I grew up during the Cold War era. We practiced nuclear bomb drills at our elementary school in the 1960s. Our community tested the air raid sirens at 10 am, on every 4th Friday of the month. Businesses and other buildings had yellow and black “fallout shelter” signs on them. We periodically saw mass air force drills where the sky was filled with jet contrails. News reports showed us terrible conditions in Russia, always in black and white and dark gray tones, always photographed on gray, cloudy days – or in the cold of winter (part of our own US propaganda).
When the USSR collapsed, many of us thought this was a new era. For the past 20-30 years, we embraced the new Russia.
But then Putin invaded Ukraine, in an inept, ham-handed operation, based on fictions – killing and disrupting the lives of civilians, and sending the entire world into disarray.
We are told that this evilness is strictly the work of Putin, or of the government, and not the people of Russia.
And then this behavior happens:
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) has criticized the “shocking behavior” of Russian athlete Ivan Kuliak at a gymnastics World Cup event in Doha, Qatar.
He showed up wearing the “Z” symbol that has become the symbol of the supporters of Russian atrocities, while standing next to the 2nd place finisher – who is from Ukraine. His actions reflect horribly on all people of Russia and encourage the association of Putin’s evilness with the people of Russia. As of March 7th, all Russian athletes are now banned from most international competitions.
Russia has destroyed decades of goodwill. Many of us will not be re-embracing the views we held just two weeks ago. How can we ever again trust the Russian government? Or the Russian people?
This damage will be long lasting and cause great economic harm to the innocent people within Russia too. And for what?
Putin has created a disaster for his country and his people. The best hope for those who can, in Russia, is to leave Russia.
As I have said in other posts, I stopped following nearly all Russia affiliated social media content producers. I sincerely doubt they support this war- Several have bravely posted they are against war and seek peace – and some have suggested they are seeking to leave Russia as soon as possible. For now, I remain unsubscribed or not following – but hope I can eventually follow them once again. But now is not the time to do so.