Tamara EIDELMAN: “Russia is a sick country”

This text was written before the terrorist attack, and today, as I finish these words, everyone has already seen a video showing a man suspected (!) of committing a terrorist attack, who had his ear cut off in the FSB, and a photo of a man who was tortured with an electric shock. The fact that anything can be cut off there is hardly surprising, but the fact that it is filmed and ostentatiously posted on the web once again confirms my point: Russia is seriously ill.

I can hardly restrain myself from starting every – EVERY – “Talking About Important Things with Tamara Eidelman” with the exclamation: “Shame on you!” or “What cynicism!”.

It’s time to get used to it and realize that they are not ashamed.

They are not ashamed to order teachers to discuss the topic “Russia is a healthy state” with children. The word “state” especially pisses me off. This is their Russia – powerful, strong, and healthy state.

But Russia is seriously ill.

Russia’s health care system has collapsed. In Russia, rural hospitals and paramedic stations are being closed, giving old people in the villages the choice of simply dying at home or trying to wait for a bus to the city. There is a shortage of medicines in Russia. In Russia, alcoholism and drug addiction are off the charts, Russia has one of the highest rates of HIV, and this disease, which is easy enough to control with medication, remains stigmatized, HIV-positive people are turned into outcasts.

In Russia, thousands of disabled people cannot leave their homes. In Russia, mothers of sick children dream that their children will die before they do and not end up in a nursing home. In Russia the ecology is terrible. In Russia there is no well-established system of cancer prevention. In Russia they collect money for treatment of children by SMS.

And also Russia is waging a war of aggression, and therefore to all this, already horrifying, situation is added wounded, concussed – and people with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. Any war generates PTSD, and an unjust war accompanied by savage human rights violations – even more so.

The people who come back from this war are all sick – regardless of what they did there. And the relatives of the dead are also sick, not to mention the victims of propaganda. Because when you are brainwashed day after day with hateful thoughts, it is also a disease.

And we should talk to children not about how wonderful healthy lifestyle is, but about how to solve the problems that make Russia suffocate and convulse.

You don’t dare to talk about the war? Don’t. Go to the “Если быть точным” website. There you’ll find a huge number of statistics describing the situation in Russia, including health. Choose what is closer to you, what is more relevant to your region, and discuss it with children.

Talk about where these problems come from and what can be done to solve them.

And please, please, please don’t use the word “state”. Russia is just a country. An unhappy, sick country.

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