Life as they once knew it will never exist again for the citizens of Ukraine. Their former piece of the world is as though it never existed. Those who have escaped the terror of Putin’s killers have nothing to return to. Ukrainian children of tomorrow will never know the greatness of the land once cherished by their elders. A land that’ll take multiple generations to rebuild, if anyone even bothers to.
While the focus over the past three months has remained on the devastating plight of the poor Ukrainians, Russia has maintained a low profile. What we do know is that Vladimir Putin has marched over 15,000 of his soldiers to their deaths. But what’s going on behind the iron curtain where outside news crews aren’t allowed to record every moment of life?
Russia’s citizens are paying the price to please the whims of their leader. Worldwide sanctions have left dust on shelves and whatever does happen to make it on them is priced out of sight by supply and demand.
They may not be getting shelled with incoming missiles but Big Mac attacks are picking ‘em off one-by-one since McDonald’s said “no burgers for you.” McDonald’s was a bright Western light in their dreary country when it arrived on the scene in 1990.
As frustrating as it can be, it’s even more frustrating to have the world’s largest and most comfortable pain-in-the-rear to assemble furniture manufacturer take their toys and leave. Ikea furnished most of the homes in Russia.
Unemployment in Russia is astronomical as more foreign-based companies raise their middle fingers in tribute to Vladimir Putin. Tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared and more are vanishing every day. Job security is a thing of the past even for employees of internally based companies as Russia’s economy suffers blow after endless blow.
Despite mammoth investments in Russia, BP and Shell exited stage left, as did one of its largest employers, Renault automakers. Shell stands to lose at least $5 billion before all is said and done, but they’re standing tall in their decision. The needless loss of innocent lives takes precedence.
Russian oligarchs whose incredible wealth Russia has come to rely heavily on have all set sail to avoid what they see as an impending fall into complete totalitarianism. Younger guys are mimicking the 1960s in the US by fleeing the country in record numbers to avoid the draft they know is coming.
But even this has become more difficult with the U.S., Canada, and the 27 nation E.U. banning both incoming and outgoing flights from anywhere in Russia. Many of those fleeing were taking a short 90-minute flight to Estonia. The same trip now takes 12 hours by way of an alternate route through Instanbul so they can hop on a Turkish airline.
The Russian government has banned Facebook and Instagram which is the lifeblood of every young person, and plenty of adults, in the known universe, so there’s lots of pouting going on.
Foreign websites are no longer accessible. BBC, the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the tell-it-like-it-is German broadcaster Deutsche Welle are things of the past.
How’s everyday life in Russia going? Not so well. The question is…how long are Russia’s oppressed citizens going to remain complacent as their own government destroys their lives? They better act quickly.