Five myths about Russia

It seems to have been published on sdelanounas. It will be interesting.

Author — Oleg Makarenko (Fritz Moiseevich Morgen). February 5, 2013.

5 myths about Russia.

The myth of Russia as the unhappy underdeveloped country — a product for import into Russia itself and in the CIS countries. As for myself, especially Americans prefer not lie: so observers of the same Forbes provide readers even condescending, naive, but very close to the real facts reviews of our country.

Here, for example, my translation of articles published yesterday by naming Mark Adomanisa "Five myths about Russia":

The last few weeks have been very intense, and I have not been able to write as much as I used to. I have decided that I will return to a normal rhythm with a short post about today's Russia. What saddens me about the lighting in the Russian mainstream media, is the fact that people tend to combine state of the country (people drink a lot, they have little money, and they are mostly unhappy) with its path (people drink more money at them is less and they become even more unhappy.) This, obviously, two very different things, but they are often treated as interchangeable.

In Russia still reigns mess, and you will not have to work too hard to find evidence there of all kinds of filth, abuse, corruption, dysfunction and general angst. However, it is curious that despite the gloomy reviews of most reporting, many of the basic social indicators of the country actually improving.

Life expectancy is increasing, wages are rising, increasing the birth rate and the death rate, the rate of suicide, homicide, and the poverty rate down together. I decided to show you the five graphs, refuting some erroneous opinions, which I often come across in the media. This does not mean that "Russia is great," but we need to seriously adjust picture image of the country, the situation in which the allegedly becoming more desperate.

1. The population of Russia "rapidly declining"

This is perhaps the most common error in Western reports. In fact, the population of Russia now, at the beginning of 2013, slightly higher than in 2006. Russia's population has rapidly decreased in the late nineties and early two-thousand years, but it has stopped falling and the population stabilized. The population of Russia may well start to decline again in the future, but at present it is still growing (albeit very slowly).

2. The Russian economy is experiencing "severe recession"

The idea that the Russian economy "collapses" or "blown out" is most common among pravokrylyh, but its also like centrists such as Newsweek and The Economist. Although Russia and can not be called until the economic hegemony, its overall economic performance over the last ten years have been pretty decent, especially when you compare them with the terrible post-crisis performance of many former communist countries of Eastern Europe. Maybe the Russian economy and begin to collapse sometime in the future, but at the moment she is experiencing moderate growth. 

3. Like the Soviet Union, Russia "spends all his money on the army"

Pompous statement of the Russian government's intention to spend up to 2020, $ 700 billion for the purchase of new weapons has led many to conclude that Russia is returning to the state of the garrison state, which it was under communism, when military spending accounted for 30% of GDP, and the whole country was impoverished due to the insatiable appetite of "metal eaters" from the Ministry of Defence. Even though I agree that the Russian defense spending is slightly higher than they might be, the actual level of spending as a percentage of GDP is modest in comparison not only with her own painful past, but even compared to the U.S. (data from SIPRI and end 2010 year, as this is the last year available). 

4. Russian alcohol epidemic "unabated"

Russian drink a lot, no doubt about it. But, fortunately, they revel to death less often than they did in the past. The death rate from alcohol poisoning the rapidly declining in recent years, and now he is even lower than it was at the height of Gorbachev's anti-alcohol campaign (during which the Soviet government did things like bulldozers leveling of vineyards). The death rate from alcohol in Russia is still very, very high compared with Western countries, but it is down.


5. In Russian "more abortions than children"

This has been true for a very long time, since the early 1960s to about 2007. Abortion in Russia and in fact has been the most popular method of contraception. But without any fanfare number of abortions in Russia (which, however, is still high compared with Western countries) has fallen sharply. 


In general, these graphs show that:

1) Russia still has a lot of problems, and continues to be a problem compared to the developed Western countries, and
2) Cases in Russia is actually quite fast improving.

No. 2) is very different from the period of "stagnation" in which the main social indicators deteriorated markedly Russia. Thus, Russia in 2013, in contrast to the Russian mid-and late 1970s, has a birth rate, lower mortality, reduce the number of deaths from alcohol and a moderate level of military spending. If we want to understand what a Russian and where it is going, we need to take into account developments in its many positive changes.

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