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View Diary: Anti-Orphan Politics in Russia Sends Messages of Intimidation and Hurts Orphans (16 comments)

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  •  One more example of real change in Russia, I think (0+ / 0-)

    I had the privilege of working on one facet of the Megatons to Megawatts program in 2004 and 2005. The work took me to closed cities in Russia for weeks and months at a time, so I got to know my Russian colleagues well enough to discuss various things that were changing there, economic things mostly but political things also.

    At least some people I worked with seemed to be ready to believe that they would not always be oppressed and that faced with official obstacles of some sort, they could expect to overcome them with appropriate efforts.

    From what you write, it seems that progress is still being made along these lines.

    One thing that my coworkers did was bring in clothing and other items for local orphanages in the areas we worked in (Novouralsk, Seversk, Zelenogorsk, Ozersk) purchased with donations from many people associated with the program.

    Something else I noticed, and was told about, is that people with disabilities are not often seen in Russia but are mostly institutionalized. I don't know how true that is in general, but in the cumulative 6 months that I worked there over two years I only saw one person in a wheelchair, for example.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:07:17 PM PST

    •  Russian changes? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      billmosby, Wisco Wherls

      Dear billmosby,

      I used to live in Utah and was aware of the Russian inspectors who were supervising weapon distruction that was taking place here.  Even in the early 2000, these people ate the fish they caught and looked at shopping as the main reason they were sent here.

      It is pretty clear that financially speaking, things were getting better in 2004 and 2005.  The interesting thing is that as people get wealthier, they start to care about their rights, and also about the rights of those weaker then they are, like orphans.  Even in Russia.

      Your observation about people with disabilities is correct and I can testify to it from the other side - when I came to America, it felt extremely out of the ordinary to see so many people with disabilities all around me.  There are many reasons why peopel with disabilities are not out and about in Russia: from street bullying to infrastructure that is not designed to accommodate people with disabilities.  For instance (and as I'm sure you've noticed while there) vast majority of people in Russia live in apartment buildings frequently with elevators that are either not there or are broken, or are just too narrow to accommodate a wheel chair.  

      Thank you for your comment.

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