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Is Russia really improving??

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Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1145
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Is Russia really improving?? Reply with quote

During the last year or so,I have exchanged some really worthwhile and interesting correspondance via this site,and am grateful to Kent,Rogan etc for their advice and comments.I have recently been offered an interesting position with a British owned company in Moscow which I am seriously considering, as not only are the terms and salary conditions far superior to those regularly on offer with the big "3" which advertise, but the actual work is more admin and consultancy rather than teaching and I would be far happier with this.Whether I finally manage to take-up this offer depends mostly on my personal curcumstances and commitments,but meanwhile,recent events in Russia seem only to remind us once again that despite all the opulent wealth created by the oil prices for a priveleldged few,there are still very serious problems with political and economic stability lurking just below the surface and we should never forget this!The battle between Yukos and the Kremlin is a perfect example of how fragile things are,for surely Putin is intelligent enough to know that nothing can ever change in Russia unless the root causes of corruption are dealt with effectively.The oligarchs plundered the whole country on an unprecendented scale during the 1990's with apparent impunity,but it seeems that the latest events are just another example of the new ruling elite looking for scapegoats,while they,of course,continue to enjoy the priveledges of wealth and power! Thr trouble is,if Putin does take rememdial action against the real cause of Russias woes,it will mean attacking his own power base-what will he then replace it with??
The recent murders of 7 young women around the north-eastern suburbs of Moscow,which the police are apparently still searching for leads on,add little cheer to the current general situation and perhaps people like us should remember that by and large,Russia is still a miserable and stressful place for the vast majority of its inhabitants to live in,there are very few even basically paid jobs,even for well-qualified and decent people,especially outside Moscow and perhaps we are wrong in expecting to go there AND make money AND enjoy ourselves!

Cheers for now everyone!

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Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Martin, Moscow is no different to any other huge metropolis. And I am sure you know it well enough from a visitor's point of view. It is just such a shame that you have yet to embark on the REAL experience of working and living in Russia. Perhaps you will finally have the opportunity of earning big bucks and living like an expat?
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Communist Smurf

Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 330
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I'm not entirely clear on what you're trying to say, Maruss, I am interested and in a way share your concern. I also am contemplating a move to Russia. However, I don't know enough about the current situation. I know enough to realize there is a lot of corruption which is practically written into the system. It doesn't help that over a dozen people were killed over ethnic differences only a few weeks ago.

This I do know. I am living in Egypt right now and what I read in the news back in the States is a poor picture of what is really going on here. I like to think that what you've heard isn't as big a problem as you may have thought it was. Perhaps those that are currently living in Russia could comment?

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Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: Sagamihara

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

don`t forget crime and terrorism.
I got an e-mail from a friend in Moscow who saw that concert where there was the tragic bombing. Luckily she was not one of the casualties.
The Chechen conflict has fueled terrorism in Moscow.
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Kent F. Kruhoeffer

Joined: 22 Jan 2003
Posts: 2129
Location: 中国

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 6:18 am    Post subject: the times we live in Reply with quote

Greetings Martin, Zolushka, C-Smurf and Brooks:

Just a few observations from me on a sunny, summerish Friday afternoon here in the land of Samara.

First, I hope Martin [a.k.a. maruss] finally gets his skinny butt over here to Russia once and for all. I have a cold beer and a warm Svetlana waiting for him. If he waits too long, the beer will be warm and the Svetlana will be cold. Razz

Now to the more serious concerns voiced above: Terrorism and crime are a fact of life, not only in Russia, but all over the world today. We wish it weren't true, but it is. Your chances of getting blown to bits by a wacky lunatic in Russia are probably about the same as getting blown to bits by a wacky lunatic in downtown New York city.

It's also true that the western media like to emphasize the negative stuff about Russia while often completely ignoring the good news. That's a fact.

Personally, I feel quite safe in Samara. But ... this is a provincial town, not Moscow. I'm in my third year now, and I've never been stopped ONCE by the Militsia [aka police] for a document check or for any other reason. Maybe I look more Russian than some of you? Razz

Regarding corruption: Yes, it is still rampant and pervasive in all aspects of Russian society ... and considered an acceptable way of getting things done.

There is a long legacy [more than 70 years] during the Soviet era in which this was the ONLY way to get what you wanted. OOOooops ... the store shelves are empty, but in return for a small 'gift', we might find something for you here behind the counter. OOOooops ... you'd like a passport? Sorry, no can do ... but for a few Ben Franklins and a case of quality vodka, we might be able to obtain one for you from our friend Anatoly, who just happens to work at the Foreign Ministry. And so on ad infinitum...

The bottom line is this: the corruption we're talking about here will die hard and slow, but it DOES NOT generally affect foreign teachers of English who keep their noses clean.

If you were considering opening your own business in Russia today, my outlook would be less positive. No doubt about it.

Consider again that the 'new' and 'democratic' Russia is still a child, barely 13 years old now, and that the road to stability and progress is a long one. Think back to the wild west era in the USA in the mid 1800's and the analogy is not too far off the mark.

To be really honest: that 'wild west' kind of excitement is one of the main reasons I like being here. Never a dull moment in Russia these days. It's like a huge theatre drama unfolding before your eyes ... and you have a front-row seat.

In my humble opinion, Russia has made dramatic progress in these short 13 years of experimental democracy. Whether we choose to view the progress that has been made as a glass 'half full' or a glass 'half empty' is a more personal choice.

Me? I've always been an optimist. Cool I say the glass is 'half full' ... and if you're lucky, it's full of chilled Rodnik Gold Label Vodka.

Best wishes and a Happy Weekend to Everyone Exclamation
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Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 1145
Location: Cyprus

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:19 pm    Post subject: Hi Kent-welcome back! Reply with quote

I'm glad you're happy being busy in Samara!I also heard that the girls there are gorgeous,but unfortunately they know it and are not a pushover by any means!!Funny you mentioned Svetlana because I know a lovely,young looking 43 year old widow in Moscow with that name and she is one of the best woman I have ever known in any country!I would trust her 100% as she is a super lady as well as being attractive and sexy,but shy and modest with it!Even a mention that I just MIGHT be going to Moscow etc. send her into rapturous day dreams-if you have another Svetlana for me in Samara too,then as you know,I'm very friendly and hate to let anyone down!!By the way,what's her birthdate and year etc. because I'm a great believer in astrology and all related meta-physical things??(mines 16/07/1953)
Have a nice weekend and all the best to everyone on this site!
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