10 Grim Realities of Life in Putin’s Russia

10 Grim Realities of Life in Putin’s Russia

Currently, Vladimir Putin (with his regime)
is one of the biggest real life bogeymen in the entire world. However, while people in the West are often
told that Russia is not a good example of a well run country, and that Putin is a dangerous
leader, they often aren’t told the details of exactly why Russia isn’t a great place
to live. Now we do want to be clear that Russia is
certainly not on the level of North Korea or other such tyrannical regimes, but freedom
can be lost slowly, and over time. In today’s article, we will go over 10 grim
realities of living in Putin’s Russia, and why under his rule the Russian’s are slowly
becoming less and less of a free people. 10. Russian Orphanages Were A Grim Place, Then
Putin Banned US Adoptions Back in 2012 Putin signed a law that banned
Americans from adopting Russian children, as revenge for our own laws against his country
regarding economic sanctions. Now, despite the high profile nature of the
situation, most people are still not aware of what kind of place Russian orphanages are,
or why international adoptions were such a big thing from a developed country like Russia. The fact of the matter is that many of the
children in Russian orphanages aren’t actually parentless. Russia offers pretty much no resources to
help parents who are struggling to take care of their children, aside from simply taking
them from the parent for the state to raise. The issue here is that the state is overburdened
and doesn’t have the appropriate infrastructure. An expert who has visited several Russian
orphanages and has studied their system noted that roughly 165,000 of the orphans are disabled
in some way, which is about half of their entire orphanage system. These children are often neglected, and the
healthy ones rarely get much better care. The orphanages don’t have enough funding,
or teachers and caretakers, and most native Russian parents aren’t interested in adoption. This problem is compounded by many in the
government not wanting foreigners to adopt because it makes Russia look like it cannot
take care of its own. 9. Putin Signed A Law Allowing Him To Punish
Those Spreading What He Deems “Fake News” In late March 2019, in all the chaos of other
world news, Putin signed a new law that went unnoticed by many. His lawmakers pushed through a new piece of
legislation for him, that allows the government to punish people who post “fake news”
online. Of course, the problem here is that the Russian
government has always been big on censorship and even pravda, and they get to decide what
is or isn’t “fake news.” To make matters worse, the law also states
that it is now illegal to say anything blatantly disrespectful about the state, its symbols,
its constitution, or its ruler. Those who repeatedly break the law can be
fined with up to 1.5 million rubles (which amounts to almost $23,000 US), and sentenced
to 15 days in jail for each offense. Opponents of the law called it direct censorship,
but the Kremlin denied that is in fact what’s transpiring. 8. Being A Journalist In Russia Who Investigates
Corruption Is A Very Dangerous Job The Committee to Protect Journalists and the
Glasnost Foundation allege that dozens of journalists have been murdered in Russia since
2000 (shortly after President Putin took power). Many of these journalists were investigating
powerful interests, and while Putin comes to mind, he is certainly not the only one
who has been targeted by journalists. Many rich oligarchs and other corrupt officials
who get tracked down by investigative reporters, allegedly find ways to simply make them disappear,
and Putin’s government, even if it is not involved, doesn’t seem particularly interested
in ending this trend, especially with the draconian new laws against “fake news.” At least six high profile journalists who
were investigating Putin or other powerful interests died after having a very suspicious
fall of one kind or another, and in many of the cases the person was ruled as suicidal,
even though there was no note and no evidence of such whatsoever. One death, that of a lawyer named Nikolai
Gorokhov, comes across as particularly suspicious. The man was lawyer for a man named Sergei
Magnitsky who died suspiciously in a Moscow jail, and was alleged to have information
damaging to Putin. He “fell” out of a fourth story window,
and the official story was that he managed to stumble all the way out the window while
“moving a bathtub.” 7. Russia Has Extreme Problems When It Comes
To Income Inequality And Poverty Since 2008, Putin has claimed he wants to
restore the Russian middle class and fix the income inequality issues, but so far he has
largely come across as mostly talk, as he hasn’t really changed much. A comprehensive look at the numbers from PBS
in 2015 shows a stark problem with Russia’s economy that isn’t going to be fixed anytime
soon, and not without drastic changes. For starters, at the time of the report, 111
billionaires controlled 19% of the country’s wealth. On top of that, 85% of the country’s entire
household wealth was owned by the top 10% of the country. Out of entrepreneurs surveyed in Russia, 90%
said that they had faced some kind of corruption while trying to do business, and some experts
estimate that corruption is costing the Russian government in the ballpark of a third of their
entire economic output. If that wasn’t enough, the corruption problem
hits normal households so badly that your average household considered it, when surveyed,
the second most important issue in the country after meeting people’s basic housing needs. And the final bit is that the report estimates
that four out of five Russians had less than $10,000 in personal wealth at the time of
the PBS report. Now, some signs show the middle class is still
growing slightly despite these factors, but only at the bottom technical level of middle
class, and the numbers suggest many people drop in and out of the middle class, suggesting
a lack of stability. Also, a couple years later, in 2017, another
report on the Russian economy found them to now have the highest income disparity among
major countries, with 10% of the country now owning 87% of the country’s wealth. This means that while some people are going
from being below middle class to middle class, the vast majority of the wealth transfer is
still from the bottom to the very top. 6. Alcoholism Is Rampant Among The Youth, And
Corruption Again Plays A Role While it has long been acknowledged that Russian
adults do a lot of drinking, the Russian government and society at large has been worried as of
late by a teen drinking problem that they have been trying to curb. NGO’s (non-government organizations that
provide aid or other services in foreign countries) have estimated somewhere between 20,000 and
60,000 teenage alcoholics in Russia, according to a report by Russia Today. The problem, as reported by the Kremlin-funded
newspaper, is that while the law does restrict liquor sales to 18+ (which some already consider
a bit young), it isn’t always obeyed as it should be. When reporters from Russia Today followed
teens through a supermarket they were pleased to see the clerks demand ID, and refuse the
sale. However, when they went to a kiosk outside
along the street, they were given the sale for a beer with no ID whatsoever. These kiosks pop up all over the city streets,
and they just want to make their sales. With no serious consequences for selling to
minors like there are in the United States and many Western European countries, the shop-owners
see no reason to be a little corrupt and just get those extra sales regardless of the law,
or of how it might hurt society overall. Until the law is changed in Russia and there
are strong penalties for selling to minors, the practice will likely continue unabated. 5. Russia Has Its Own “Facebook” Called VKontakte
Which Often Isolates Them While Russia doesn’t censor the internet
nearly as heavily as some countries such as China, and Russian hackers are good enough
they can usually get around most censorship anyway, the truth is that Russia has still
been largely successful in creating their own national websites and mail services and
such partly due to good old Russian national pride. Along with mail.ru and other services, Russia
has their own version of Facebook called “VKontakte,” which basically translates to “In Contact.” This isn’t exactly a dark and evil machination
of the government as you aren’t banned from using Facebook, but most Russians simply don’t
use it in their day to day lives, which makes it easier for the government to keep their
viewpoints isolated from the rest of the world. Now, there are some Russians who do use Facebook
to keep in touch with their international friends, but many of them simply don’t bother
with the social network at all. For this reason, if you see someone with a
suspiciously low friend count from Russia, and very few international friends in particular,
who seems to be spending most of their time talking about politics (especially American
politics, and most especially of the divisive variety), then there is a chance it is not
a normal Russian citizen using their personal Facebook account. Instead, it’s likely a “troll” account
created by someone working in a building in Russia somewhere for a Putin controlled agency
called the IRA, or Internet Research Agency, whose job it is to spread propaganda and misinformation
online. 4. Putin Has Been Trying To Suppress Homosexuality
And Gay “Propaganda” In 2013, the DUMA passed a law that Putin
quickly signed, now known as the “gay propaganda law.” The law states that those who disseminate
propaganda about non-traditional sexual relations to minors (essentially telling kids that being
gay exists) can be hit with heavy fines. If you are just found to be spreading the
information to kids in a relatively small setting, it is only a fine of what amounts
to about 100 Euros, but it can reach 2,000 Euros if you are talking to the media or on
the internet (which can include social media), and up to 20,000 Euros if you are an organization
flouting the decree. The government is claiming that this is all
about protecting traditional values and especially the children, but some activists are not convinced
that Putin is really even all that interested in suppressing gay people. Rather, even though being gay was decriminalized
in 1993 after the end of the Soviet Union, there was still a lot of antipathy toward
it since those days, and Putin has read the room. Some people have noticed that many of Putin’s
biggest critics are homosexual, and feel that he may simply be using the traditional values
thing as a smokescreen to quiet many of his most dangerous political opponents. 3. You May Not Realize That Russian Troll Farms
Are Also Used On The Russian People Many people know of Russia’s so-called “Troll
farms” and how they were used by the Russian government in order to sow chaos in advance
of the Brexit vote, and also in advance of the 2016 United States presidential election. These troll farms are basically buildings
where Russian citizens, funded in some way by the government, are taught and directed
on spreading misinformation. However, what many people in the Western world,
and plenty in Russia do not realize, is that long before Putin aimed them at the rest of
the world, he was testing them and using them on his own people in order to consolidate
power. Back in 2015 a brave investigative reporter
infiltrated a facility that contained 400 people, but now reports say the same operation
has reached 1,000 people and moved to a building three times the size. This Putin-controlled agency is known as the
IRA, or Internet Research Agency. According to a report by The Atlantic, in
the run-up to Putin’s latest landslide election victory, his state-controlled media and troll
farms went on a blitz mainly to get out the vote, because Putin doesn’t just want an
appearance of democracy, but also the appearance of a strong, participatory democracy that
almost entirely wants him at the helm. As far as anyone can tell, his efforts succeeded,
as he boasted a 65% turnout, which is relatively impressive even if the 73% vote count in Putin’s
favor was in some way manipulated by his government. 2. Putin’s Opponents Tend To Disappear Before
The Elections Actually Occur While opposition parties are allowed in Russia,
ones who make enough waves and get popular enough to oppose Putin may just find their
political party banned for arbitrary reasons. Putin also has a habit of shutting down protests,
and laws against protests have ramped up in recent years. While it isn’t illegal just yet to run against
Putin, the truth is that there is never really a truly popular challenger against him on
the ballot, because Putin won’t allow it. Whenever someone gets big enough that Putin
fears they could get a significant portion of the vote, they tend to find themselves
arrested on trumped up charges of some kind, or ineligible for some other reason. Boris Nemtsov was formerly a deputy prime
minister and had been mounting a serious challenge to Putin. However, his People’s Freedom Party was
clearly threatening to someone, because he was shot on a bridge in front of the Kremlin
in 2015. There is, of course, no direct link of any
kind to suggest it was anyone from the government, but it is quite obvious which people would
have had means, motive, and opportunity. Regardless, Putin doesn’t necessarily need
to rely on challengers being mysteriously shot. Alexei Navalny was judged by Putin’s courts
as not allowed to run, after they charged him with embezzlement. Some people may think this is a fair reason
to keep an opponent off the ballot, but there is reason to believe the charges were trumped
up and the trial was unfair, as the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Navalny was
deprived of a fair trial and that the law was applied in an arbitrary fashion. 1. Some People Think The Russian People Are Dupes,
Or Putin Loyalists, But It’s Complicated Many people probably think of the Russian
people as either easily duped, or happily into whatever awful thing Putin may be doing,
and are gladly loyal to him for that reason. However, while people like that will always
exist in any acting dictatorship, the truth is that there is reason to believe that some
of Putin’s popularity is inflated. As we mentioned earlier, a serious challenger
never seems to manage to make their way to the general election against him, and with
the entire media basically on his side it would be hard for anyone to mount a proper
challenge even if they didn’t conveniently disappear or get caught for some alleged crime. To make matters worse, international observers
often report being suppressed, and those who do manage to do their jobs have reported all
corruption such as alleged ballot stuffing, and even carousel voting, where buses of public
workers are driven from one polling place to another to inflate numbers for their dear
leader. On top of that, many of the people who show
up to vote do so because the government offered free medical exams, or potential prizes like
iPhones or cars for election selfies, or even free or discounted food, which is a carryover
from the Soviet days. If people who don’t have a lot of money
see a chance to win prizes, or get other free stuff, or they are being bused to the polls
as part of their job, then it really should be no surprise that the turnout numbers are
high, and people keep voting for the person giving them the free stuff when there is no
realistic challenger on the ballot anyway.

46 thoughts on “10 Grim Realities of Life in Putin’s Russia

  1. At least in Russia, the police won't arrest you for offensive tweets like in the UK and Macron has introduced a law criminalising fake news.

  2. Putin said in a speech that he was suspending adoptions because in the USA degenerate homosexuals can adopt children. He wasn't able to prohibit Russian children from going to nonChristians so the whole program ended

  3. they went leftist, when you go leftist you never truly recover.
    "Freedom is lost slowly and overtime"…. sounds familiar @DemocraticParty…

  4. Sounds so familiar of whats happening in Venezuela… The world have to be aware that democracy can be easily kidnapped by this new age dictators

  5. Income Inequality is almost same as in the US where the top 1% owns 40% of the wealth. The bottom 90% owning less than 25% of the wealth. 25% of families has less than 10000$ in wealth.

  6. This is surprisingly accurate. There's only one error and one huge omission.
    You haven't mentioned the biggest problem: law enforcement. Courts aren't really independent. Torture is used in prisons, sometimes in pre-trial detention centers as well: a specially instructed cellmate would do it to get the right testimony from the victim. It's not unusual for cops to put drugs into a pocket of an activist or someone like that. Sometimes they would do it to a random person just to meet the expected number of crimes solved. The result of all of this is astounding >99% conviction rate and just as astounding prison population second only to US (in terms of percentage of the whole population). [edit] Sorry, I mixed 2 statistics (absolute and relative). Incarceration rate relative to population is still much lower in both Russia and US than in most European countries!
    4:56 – That's a wrong assumption. Corruption doesn't hit households badly at all. It hits indirectly. It's just believed to be one of the main reasons why everything is so bad.
    It's funny how things rather insignificant for us got into the list, such as gay propaganda. I haven't heard of it used to suppress any critics of power. It's been used rarely judging by media accounts. What it certainly makes sure is that European style sexual education teaching about different orientations isn't adopted in any school (which isn't a bad thing, if only sex-ed was adopted at all).
    There is a way way worse law you haven't mentioned that could put you in prison for 1 year for merely insulting "religious feelings".
    Speaking of sexual education, it's non-existent in most schools and AIDS is going rampant.

  7. The voting fraud happens in Romania everytime too… This is how PSD (political party) got the power. Some of the things putin does seems to have inspired our PSD… Looks like Romanians have a carry over from the Soviet era too… Although this has been known from the very first moment, so it's not a surprise.

  8. Putin is building a tunnel underneath my bed. When I sleep the Russians collect my body fluids. Slowly my blood is being replaced with black goo and spc fluid. They are using DNA from my semen to genetically engineer an army of automoton internet trolls. When I went to the dentist Russia put mind control radios inside of my teeth. Putin is reading my thoughts and controlling my thoughts.

  9. so this is what trump supporters want for us? how can anyone reasonable trust someone whose heroes are hitler, putin, saudi kings, north korean dictators and other horrible dictators? how can people with a brain ignore the multitude of russian mob connections with trump for decades? they cant all be the crazies looking forward to the so called end of the world, so what is the reasoning? i dont get it and i worry for all of our children and grandchildren.

  10. Wow. I don't think I've ever heard such a biased toptenz before. Sorry Simon but this is full of speculation, accusations and non fact based rhetoric.
    Ironic considering the finger pointing for very similar things.
    By the way I'm not saying anything is untrue but if it's based on hearsay it really shouldn't be put out as if it's correct.

  11. As of 2018 Australia has the same size economy as Russia with one tenth the population. With the portion of the economy dedicated to the millitary in each country, the wealth of Australians is more like fifteen times. Turkey has a higher average income. Great show Putin.

  12. Please,don't forget that Putin is a son of a prostitute! And the situation in Russia proves that Russian people are like cattle.

  13. I'm surprised there's not more moonshining going on in Russia I mean it's not that hard you need yeast sugar in some sort of fruit to make mash or what we call jungle juice another term would be toilet wine and that's how kids get around it in the US they look up recipes to brew their own alcohol they go up in the woods and they build their own steals I mean copper kitchen equipment sugar yeast and fruit are not controlled and there's no age restriction on who can buy it have a great day Simon Whistler

  14. the last election where Putin one there was a lot of ballot-box stuffing and I was thinking that he did not need to do that you would have won anyway without The ballot box stuffing and the election would have been more legitimate yeah rush shop people are very proud of their leader cuz they he makes the country look strong and there's not enough of an opposition to stand up against him my thought is there needs to be a again to the United States had its way for more than 25 years and made it a spoiled brat that needs a spanking and Putin is the grit in the oyster that creates The Pearl

  15. Hey, you bald, leave one of our president and discuss yours. Or did you forget that you have freedom of speech? Do not demonize our Putin and our beautiful country.

  16. So the Thug Putin is slowly putting Russia back to the Soviet era. What a surprise an ex K.B.G. thug is behaving like the old style K.B.G. thug.

  17. Lol I was adopted from a Russian Orphanage and it never occurred to me that I was never an actual orphan. My birth mom and dad were still alive and my grandmother visited us in the orphanage.

  18. Well, let's say that an "ex-communist" country like Russia never had much freedom to start with anyway…

    I've got a story for you if you're interested. It happened in Romania, I think It was 2009 and I was 9 at the time the event happened. They were calling the citizens to vote, and inside the city hall there were some PDL ( the now defunct Liberal Democratic Party of Romania) affiliates with a vast assortement of food bags, that would promise to give one to every PDL supporter. Let's say that the tactic of bribing the citizens in order to obtain their vote is a well known habit of "ex-communist" countries, in wich to some extents is still used to this very day.

  19. I love how goverrnents have a "cabinet" if they are accepted in Western culture, but if they are not culturally appropriate they have a "regime". Propaganda at it's finest.

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