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World Association of International Studies

Post Russian Orphanages and Politics
Created by John Eipper on 01/16/13 2:34 AM

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Russian Orphanages and Politics (Istvan Simon, USA, 01/16/13 2:34 am)

Gilbert Doctorow (15 January) is usually derisive of Russians who oppose Putin's government. Why does he call them "democrats" in quotation marks? And what evidence does he have that those who write about orphanages in Russia are "democrats" or democrats, or otherwise? Why is writing about orphans a necessarily political act? It is not.

I am afraid that Gilbert's post has no logic nor any reasonable argumentation in defense of a policy of the Russian government that harms the most vulnerable of Russia's citizens.

It was President Putin who unnecessarily politicized this issue, not the Western parents who adopt Russian orphans, nor obviously the poor orphans who suffer because Putin is playing political games with their lives. Shame on Putin, that is all I can say.

I have not seen a single rational argument in WAIS in favor of the anti-adoption legislation.

Gilbert's latest post is quite interesting as an analysis of politics in Russia, but what does that have to do with orphanages? Preciously little. And if Gilbert knows an orphanage in which extremely dedicated people work, does that mean that that is the norm in Russia rather than the exception? The statistics that were cited here seem to indicate that Russians do not adopt many orphans, and therefore that orphans suffer in Russia, even if we were to assume that Russian orphanages are not bad and are staffed by extremely loving and dedicated people. Even if that were the case, it is still an uncontested fact here that many Russian orphans suffer because they are never adopted, but rather turned loose on the streets when they reach adulthood. This is a human tragedy, and Gilbert seems totally unconcerned by it. But it is this which is the issue, not what Zhirinovsky's party, or the Communists, or Putin's party, etc. stand for.

One final point I'd like to make. Gilbert writes that many in the democratic opposition to Putin have done well in the last decade. I ask: So what? Does doing well economically preclude one from emitting political opinions critical of the Russian government?

JE comments: One parallel point: I understand that both Gilbert Doctorow and Cameron Sawyer's visits to orphanages have been in the capital cities of Moscow and St Petersburg. One assumes that orphanages in the hinterlands have far fewer resources, and provide bleaker lives for the children residing therein.

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