are fantastic (but most people are fantastic). And yes, the press is somewhat not entirely fair witrh Russia. I was reading an article of a Scottish bloke flying his permit aircraft across Russia - apart from the bureacratic red tape, his recollection was distinctly different from the mainstream press' reports of an issue he was havijng in which they reported the locals here hostile and at best unhelpful. His recollection was markedly different.. But it was a case of who you know to get some basic things like avgas and even he admitted that. And they are far more patriotic than we give them credit for. @willedoo - you are entitled to your opinion - Australia is a free country and you can criticise it all you want and providing it doesn't incite or vilify (or slander/libel), you will be tolerated.. Something that even today is not a freedom enjoyed by our Russian comrades. And, while I am sure the British and Aussie intelligence get themselves caught up in shennanigans on foriegn soil, they aren't quite so blaze (blah-zay) about it as the Rouskis...

They are but a part of the rich tapestry that makes up this world..

(p.s. the seekers song is good, but it is still very long... I would vote for Guns & Roses - We can't be beatn.. now that would be a good national anthem!! :insane:)
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#13
Looks like it is no a particularly safe place for a journalist. List of journalists killed in Russia - Wikipedia
It doesn't look like a very safe occupation. Particularly in places like Dagestan and Chechnya.

Statistics are interesting. In 1994 there were six journalists murdered if you don't factor in four killed by crossfire in the Chechnya war. With a total murder figure of almost 48,000, that's around .015% of the population. I'd have a wild guess that based per occupation, many more bricklayers would have been murdered that year. Then in 1995 the figure jumps to 26 killed (14 in Chechnya), which is more than double the non war deaths of the year before.

It seems to be getting a bit better. The overall homicide rate is steadily dropping, with 8,844 in 2017, or 6 per 1000, down from a peak of more than thirty. That's still six times our rate for overall homicides. 2017 lists four journalists killed in Russia; still not an ideal job to have.
 
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willedoo

Well-Known Member
#14
Jerry, on the subject of the Scottish aviator, I've always found it odd that avgas has been in short supply and hard to get in recent years in such an oil rich country. Apart from fuel economy and range, inconsistent avgas supply was one of the factors behind the plan to convert regional transport An-2's to turbines. There's plenty of jet fuel.

You're right about freedom of expression in Russia. Most Russians can have a fairly good life these days as long as they stay away from politics and expressing strong views publicly.
 

kgwilson

Active Member
#15
My only personal experience with Russia was in 1974 when it was part of the Soviet Union. I travelled with 3 friends in a Combi van where we went through Scandinavia & into Russia via Finland to St Petersburg, then called Leningrad to Moscow & back via Poland. It took about 6 months to get visas & we were provided with a female chaperone who travelled with us in the van & went everywhere with us. We had a specific itinerary with designated stops and accommodation.

I found the people very warm and welcoming but very frightened of getting too engaged especially when our guide was watching which was most of the time. We fooled her a few times and once decided to call in to a village that was not on the route saying one of the girls felt ill & needed to stop. Within minutes the police arrived and we were escorted out again. The young people then were desperate for information about the west, were totally apolitical & loved the Beatles, Rolling Stones & almost any other Rock band of the era. Moscow was fantastic. I loved the underground with its crystal chandeliers etc. Food was crap and there were queues for most things.

The iron grip of the Soviets was showing cracks & I believe it was largely the younger generation that was responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. We only had 2 weeks & were glad to leave but paid for most of the trip by selling all our Levi jeans. It was pretty easy as one of us would distract out chaperone while the others did the deals getting the equivalent of about a hundred pounds in roubles per pair that cost 10 pounds in London.

One very memorable moment was crossing the border into Poland where our official chaperone got off. The Russian side was all very strict & they checked everything in the van. We trundled across no-mans land to the Polish side where the border guard was asleep & we had to toot the horn. He woke up with a start, tidied himself up, put on his hat & came out the the van & with both arms stretched out wide and a broad smile on his face yelled in very bad english "Welcome to Poland". He then gave us food and coffee & wanted to hear stories. He even forgot to check our passports till the last moment when one of the girls asked him if he was going to check the visas & stamp them. It wasn't until a while later that I recalled that I could not remember any Russians actually smiling.

On a historic level my wifes mother was from Ukraine and her great grandfather was shot dead at point blank range in front of her at a very young age during the revolution. They were White Russians. Then in her early 20s she was taken away by the Germans to a labour camp where she met her husband & they came to Australia as refugees after WW2.

Of course Russia is a very different place today. The people are pretty smart & savvy but their violent history still shows in the attitude of the government today. It is hardly surprising given that they have been invaded several times and also from within. They lost at least 11 million soldiers in WW2 & 20 million civilians during the Stalinist era.
 

spacesailor

Well-Known Member
#16
Talking about Russia.
Greg, the SydneyRecreational FlyingClub, instructor's father was in a Australian RAF squadron that flew to Russia during the war,

He has a book about this episode, for sale,written originally by his father, then with further information by Greg.
spacesailor
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#17
It wasn't until a while later that I recalled that I could not remember any Russians actually smiling.

They had less to smile about in the Soviet days, but even today there's not much smiling in public. It's more of a cultural thing. It's ok among family and friends, but smiling to strangers without good reason is not the done thing. I'd say if a Russian makes a joke to you, it's ok to smile, or if a shopkeeper smiles at you, it's ok to smile back. I think as another example, smiling at a cute baby would be acceptable. But to walk around randomly smiling in that country is seen as a sign of stupidity. When foreign tourists get about Moscow smiling all the time, most locals think they're dills. Not all locals thankfully, just most.
 

willedoo

Well-Known Member
#18
Talking about Russia.
Greg, the SydneyRecreational FlyingClub, instructor's father was in a Australian RAF squadron that flew to Russia during the war,

He has a book about this episode, for sale,written originally by his father, then with further information by Greg.
spacesailor
spacesailor, I remember reading a review on a book written by someone who's father served in 455 squadron based in Russia for a few months, but I can't remember the name of the book. I'd like to read it if I can find out where to get it.

When I was a kid, our next door neighbour was ex RAAF and flew Lancasters during the war. On one mission, they landed in Soviet territory to refuel for the return trip back to Britain. The crew were keen to get out and stretch their legs, but on landing, were surrounded by armed Soviet troops and not allowed out of the aircraft. When he related the story he said " and I thought they were supposed to be on our side!".
 
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