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  #21  
Old 27.12.2011, 18:43
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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But why the index for Libya is so high? The index is designed to measure healthy living (life expectancy), literacy, education, income index, child welfare. Why is it so high for Libya? Sure the money comes from oil there, but still -- it looks like the standards of living in Libya were rated as "high" by the UN and higher than for Tunisia.
About most Libyans going to Tunisia for healthcare treatment ... Many Swiss go to Germany for the dental care too. Maybe the prices in Libya were a bit too high?
Price is never an issue for a lot of Libyans. The main reason is the lack of infrastructure and medical staff.

HDI is a compound index involving Life expectancy, literacy rate and Income. The problem is the index is an abstract measure and does not reflect the economical situation or environment of the country. Gadhaffi never invested in the economy of the country therefore they have a very poor infrastructure (no good roads, highways, no public transport or railways, no industry, etc....).
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Old 27.12.2011, 22:00
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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Russia actually stands a chance to become democratic - it already has some press freedom & democratic organizations.

Good luck to the demonstrators !
It's been falsely democratic for a long time, and most of us in the know presumed that Putin would be "President for Life" for the past decade or so. It was no surprise when he groomed Medvedev to be President and assumed the role of PM. And no surprise, still that he's trying to be President again.

Corruption in Russian politics though is rampant. The press is NOT free. Good lord are they ever NOT free. Journalists are routinely assassinated if they dare to step out of line and report actual news. If you've watched RT News it's a mouthpiece for the government.

Overall though I'm glad to see the protests in Russia and the uprising of the new Middle Class in Russia. I hope that they can bring change because if Russia can bring change then that change will spread to the other former Soviet states too.

Good luck, Russia!
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Old 27.12.2011, 23:44
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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....
Overall though I'm glad to see the protests in Russia and the uprising of the new Middle Class in Russia. I hope that they can bring change because if Russia can bring change then that change will spread to the other former Soviet states too.

Good luck, Russia!
As a Russian I really hope that no revolution will happen there. The uprising has to stop. Much needed change has to come peacefully and carefully. I still have my family and friend out there and do not want any mess or violence to take place.

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Old 28.12.2011, 00:21
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

I don't know how you see that, Leonie, but from what I hear, it's more about the younger more urban middle class losing patience on the economical/financial field than anything else. The under 30 generation in Russia is very well qualified and doesn't remember first hand the soviet years... they want growth and they want to profit from it. (We all want that... not only the Russians). It mixes hard feelings against corruption in general and simple demands to the politicians to get the economy organized and rolling for them. People basically want a job and see the level of salaries raise up to standards making life easier. Because it's far from being the case right now. Perhaps Putin can't do that, but any other party in power would be able to do exactly as much. To me, it seems like the protest does not come from a particular part of the political spectrum but from a mass of people who just have hard lives. There is no political leadership among the protesters, and I am not sure it was meant to be one in the first place.
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Old 28.12.2011, 00:43
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I think Russia's time hasn't come yet. Some politicians call it "an Arab country with trees" referring to its dependence on the fossil fuels export. But Russia is much more - its industrial-military complex competed with US until perhaps 80s when they finally drove their society to a dead-end. Space flights and nuclear arms and at the same tome poor food supplies, academics manning the fields during the seasonal harvests - they couldn't sustain that. They tried to create a new human - now there is rampant alcoholism killing men at an astonishing rate. So now they go for the Chinese model. The orthodox church got back in favor. Sure, under strict control. Spiritual side covered, but how about nationalists - create a "Nasi" youth movement, a rightist party - checked. The result - if your skin is black or you look like from one o the break-away Caucasus mountains you'd better watch out for the nationalists in Moscow.

So we know our great democratic leaders, when on a trip to China, have better keep to the script on some touchy subjects or there won't be any buyer for Siemens, Microsoft et all? Good, now ask the Germans where they buy their gas from. Whose portrait adores chancellor's desk? Catherine the Great. Born as a German princess, ruled Russia ruthlessly. Good inspiration for a democratic leader. Good this not Peter the Great, the creator of the Bureau of Information, which one day become Mr P.'s employer And remember Mr. Theodore zu Googleberg, oh, pardon, von und zu Guttenberg? A husband of grand-grand daughter of Otto von Bismarck? What a great spheres, amazing what they're looking forward...

And, well, the man of honor and to whom a great developments in Russia should be attributed, Mr. P., now the Prime Minister of Russia, almost got this Quadriga prize.

I think at the moment the German-Russian tandem is actually moving away from "spring of the nations". And rest assured. No revolution, as long as petro-rubles are paying the bills.
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Old 28.12.2011, 02:40
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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Price is never an issue for a lot of Libyans. The main reason is the lack of infrastructure and medical staff.

HDI is a compound index involving Life expectancy, literacy rate and Income. The problem is the index is an abstract measure and does not reflect the economical situation or environment of the country. Gadhaffi never invested in the economy of the country therefore they have a very poor infrastructure (no good roads, highways, no public transport or railways, no industry, etc....).
I am sorry for staying on the subject -- but I cannot find any information to support this... Libya had the doctor-patient ratio almost the same as Tunisia. They didn't have the railways but they had a lot of roads, public transportation existed (buses), airports, education was free as well as healthcare. Literacy rate was good, life expectancy 74 years (!). Financial assistance for housing. Financial support for university scholarships and employment programs.I am sorry but "they have a very poor infrastructure" just doesn't look right. Where do you have this information from?


Well, they do have a poor infrastructure now, after the revolution. I have seen an estimate that it would take at least 10 years to rebuild it...
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Old 28.12.2011, 03:17
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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..it already has some press freedom & democratic organizations...
Not really. But it has enormous amount of good will of millions of the good people.

What gives me heebeegeebees is the fact these days it is still dangerous to demonstrate. Prague Spring had peaceful folks who would lay in front of tanks and confused soldiers would occasionally aim and shoot. The situation with Russian professional army and police after decades of frustrated testosteron, poverty, confusion and crisis..these guys shoot first then think.
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Old 28.12.2011, 09:47
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I don't know how you see that, Leonie, but from what I hear, it's more about the younger more urban middle class losing patience on the economical/financial field than anything else. The under 30 generation in Russia is very well qualified and doesn't remember first hand the soviet years... they want growth and they want to profit from it. (We all want that... not only the Russians). It mixes hard feelings against corruption in general and simple demands to the politicians to get the economy organized and rolling for them. People basically want a job and see the level of salaries raise up to standards making life easier. Because it's far from being the case right now. Perhaps Putin can't do that, but any other party in power would be able to do exactly as much. To me, it seems like the protest does not come from a particular part of the political spectrum but from a mass of people who just have hard lives. There is no political leadership among the protesters, and I am not sure it was meant to be one in the first place.
Sure. Honest elections would do it for them. People have to make sure that the election process is fair and democratic.

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Not really. But it has enormous amount of good will of millions of the good people.

What gives me heebeegeebees is the fact these days it is still dangerous to demonstrate. Prague Spring had peaceful folks who would lay in front of tanks and confused soldiers would occasionally aim and shoot. The situation with Russian professional army and police after decades of frustrated testosteron, poverty, confusion and crisis..these guys shoot first then think.
When was the last time they were shooting before thinking?
Soviet Union fell apart 20 years ago without violence...

Last edited by MusicChick; 28.12.2011 at 16:51. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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Old 28.12.2011, 10:39
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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What gives me heebeegeebees is the fact these days it is still dangerous to demonstrate.


I haven't seen a pepper spray being aimed at someone's eyes from five inches away. Happened at the University of California few weeks ago.

In the UK, the lawmakers are considering a ban on protests in Parliament Square. In January 2012, the police will be able to seize tents and any noisy equipment. So basically, any future "protest" will consist of a group of people standing quietly. Or they'll be arrested. Simple as that.

Elites are getting nervous everywhere. It is not more dangerous to protest in Moscow than anywhere in the West.

Last edited by MusicChick; 28.12.2011 at 16:53. Reason: fixed quote
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Old 28.12.2011, 11:26
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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I am sorry for staying on the subject -- but I cannot find any information to support this... Libya had the doctor-patient ratio almost the same as Tunisia. They didn't have the railways but they had a lot of roads, public transportation existed (buses), airports, education was free as well as healthcare. Literacy rate was good, life expectancy 74 years (!). Financial assistance for housing. Financial support for university scholarships and employment programs.I am sorry but "they have a very poor infrastructure" just doesn't look right. Where do you have this information from?


Well, they do have a poor infrastructure now, after the revolution. I have seen an estimate that it would take at least 10 years to rebuild it...
I do regularly business in North Africa and have insight in Tunisia and Libya.
Here are detailed information World Bank report. It addresses the quality of education and healthcare system. The economy is centrally planned and the private sector almost non existing. The unemployment rate among young people is about 50%!
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Old 28.12.2011, 17:00
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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Soviet Union fell apart 20 years ago without violence...
My experience with Russian immigrants back home is different. I was fortunate to befriend quite a few, since I speak the lingo and was brought up to be close to the culture. The stories they told me how unsafe, corrupt, dangerous life can still be there, how military and police still does run the back scenes..sad. But they were poor, not sure if life of poor folks is different than others.

A friend got a set of pittbulls to finally stop the armed robberies in boonies she used to live and stop mafia coming to collect cash for "protection", since she feared for her two infants. As if wasn't enough, not only the pittbulls didn't protect her, but attacked her as well. If you ever read this, you were my fav ice skating buddie ever!
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Old 28.12.2011, 23:16
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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That would be the mythical lands owned by "Lawrence of", I believe.
Secret service colonel Lawrence was active also in Jordan, which has no oil. In the UAE, Abu Dhabi HAS oil, Dubai enough for its own needs and the other UAE members none at all. And the motherland of the Arab World and Pan Arab nationalism, Lebanon also has no oil. Egypt has enough for its own needs, and Tunisia and Morocco have none. It is only those Wahhabi zealots from Riyadh with their fiefdom, the poster above has had in mind

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Price is never an issue for a lot of Libyans. The main reason is the lack of infrastructure and medical staff.

HDI is a compound index involving Life expectancy, literacy rate and Income. The problem is the index is an abstract measure and does not reflect the economical situation or environment of the country. Gadhaffi never invested in the economy of the country therefore they have a very poor infrastructure (no good roads, highways, no public transport or railways, no industry, etc....).
A) literacy. This compilation here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of..._literacy_rate
gives an idea, with 88%, Libya is now miles above the approx 15% of the times of King Idris es-Senussi
B) public transport ? While public transport in Egypt and the Maghreb is between good and more or less acceptable, public transport in the Mashreek is a scandal. Add to this that Khaddafi had a fixation with politics in the Mashreek and was aware of the incredibly low population density of his country, and so did not quite see the need for public transport. He however DID invest money into the airports of his country
C) healthcare ? while healthcare in Libya was free of charge for all since Sandhurst-Lt Khaddafi rose to power, Mr Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia carefully built up a respectable infrastructure, including a decent healthcare system, buses and trams and suburban railways etc
D) industry ? an industry needs a home-market. Libya first had no home market and second had to face it that neighbouring Egypt had/has a sizeable industry with workers who work for a fraction of what the worst fool in Libya gets for doing almost nothing.
E) life expectancy ? I would not pay CHF 0.05 for Libyan statistics in this regard ! incomes ? incomes in oil rich fiefdoms like Libya, Kuwait, KSA, Abu Dhabi are highly inflated and have nothing to do with a qualified workforce or a decent education system

<> KSA-Libya ? The difference is that Lt Khaddafi was a "moderate Islamist" with a totalitarian rule, while the Saudi dynasty are extreme Islamists with a totalitarian fundamentalist rule

How did Sheikh Yamani, the famous oil minister of the KSA once put it ? "We are not a rich country, we are only a country with a lot of money". Libya in this of course right up to now was similar.

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I do regularly business in North Africa and have insight in Tunisia and Libya.
Here are detailed information World Bank report. It addresses the quality of education and healthcare system. The economy is centrally planned and the private sector almost non existing. The unemployment rate among young people is about 50%!
Khaddafi only about 3 years ago started to correct the total central state control of the economy. The unemployment rate of 50% unfortunately is fairly average between Port Saïd and Casablanca ¨ Such is the reason why so many try to get over to Europe. If they see your CH passport you get envied "look this chap even has ...." . No, it really is a maddening situation indeed

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  #33  
Old 29.12.2011, 14:57
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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My experience with Russian immigrants back home is different. I was fortunate to befriend quite a few, since I speak the lingo and was brought up to be close to the culture. The stories they told me how unsafe, corrupt, dangerous life can still be there, how military and police still does run the back scenes..sad. But they were poor, not sure if life of poor folks is different than others.

A friend got a set of pittbulls to finally stop the armed robberies in boonies she used to live and stop mafia coming to collect cash for "protection", since she feared for her two infants. As if wasn't enough, not only the pittbulls didn't protect her, but attacked her as well. If you ever read this, you were my fav ice skating buddie ever!
You are right about unsafe and corrupt life at that time. But the Soviet Union really fell apart in a relatively peaceful way. Russia had several Eastern European countries under its influence, plus some 14 republics were united in one country USSR. There were a lot of chances for use of military and police force when all these countries and republics started to declare independence from Russia. There were some riots and blood, specially in the Central Asian republics and Caucasus. But overall it was really OK... During a coup attempt in August 1991 the army came to the streets of Moscow -- around 4000 troops, 300 tanks, 400 armored vehicles showed up in the city of 10 million people. Thousands of people went to the streets and stood up against the army but only three were killed.
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Old 29.12.2011, 15:09
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

You address too many things in your post and I won't be able to give a structured feedback. Let's focus on industry & unemployment:

- industry: Libya has a lot of potential for the tourism/travel industry (long coast, huge beautiful desert, best roman ruins). Yet they have done nothing to develop infrastructure (hotels, restaurants etc...) and human resources/skills (language, etc..) to attract tourists. Big potential here.

- unemployment: do you know that there are a lot of jobs in the farming/agriculture sector in Morocco and Tunisia? But young people do not like these jobs...they want "easy" jobs that pay well in Europe.

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(...)
D) industry ? an industry needs a home-market. Libya first had no home market and second had to face it that neighbouring Egypt had/has a sizeable industry with workers who work for a fraction of what the worst fool in Libya gets for doing almost nothing.
(..)
The unemployment rate of 50% unfortunately is fairly average between Port Saïd and Casablanca ¨ Such is the reason why so many try to get over to Europe. If they see your CH passport you get envied "look this chap even has ...." . No, it really is a maddening situation indeed
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Old 29.12.2011, 22:27
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@leonie,
Yep, break-down of SU as we knew it until end of eighties is a mystery to me - it could have been a bloody hell instead. Putin famously declared this as a largest geo-political catastrophe of the 20th century. I don't think any of the non-european former republics is doing any better now - they're just a bit more independent but Russia tries to pull them back under its influence. But what happened to the oppressive terror apparat in the nineties with the ensuing surge in criminality, rampant "privatization" - no idea. Maybe they were too disillusioned to support the old system. Too bad it destroyed life of a few generations.
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Old 30.12.2011, 00:20
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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rampant "privatization" -..
pseudo privatization.

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You are right about unsafe and corrupt life at that time. But the Soviet Union really fell apart in a relatively peaceful way. Russia had several Eastern European countries under its influence, plus some 14 republics were united in one country USSR. There were a lot of chances for use of military and police force when all these countries and republics started to declare independence from Russia. There were some riots and blood, specially in the Central Asian republics and Caucasus. But overall it was really OK... During a coup attempt in August 1991 the army came to the streets of Moscow -- around 4000 troops, 300 tanks, 400 armored vehicles showed up in the city of 10 million people. Thousands of people went to the streets and stood up against the army but only three were killed.
I know the feeling of a life in misery when you are told "it's ok, you didn't get killed..". The fact there was relatively low blood shed does not mean in any way life of common folks in the former USSR is or was good.

By the way, it was not a life under USSR's influence. It was a terror pushed on satellite countries, and some were more exploited than others since they happened to be more industrially developed than others and didn't happen to eat right away the product of their work, but tried to sneak under the restriction and have the industry, science and brain power somewhat preserved.

The revolution didn't happen peacefully because Russians decided to cut us a slack and their army to not act. The army disintegrated lojg before 1989, it was a scary chaotic mess, the conditions they lived in '89 in our country, jaysus, they didn't even have toilets but shat from the top in a room with a hole in a ceiling, at one of the barracks we had to clean up after them. They were waiting for orders from our headquarters not their own.

"over all it was really ok" is a very subjective statement. My immigrant friends still worry about their families, send cash there, try to have the family out of the country as much as possible.
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Old 30.12.2011, 00:43
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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You are right about unsafe and corrupt life at that time. But the Soviet Union really fell apart in a relatively peaceful way. Russia had several Eastern European countries under its influence, plus some 14 republics were united in one country USSR. There were a lot of chances for use of military and police force when all these countries and republics started to declare independence from Russia. There were some riots and blood, specially in the Central Asian republics and Caucasus. But overall it was really OK... During a coup attempt in August 1991 the army came to the streets of Moscow -- around 4000 troops, 300 tanks, 400 armored vehicles showed up in the city of 10 million people. Thousands of people went to the streets and stood up against the army but only three were killed.
About "But overall it was really OK... "
I guess you missed East Germany 53 & Hungary 56 & Czechoslovakia 68?
Sorry but this is a load of cr*p!!
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Old 30.12.2011, 00:49
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I know the feeling of a life in misery when you are told "it's ok, you didn't get killed..". The fact there was relatively low blood shed does not mean in any way life of common folks in the former USSR is or was good.
........
"over all it was really ok" is a very subjective statement. My immigrant friends still worry about their families, send cash there, try to have the family out of the country as much as possible.
I was talking about a single event that happened 20 years ago -- dissolution of the Soviet Union. There was a low blood shed at the time of the event. This is a fact. "Over all it was OK" -- this was about the break-down. It has nothing to do with a life of common folk in the former USSR... But speaking about a life of common folk in Russia -- my observation is that Russians never had as high standard of living as they got during the Putin time. This is why he is so popular.

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About "But overall it was really OK... "
I guess you missed East Germany 53 & Hungary 56 & Czechoslovakia 68?
Sorry but this is a load of cr*p!!
Well, this was a long time before 1991... This is exactly what I am talking about. Before the break of the USSR there were violent events but the break happened in a relatively peaceful way.

Last edited by MusicChick; 30.12.2011 at 01:02. Reason: merging consecutive posts
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Old 30.12.2011, 01:25
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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I was talking about a single event that happened 20 years ago -- dissolution of the Soviet Union. There was a low blood shed at the time of the event. This is a fact. "Over all it was OK" -- this was about the break-down. It has nothing to do with a life of common folk in the former USSR... But speaking about a life of common folk in Russia -- my observation is that Russians never had as high standard of living as they got during the Putin time. This is why he is so popular.


Well, this was a long time before 1991... This is exactly what I am talking about. Before the break of the USSR there were violent events but the break happened in a relatively peaceful way.
So it is alright to talk about what happend 20 years ago? But 40 years ago is "a long time before 1991"! Sorry but stil cr*p.
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Old 30.12.2011, 01:33
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Re: Arab spring turning into Russian winter?

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So it is alright to talk about what happend 20 years ago? But 40 years ago is "a long time before 1991"! Sorry but stil cr*p.
You're right, everything is the same: What the Scyths and the Sarmats did to those poor protoslavs! Outrageous!!
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