Back in the USSR? Lower expectations, please.

Bremerhaven / DE. (usp) There are no words, because Russia is a beautiful country with a rich culture. Its people are compassionate, capable of suffering, proud. They carry the vastness of their country in their hearts and it is not by chance that there is the term «Russian soul». On the other hand, since the end of the tsarist era, the people have never had the chance to develop a self-determined citizenship from the middle of society. An open society with open opinions that can allow, formulate and live diversity.

Early on, the «Homo Sowjeticus» bludgeoned everything that did not conform to his ideas. Every attempt to break out was overrun with tanks. After several generations of Soviet rule, the memory has faded that Russia too once wanted to live in peace and freedom – without fear. Instead, every reflex has become entrenched that allows people to just somehow get by among lawlessness, repression and corruption. That is the experience. The learned. Under these conditions, an accomplished dictatorship is hardly perceived as such from within.

It is not the only dictatorship in the world that, after generations of indoctrination and manipulation, is hardly perceived as such from within. Globalization may be bringing systems closer together. But for dictatorships, it is at the same time a threat that is repressively fed back inward. In this sense, the great suffering in Ukraine is only an operational accident: What was supposed to be brought «home to the empire» with imperial ideas is now fighting back with hands and feet and Molotov cocktails. Neighbours have their hands tied if they don’t want to set the whole world on fire.

This is difficult, because we would rather support Ukraine directly today than tomorrow. But we don’t need any hot-blooded vows. The only thing that helps is cool-headed politics – and the warmth of the people who care for the refugees and give them support. Collecting millions of euros and sending tons of aid to Ukraine. Meanwhile, more and more well-educated Russians are leaving their homeland and streaming out into the world via South-Eastern Europe, the Baltic States and Scandinavia. To take their lives into their own hands. To be able to breathe freely. One more time, Russia is driving away its best brains.

While homo sovjeticus holds Russia in its grip and harms its people, more and more international companies are losing confidence and leaving the market. After the Scandinavian corporations Fazer, Raisio, Valio and AAK, McDonald’s, Burger King, Coca Cola and others have now also announced their withdrawal from the Russian market. Recent developments in the food industry alone: