Myths about Russia. The book, written by a Frenchman about us.

Stumbled on the Internet. Sorry, lots of letters, but very cool.

The full article is not climbed — look for the link en regret.

Who will not master — at the bottom of the points briefly painted.


Alexander Lutz Myths about Russia from Ivan the Terrible to Putin. We are the eyes of foreigners 

Russia through the eyes of a Frenchman

"Too often the truth about Russia said with hatred and lies — with love."

Andre Gide


26 myths about Russia

1. Under Putin, only the rich and the oligarchs have a better life, and poor people do not feel the growth in living standards.

This is not the case. During Putin’s poverty has decreased significantly. The number of Russians living below the poverty line has decreased in 35% to 23% from 2000 to 2004 and fell to 13.5% in 2008 (before the crisis).

2000 (Putin came to power): 35%.

2004 (the end of Putin’s first term): 23%.

2008 (the end of the second period): 13.5%.

Please note that in 2007 in France were living below the poverty line 13.7% of the population.

2. Demographic trends in Russia are such that the population will be reduced to at least 100 million compared to the current 142 million.

Wrong. Often you can read about that in Russia a low birth rate and high mortality rate, as well as the large number of abortions and suicides, bringing Russia loses 700,000 inhabitants. But it is not.

In 2005, the population of Russia decreased by 760,000 residents — an absolute record.

In 2006 the population loss is "only" 520,000 people.

In 2007 — "only" 280,000.

In 2008 — the population declined by about 116,000.

And in 2009 the population increased by 12,000, the birth rate increased by 3%, and this despite the fact that 2009 was a year of economic crisis. That is, the measures taken by Medvedev in 2005, had a stunning result.

Thus, the demographic outlook for Russia look no more pessimistic than Chinese or other Group of Seven countries, such as Germany.

3. Under Putin, Russia has deteriorated in the human rights situation, killed more than 200 journalists, and Russia has returned to its totalitarian past.

But this view is shared by only 3% of Russians! During Putin’s unfortunate 17 journalists have been killed, but this is much less than under Yeltsin (30 journalists).

According to the CIA itself, Russia is in 4th place in the world in the number of journalists killed since 1992, but on the ratio of 14 journalists killed per capita to Israel and Algeria, and just behind Turkey, which is a candidate for the EU.

And compared with other post-Soviet countries, Russia is on the 5th place (out of 13), just behind Latvia — member country of the EU.

4. The Russian economy is based solely on raw materials, and confirmed that the size of the recession in 2009.

No one has ever denied that Russia (along with others) produces and exports raw materials. However, the economic crisis has affected Russia not because of it: as the country with a relatively closed economy, domestic demand has remained quite strong there, and in theory it can to support the economy.

But Western creditors who have borrowed money Russian companies have contributed greatly to the economic development of the country has been frozen. In addition, calls for America to impose sanctions on Russia after the operation in Georgia in 2008 also led to increased economic instability, triggering capital outflows (mainly Anglo-Saxon) from late 2008 to late 2009.

5. Russia treacherously invaded Georgia in August 2008.

In reality, a few hours after being on TV all the residents of Georgia promised peace, tanks opened fire on South Ossetia. Acting at the instigation of the U.S., Ukrainian and Israeli military advisers, the Georgians had to kill civilians and soldiers, peacekeepers who were there under a UN mandate. Despite the stream of propaganda, according to which Russia was the aggressor, she only gave a proportionate response. Moreover, a large part of the Georgian infrastructure (especially energy) is not affected, was not affected and the capital Tbilisi.

According to an international investigation of the conflict was the instigator of Georgia — it was she who first opened fire on Ossetia.

And another question: why nobody is concerned that in Georgia prohibits the opposition, arresting opposition leaders and killing Georgian oppositionists abroad?

6. Russian liberals and human rights activists are not free to engage in politics because they are hampered by the Kremlin.

This is not entirely true. Russian liberals have always had the opportunity to participate in the elections, but their political popularity is falling 12% in the parliamentary elections of 1993, 7% in the elections of 1995 and 1999, 4% in 2003, 2% in 2006 …

Especially, the Western model of society no longer attracts Russians, who were traveling (1/4 Russian citizens have visited in Europe), they are more focused on the preservation of national sovereignty. Finally, methods of Kasparov and his companions — conducting illegal force by the protest (they deliberately go to the arrests) with slogans in English (which no doubt addressed to the foreign press) does not inspire confidence in the Russians.

7. Russians are racist, sexist and hate the West.

Russians are not racists in so far as they live in a multicultural and multi-religious state. In Russia no more (or even less) of racists than in other civilized countries (USA, Germany, Ukraine, …).

As to the treatment of women, the Slavic matriarchal society, and women play a leading role in the economy, and have long enjoyed the right to vote and the right to abortion. Russians began to vote in the 30 years before French women!

8. Russia is aggressive towards their nearest neighbors.

Unlike other empires, Russia never let anyone won by force of arms. By the way, many citizens of the neighboring countries would agree to the fact that their country once again became a part of Russia.

9. In Russia, the AIDS epidemic.

Everywhere they write that in Russia a large number of HIV-infected patients. In fact, checking the population is almost finished, that is, most HIV-positive have already been identified. The ceiling was reached in 2002, since then the number of patients is reduced, with the exception of the risk group (injection drug users, prostitutes, prisoners). Thus, despite the fact that the AIDS epidemic is an important factor (as in all the developed countries), the situation in Russia is still very far from the one that can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa.

10. The people with the birth of European and African mentality has no future.

How come? Declining birth rates in the post-Soviet period — is the result of the situation of the 1990s, economic and psychological shock of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Since then, the birth rate has risen to the level of the current European (see paragraph 2), and nothing tells us that tomorrow or the day after it will be even higher.

As to the ultra high mortality rate, it is now also reduced and only affects the elderly, which has no effect on fertility, because they already have children and even grandchildren.

11. The level of social inequality is close to Imperial Russia and exacerbated by widespread corruption. With the coming to power of Vladimir Putin, these trends have intensified.

The Russian economy is quite distinctive — it is neither complet
ely liberal or completely authoritarian. This is a semi-open and semi-closed economy, its distinguishing feature is the presence of a strong state and a high level of corruption — no one denies.

However, with the advent of Vladimir Putin began a successful war against the oligarchs. In the 90 years of the Western press denounced the oligarchs, but switched to Putin, as soon as he began to struggle with them. Why?

As one expert in the field of economic security during a forum at the French Senate, "The time when the knock on the door of the bad guys in black jackets, ended in 1995. In the 2000s, replaced by racketeers came administrative resources (police and former members of the security services). At the present time the Russian market almost came close to civilized standards. "

12. Russia most brutally suppress Chechen independence fighters.

This is not true. After the first Chechen war (1995) and the Russian retreat, the Chechens have gained de facto independence. The situation has deteriorated dramatically: Send Islamists (Wahhabis) have begun to terrorize the local population and to organize armed raids into neighboring regions to destabilize the entire Caucasus and creating a Russian independent Islamic caliphate. Since Chechnya is in Russia, most Chechens do not want independence, and the world. After the end of the second Chechen war, the republic keeps a tight rein on Ramzan Kadyrov, but restored peace in the region and the rule of law.

13. The Soviet space program was created by hands of German prisoners of war.

Unfortunately for Germany, the Soviet space program was created by Russian (such as the King), and thus they did not have the Marshall Plan, which helped them to rebuild the country after the Second World War. And here in the United States have worked captured Nazi scientists, one of the most famous — Wernher von Braun (Wernher von Braun).

14. In Russia there was no democratic elections — Putin put in place a puppet-Medvedev.

Putin regularly inaccurately translated, loosely interpreted, often referred to as a dictator and opponent of democracy. After Medvedev was elected, the media tried to convince us that he is nothing of itself is not quickly resign or change the legislation so that Putin is back in a country. In the end, nothing happened. About any resignation of the question. The duo of Putin and Medvedev has existed since 2000 (for 10 years).

15. Far East was colonized by the Chinese, the situation is catastrophic: soon the whole of Siberia to China will depart!

Relations between Russia and China have never been poor, despite the claims of "western experts." For a start there is no Chinese expansion, which is so like to talk. A study conducted in 2008, allowed for a portrait of the typical Chinese immigrant, here’s what happened: 60% — men, 20% have a university degree (an average of 12% of China), 94% work and the vast majority came from neighboring towns. More than half — entrepreneurs.

The main question is how many? According to the Federal Migration Service in 2006 was 200,000, in 2007 — 320,000, with many — seasonal workers. Of course, this does not include illegal immigrants, but so far, despite the cries of some (Latynina, Goltz), the Far East, Russia has not yet found any Chinese city-millionaire. Most likely, the Far East, 5000000 Russian accounts for about half a million Chinese (2/3 of which legal migrants and seasonal workers).

Even if we assume that the Chinese decide to get out of Asia (which is unlikely), and enter into conflict with Russia (even more unlikely), the Russian military superiority (especially nuclear) will dissuade them quickly.

17. Russia is an unreliable partner, especially in regard to energy supplies (see disruptions in the supply of gas).

If we try and figure out how to figure out who started it, it turns out that just the opposite. As the Russian had to respond to the expansion of NATO to the east, to the recognition of Kosovo’s independence, the attitude to the Russian minority in the Baltic states, the Georgian aggression, to the color revolutions, which are sponsored by the CIA and so forth?

It’s the same with disruptions in the supply of gas, which were triggered by Ukraine, which is not paid for Russian gas and the beginning of "selection" of the gas on its territory.

Russia already supplies gas to Turkey for a long time (since 2003, the pipeline Blue Stream), and never had any problems — it proves that Russia can not be considered an unreliable supplier and partner.

18. Discrimination of Russian in Estonia and Latvia — is a great exaggeration.

No, many of the European human rights associations poked a finger in the appalling situation of the Russian minority. Russian repairing the administrative burden, discriminate against their language, prevent employment, etc.

As a result, a quarter of the population of these countries is deprived of the right to education, and even the right to acquire a nationality! Not all of them are Russian (but with Soviet passports) and they become stateless, stateless, which are treated as second-class citizens, and all this in the heart of Europe.

In countries suffering marches of SS veterans, but prohibit Soviet symbols. Russian killed, and the EU is silent.

19. The Russian army is out of date, as well as its military doctrine. Russia will not be able to withstand the impact of China and NATO.

The reality is different: Russia is now actively developing high-tech weapons — fighter planes and heavy bombers, tracking systems, as well as weapons of mass destruction (rocket club, the governor), etc.

The war in Georgia has proved the superiority of the Russian army over the army of the country, of which 5 years has helped NATO.

The new military doctrine is quite modern and is associated with the "Strategy 2020", the Kremlin’s recent proposals for a new European security strategy is very reasonable and fruitful. And plans to modernize the army impressive.

20. Civil society has been destroyed under Putin, the entire judicial system "under the hood".

In fact the number of lawsuits has increased significantly since 1999. Over the past 10 years, they became 6 times more! Russia has experienced judicial reform, and the plaintiffs win 71% of claims against the state. There are free legal advice.

The idea that Russia harass non-governmental organizations formed after in 2004 the country put Freedom House — for the fact that the NGO did not pay the rent. But we know that these NGOs were involved in the organization of the Orange Revolution, so it is natural that the authorities took advantage of the first opportunity to disable them.

21. Khodorkovsky was arrested and wrongly convicted because he was an effective manager, a Westerner and a liberal.

Khodorkovsky was convicted of fraud (corruption, bribery, tax evasion). More than half of Russians believe that he has been convicted fairly (54% in 2006).

Khodorkovsky has threatened Russia’s national interests because it was going to sell Yukos company Exxon, that is going to sell Russian raw materials, it does not belong, a U.S. company, and all this on the eve of the Cold War. Moreover, after the arrest of his personal funds were transferred to Rothschild, and it is quite natural, since Khodorkovsky is associated with the American neo-conservatives, approached to Bush.

22. Yeltsin was a true democrat.

He even climbed up on the tank, along with those who fired at the Duma, where the deputies (communists) opposed his liberal-corruption reforms. Then he declared war without preparation Chechnya and lost. Ministers he has appointed incompetent thieves, the ol
igarchs were enriched, while the people fall into poverty, and Caucasian mafia takes control of the country.

23. Russia is using its energy resources to keep the neighbors at bay and remove the political benefits of energy expansion.

Supplier shall have the right to set tariffs, and customers — to pay or not. If so which country and using energy for political purposes, it is America that allows itself to bomb Iraq and Afghanistan.

24. Russian neo-rule, the Eurasians and nationalists who most hate the West and Europe.

The Russian political system is very different from the European one. The political spectrum is very wide, even within the same batch. However, the truth is that Russian are very patriotic and this is evident in the parties of both the right and the left.

When Vladimir Putin was asked what ideology he adheres, he replied: "Do not you think that ideologies have caused enough harm already?" Recently Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is part of the European civilization.

25. By 2050, Russia will become an Islamic caliphate.

The reality is quite different: Russian ethnic make up 80% of the population. According to a 2006 survey, only 6% of Russian citizens consider themselves Muslims, confirming the adage: "In Russia Koran dissolved in vodka." As even in traditionally Muslim regions of Russia (Tatarstan, Bashkortostan), "the Russians of Slavic origin" represent more than 50% of the population.

26. Berezovsky has allowed Putin to come to power, and then they had a falling out, and now he can not return to their country.

General Lebed said, "Berezovsky — the apotheosis of filth at the state level: the representative of this small clique, once in power, not enough to steal — it is necessary that everyone could see that he steals with impunity." Lebed died in a plane crash.

Forbes magazine journalist Paul Khlebnikov wrote the book "Godfather of the Kremlin, Boris Berezovsky and the looting of Russian History", in which he told about Berezovsky’s connections with the Mafia. Paul Khlebnikov was killed.

Berezovsky was involved in many dirty deeds and unsolved murders. Warrants for his arrest are written in Russian and in South America. Not surprisingly, many in the West to protect this "great democrat".

PS I’d add — notice that say about us French!

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