Originally posted by bill718
I'm not a fan of Putin, but his leadership has brought about a better economy for the Russian people, and a sense of national pride that was badly depressed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Putin's Government is corrupt, and the Russian people have lost some of their freedoms, but they fare better economically.
Most Russians no longer care much, if they ever did, about Westerners thinking badly
of Russian leaders. Russian and Western perceptions tend to be quite different.
According to Stephen Cohen, an American scholar of the USSR and Russia, Boris
Yeltsin 'led' Russia to economic and social ruin, all while the West was cheering him on.
"Much of the Yeltsin era was marked by widespread corruption, inflation, economic
collapse, and enormous political and social problems..."
Shortly after the disintegration of the USSR, there was a dramatic fall in the living standards
of many, if not most, Russians. Many well-educated people lost their jobs; many
retired people found that their pensions had become practically worthless. Women
were particularly hurt economically and socially, given that sexism quickly reemerged.
Some well-educated women found that the only jobs they could get were far beneath
their capabilities. I found it particularly sad to hear of some very intelligent, well-educated
young women seriously considering becoming prostitutes to serve affluent Westerners
because that was the only available occupation at which they would be paid more than
a pittance. I can understand why Western capitalists (and their Russian cronies) would
embrace a 'new Russia ' that appeared so ripe for their rapacious exploitation.