Russians Happier Than They Look, UN Study Shows

UN Building file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 20, 2017) Don’t be misled by those grumpy faces on the Moscow metro: Russia is the 49th happiest place on Earth and it is becoming happier, a new study has found. The United Nation’s yearly World Happiness Report measures “subjective well-being” in 155 countries along criteria such as GDP per capita and life expectancy, […]

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NEWSLINK “Russia Quality Of Life Indicators Worse Than China’s” – Forbes/Kenneth Rapoza

Moscow Roads

“… According to the big data cost of living number crunchers at Numbeo, Russia’s biggest problems are weather; Moscow traffic that makes the 405 in Los Angeles and the Marginal in Sao Paulo seem tame; outrageous real estate prices in city centers, and pollution. Russia may be known for great culture, world-class great museums and home to one of the […]

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Russians 1% ‘Happier’ in 2016

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 7, 2017) Don’t believe the faces you see on the metro – more than half of Russians are happy. According to a new Gallup International/WIN poll, 56 percent of Russians considered themselves to be happy in 2016, an increase of 1 percent on 2015. Happy Russians find themselves in good company. Some 68 percent […]

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NEWSWATCH: “LIFE UNDER ALTERNATIVE FACTS” – The New Yorker/Mikhail Iossel

There was no real cognitive dissonance existing in the minds of most people in the Soviet Union of the nineteen-seventies and eighties. Everyone knew that everything said on the radio or on television, everything (with the exception of weather reports or sports results) was a blatant lie, spoken pro forma …. no one was duped into thinking this was actually […]

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NEWSLINK RBTH: “Russia takes 119th place in global health ranking. Lower-than-expected score attributed to high rate of alcoholism and suicide.”

Medical Symbol with Pole, Serpents, Wings, adapted from image at lanl.gov

Russia was rated in the bottom third of a global ranking of population health in a report released last week by British medical journal The Lancet; the country ranked 119 out of 188 nations. The report, based on analysis by 1,800 scientists, graded nations on 33 health indicators approved by the UN in September 2015 as part of the Millennium […]

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Helping Russia’s broken women to get back on their feet

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

Dozens of crisis centers operate in Russia to help women caught up in desperate situations and left without help from their families. Some of them have nowhere to live, while others are trying to get away from their alcoholic, wife-beating husbands. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – OLEG SKRIPNIK, SPECIAL TO RBTH – July 14, 2016) There are three […]

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Muscovites bring flowers to commemorate slaughtered girl, nationalists demand visas for Central Asia

Aerial View of Moscow From Beyond Stadium, file photo

MOSCOW. March 1 (Interfax) – Muscovites are bringing flowers to the Oktyabrskoye Pole metro station to commemorate a young girl, whose nanny was detained near the metro station on Monday with the girl’s head in her hands. There are lots of flowers, some with black ribbons, soft toys, chocolate, candies and candles near the entrance to the metro station. Pedestrians […]

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U.S. National Intelligence Director Says Russia Is Paranoid, Aggressive

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anna Dolgov – February 10, 2016) Russia is “paranoid” about NATO and is likely to continue “aggressive” actions this year to support its claim to great power status, U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper said in Senate testimony Tuesday. In a report on “Worldwide Threat Assessment” that Clapper presented to the Senate, Russia topped a […]

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Russia’s Suicide Rate Falls to 50-Year Low

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 10, 2016) The number of suicides in Russian totaled 24,982 last year – the lowest number in 50 years, the RBC news website reported Wednesday, citing official statistics data. RBC also reported that last year there were 17.1 cases of suicide per 100,000 people, which is lower than in 1962, when 17.4 suicides for […]

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Russia’s Sole Sexual Assault Center Struggles to Make Ends Meet

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Vasily Kolotilov – October 21, 2015) Russia has only one organization that exists specifically to help victims of sexual assault, and today, its fate hangs in the balance. The Sisters sexual assault recovery center in Moscow is eking out an existence, depending on modest donations and barely able to cover the rent and phone bill […]

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Ukrainians Will Need a Generation to Overcome Trauma from Russian War, Émigré Psychotherapist Says

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

(Paul Goble – Staunton, August 18, 2015) Madlen Rozenblum, an émigré psychotherapist who has been helping Ukrainians with Skype consultations and training sessions, says that Ukrainians are going to need a generation or even more to overcome the traumas inflicted on them by Russian aggression there. While different Ukrainians have experienced the trauma of war differently, she told Novy Region […]

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RBTH: How effective is Russian drive to combat ISIS recruiters?

Map of Area Spanning Portions of Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, highlighting military engagements against ISIL

People in both Russian diplomatic circles and the security forces have been describing Islamic State (ISIS) as a “real threat” for a long time now. On Aug. 1 a hotline will start working in Russia for those whose friends or family members have joined ISIS. With experts warning that ISIS cannot be defeated with force alone, RBTH found out what […]

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NEWSLINK AP: In east Ukraine psychiatric ward, war deepens mental wounds

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Whenever the bombs fell, the men and women in the psychiatric ward would huddle in terror around fellow patient Valentina Izotova, a stout, maternal-looking woman, and she would read to them from her favorite book. They hardly understood a word, but her voice soothed them.

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Nearly 90% of Russians Oppose Polygamy, Poll Shows

Caucasus Map of Chechnya and Caucasus Environs

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Jennifer Monaghan – June 3, 2015) Weeks after a Chechen police chief took a 17-year-old local girl as his second bride, a state-run pollster has revealed that 87 percent of Russians stand opposed to the practice of polygamy among the population as a whole. The figure, based on a poll conducted by VTsIOM, represents a […]

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NEWSLINK Euromaidan Press/Colta.ru: The country of triumphant resentment: Yampolskiy on Russia’s loss of reality

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

One of the most striking developments in Russian society has been the explosive growth of aggression simultaneously with a refusal to accept reality, burying it under ideological fictions. This phenomenon cannot be easily explained. It is often chalked up to the unprecedented amounts of television propaganda. While official propaganda explains a lot, it does not explain everything. Not every society […]

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[CALL FOR PAPERS: State of War: Human Condition and Social Orders:] The Russian Sociological Review

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Subject: The Russian Sociological Review Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2015 12:47:05 -0500 From: Nail Farkhatdinov (farkhatdinov@gmail.com) The Russian Sociological Review (sociologica.hse.ru/en), an international peer-reviewed academic journal published by the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (www.hse.ru), invites contributions from philosophy, social sciences and cognate fields for the special issue entitled State of War: Human Condition and Social Orders. […]

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NEWSLINK International Business Times: Ukraine War Forces A Nation To Talk About A Taboo: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Map of Ukraine, Including Crimea, and Neighbors, Including Russia

Many Ukrainians, including soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) associated with a yearlong war that’s killed more than 6,000 people, are leery of going to psychologists. There is still a large stigma attached to seeking psychological care. Some of the field’s practitioners here see a connection to the legacy of Soviet medicine, which focused on treating external ailments, while psychology […]

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Russians Identify with Putin to Cope with Unpredictability He Causes, Moscow Psychologist Says

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, April 1, 2015) The overwhelming support Russians currently give to Vladimir Putin has less to do with approval of his policies than with their need to find a way to cope with the unpredictability and sense of powerlessness his regime and the world around them have produced, according to Marina Arutyunyan, a Moscow […]

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NEWSLINK AP: Ukraine’s grinding war stains innocence of childhood

Maidan Square in Kiev, Ukraine

Seryozha colors in his drawing of a tank, lost in thought. Like many 7-year-olds in eastern Ukraine, he has trouble recalling a time before the war. “They’ve always been shooting,” he says, vigorously scratching with the brightest of pencils.   http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_UKRAINE_CHILDREN_OF_WAR?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

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Moscow Times: How the U.S. Struggles to Crack the Putin Code

File Photo of Vladimir Putin and Pilot in Hang Glider Airborne Next to Flying Cranes

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – February 9, 2015) “Who is Mr. Putin?” The ongoing Ukraine conflict has breathed new life into a question that has long stumped Western policymakers and analysts. Efforts to grasp President Vladimir Putin’s logic have all but reduced Western leaders to soothsaying and studying tea leaves, with hundreds of thousands of U.S. taxpayer […]

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Moscow Times: Crimea and Sochi Might Just Have Made Russians a ‘Happy’ People

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – February 5, 2015) Russians were much happier by the end of 2014 than a year earlier, according to a recent survey by WIN/Gallup International, which showed the country’s “happiness index” more than doubling over the past year. The index – which is obtained by subtracting the percentage of respondents who said they were unhappy with […]

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NEWSWATCH: Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome

Vladimir Putin

[“Pentagon 2008 study claims Putin has Asperger’s syndrome” – USA Today – Ray Locker – February 4, 2015] USA Today reports on a U.S. Department of Defense study from 2008, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, theorizing that Russian President Vladimir Putin is autistic, having the neurological condition Asperger’s Syndrome. A study from a Pentagon think tank theorizes … Putin has Asperger’s […]

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RIA Novosti: Top Russian psychiatrist links increased drunk driving to economic strain

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(RIA Novosti – Moscow, November 24, 2014) The Russian Health Ministry’s chief freelance psychiatrist [Zurab Kekelidze] has declared that the number of road traffic accidents involving drunk drivers has risen by 10 per cent in Russia this year, possibly due to psychological strain owing to changes to the international and economic situation. “In the first seven months of 2013 the […]

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Russia Beyond the Headlines: Teaching Moscow’s schoolchildren the value of kindness

File Photo of Boy in Wheelchair Being Dragged Along Stairs

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Fefelova, special to RBTH – April 30, 2014) For the past 10 years, schools in Moscow having been providing their pupils with “kindness lessons”. The classes are run by specialists and provide children with a valuable opportunity to communicate with people with disabilities and develop an understanding of their needs. For the […]

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NEWSLINK: Russians use ‘love’ emoticon on Facebook more than any other

Red Valentine's Heart

[“Russians use ‘love’ emoticon on Facebook more than any other” – San Francisco Business Times – Steven E.F. Brown- February 13, 2014 – bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2014/02/russians-love-emoticon-facebook-berkeley.html?page=all] The San Francisco Business Times reports that the top emoticon for Russian facebook users is the love icon.  Yet researchers at Cal-Berkeley and Cambridge provide a mixed assessment of what that means: Russians choose an emoticon […]

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Do Russians need psychological help?

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Anna Trofimova, RBTH – February 6, 2014) The Soviet experience taught Russians that it was better to suffer than admit the need for help, but times are changing. It should come as no surprise that living in Russia is hard: It’s cold, wages are low and the government is unresponsive. Nevertheless, Russians have […]

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Russia Climbs 8 Spots in World Happiness Report, Ranks 68th of 156

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(RIA Novosti – MOSCOW, September 9, 2013) ­ Russia has become a relatively happier country, but it still ranks below its autocratic neighbor Belarus, according to a UN-sponsored study released by Columbia University on Monday. Russia climbed eight positions in the second annual World Happiness Report, ranking 68th of 156 countries ­ just behind Belarus (66) and the island nation […]

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Contemporary Russians cold, calculating – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, August 20, 2013) A serious change has occurred in the Russian mentality and political system since the breakdown of the Soviet Union, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax. Seventy-four percent of 1,600 respondents polled in 130 towns and cities in 45 regions in July said fellow citizens had changed a lot or entirely in the past two decades […]

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‘Dissident’ Priest Stabbed to Death in Pskov

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Ivan Nechepurenko – August 7, 2013) One of Russia’s most revered priests, widely considered a “dissident priest” for his strong criticism of the Russian Orthodox Church, was stabbed to death on Monday night in the northwestern town of Pskov. Pavel Adelgeim, 75, was found dead by his wife late Monday, with the suspect still at […]

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U.S. Rock Group Ignites New Tensions

Russian Naval Vessel in Ukrainian Port

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Natalya Krainova – August 5, 2013) The performance of popular U.S. rock band Bloodhound Gang was canceled over the weekend after one of its musicians shoved a Russian flag into his underpants at a concert in Ukraine, prompting outrage from Russian officials and calls for an investigation into the possibility that the flag fiasco was […]

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Over half of Russians uncertain of tomorrow – poll

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 29, 2013) One in two Russians gives three (out of five) to the existing economic situation in the city, town or village where the respondent lives, the majority do not feel confidence in tomorrow and their social activity is decreasing, Levada Center sociologists told Interfax. According to the results of the poll held on July 18-22 […]

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Russia has fewer happy people than world average but few unhappy – global poll

Map of Russia

(Interfax – MOSCOW, June 27, 2013) Russia took the 33rd place out of 54 in the rating of the happiest countries. The top ten includes Latin American countries, Finland, Switzerland, Azerbaijan and others. The global survey was held by the Gallup International/WIN, the association of independent pollsters, in over 50 counties, including Russia and the post-Soviet space, where the association […]

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Russian human rights ombudsman urges measures to ensure “real transparency” of psychiatric clinics

Vladimir Lukin file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 26, 2013) Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Lukin said that the tragedy in the psychiatric clinic in Ramensky village in the Moscow region’s Dmitrov district was a consequence of a number of issues in the sphere. “I share deep grief of all relatives and loved ones of the victims. Of course, possible criminal liability for what […]

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Russian citizens mostly happy – FOM poll

File Photo of Crowd of Russians with One Waving Russian Flag

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 25, 2013) Russians are mostly happy with their lives, especially those living in Tyva, Dagestan, Adygea and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, the poll held by the Public Opinion Foundation (FOM) showed. The poll was carried out in 2,220 settlements in 79 Russian regions among 56,900 respondents. A total of 73% Russians consider themselves happy. The following […]

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Whistle-Blower’s Case Revives Concerns Of Punitive Psychiatry In Russia

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – April 18, 2013 – Robert Coalson) The whole process took less than an hour. At 10:26 a.m. on March 18, Lyudmila Popkova was handed a piece of paper ordering her to appear before Moscow Judge Tatyana Neverova. At 11 a.m. the same day. Hustled off to court by investigators, Popkova spent 15 minutes in front of […]

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Russia: A Teenage Suicide Epidemic?

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

(opendemocracy.net – Yelena Vorobyova – March 13, 2013) Yelena Vorobyova is a journalist from Bryansk, Russia Russia has the highest underage suicide rate in Europe. Yelena Vorobyova reports from the Bryansk region, where 10 children have taken their own lives in as many months. Masha says, ‘We can still be friends’. Masha sends hundreds of smiley faces on social networking […]

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Russia Has Biggest Child Suicide Rate in Europe

File Photo of U.S. Diplomat Teaching Class to Russian Students

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) – Russia has the biggest child suicide rate in Europe, the Rospotrebnadzor website reported on Monday. “Russia has the highest suicide rate among children and teens in Europe. The rate has grown by 35%-37% in the recent years. In all, Russia reported about 800,000 suicides from 1990 to 2010,” it said. The child suicide rate continues […]

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Only connect? A staggering lack of communication between citizens can destroy us all

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – February 11, 2013) Anna Arutunyan is the politics editor of The Moscow News In early December in the Siberian city of Barnaul, Vitaly Sidukhinsky, 28, was trying to board a bus with his mother. The doors closed before his mother could get on the bus, and Sidukhinsky, who was mentally disabled and […]

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Moscow’s Top Shrink Proposes Doomsday Censorship

Mayan Temple file photo

MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow’s top psychiatrist backed on Tuesday a recent bid to legislate human emotion by imposing a limit on “negative information” in the media, starting with Apocalypse rumors. Reports about the upcoming doomsday and other soul-crushing news breed hopelessness and increase depression and suicide rates, said Boris Tsygankov, who supervises psychiatric help at the city’s […]

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