Tag Archives: Russia

Educational TV in USSR…

When I grew up  in the country called USSR that still existed, I remember myself together with my grandfather watching only educational programs on the national television. There was an educational program of any type to satisfy all different tastes: documentaries, all soccer and ice-hockey matches, Nu Pogodi – the most popular Soviet cartoon, Budilnik (Alarm Clock) – 30 min educational morning program on a selected topic, Travelers’ club, About Animals – a program that would tell children about different species, Master-Flamaster – a program that would teach you how to make different things manually, to sew, make good pictures etc., and Morning Post – educational talk program with music.

The last but no the least, the favourite program of all children brought up in the Soviet Union “Spokoinoi nochi, malishi” (Good night, little ones). This program aired since 1964 would gather ALL children in front the television every day at 20.30 p.m untill 21.00 p.m. The presenter, a well-known figure, accompanied by  five puppet charachters Stepashka(a hare), Filya(a dog), Mishutka (a bear), Karkusha (a crow) and Khrusha(a piglet) would help the puppets to engage in a very good, from the educational point of view, activity like helping a stranger or cleaning one’s own mess  to teach them a moral lesson and show them an example of a good behaviour.  After five minutes the presenter would introduce and show a short educational cartoon. After the cartoon, the presenter and the puppets would tell the audience “Good night, little ones…sleep tight” and would close the program with a lullaby “Spyat ystalie Igrushki…”(Tired toys are going to sleep) that every child would sing together with them before going to bed at 21.00 p.m.

Corruption in Russia since 1996

According to Transparency International, corruption in Russia has become much worse since Vladimir Putin became the president of Russia. According to their Report in 2010, Russia took 154 place out of 178 countries. The myth that Putin has done a lot to fight the corruption in the country remains a myth and the situation is deteriorating every year. Putin and his government often speak of corruption as a syndrome of the 90ies but the Transparency International Reports show the opposite.

Below is a graph that shows Russia’s place according to the Corruption Index of Transparency International starting from 1996 (second presidential term of Eltsin).

Putin’s inauguration speech today

“Dear friends” Vladimir Putin (just like in May 2000) started his inauguration speech today at the Kremlin where he, for the third time in the history of Russia, became the president. Exactly like in 2000, Putin, at the beginning of his speech, mentioned how much responsibility he feels for his COUNTRY and his PEOPLE and that he will do everything to keep the trust of the people.

It almost goes without saying, that the issue of DEMOCRACY was brought up, but it is the STABILITY and CONTINUITY that counts most. Of course he mentioned our great history, difficult past, decisive years to come and hopes in a great, promising future for each single citizen of Russia. He continued by saying that “We will achieve our goals if we are a united and cohesive nation, if we cherish our Motherland, strengthen Russian democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms, encourage citizens’ participation in governing the country, in shaping the national agenda.” But let me stop here for a moment…..how about Russian gay movement protesters that  are constantly rejected, attacked, censored and can’t even publicly demonstrate their rights? What about arrests of thousands of protesters for “Fair Election” including many journalists and political figures? Aren’t they trying to “participate in governing the country, shaping the nation’s agenda”?

One thing actually stroke me in his speech. In 2000 Putin appealed to people who voted for a different candidate, saying that we should still work together for our common future. Who knows why our newly elected President did not even wished to bring this topic up in his 2012 inauguration speech?

Nothing new in this world….. Nothing new in Putin’s speech….. Nothing new in Putin’s presidency?

“Dear friends,

Assuming the Presidency of the Russian Federation, I understand all my responsibilities to my country. Its interests, safety, welfare of citizens of the country have always been and will always remain for me above everything else. I will do everything to earn the trust of millions of citizens. I believe that the meaning of my life and my duty is to serve my motherland, serve our people, whose support encourages and helps to solve the most complex and difficult tasks.

Together we have gone through a long and difficult path, we have believed in ourselves, in our force, we have strengthened the country, regained the dignity of a great nation, the world saw a revival of Russia, and this is the result of the efforts of our people, common hard work, where there is a personal contribution of each of you. Today we have all to move forward, to build up: a capable and growing state, a strong economic and social base, active and responsible civil society. I see a great merit of Dmitry Medvedev in that. His presidency has provided the continuity and sustainability of the country, gave further impulses to the modernization of all aspects of our lives. Ahead of him there are very complex and responsible tasks. I wish him good luck.

Today we are entering a new phase of national development, we need to solve the problems of a completely different level, of different quality and size. The coming years will be decisive for the fate of Russia in the decades ahead. And we all need to understand that the life of future generations, the historical perspective of the state and our nation depends today mainly on us, on the real progress in creating a new economy and modern standards of living, on our efforts to care and support people and Russian families, on our persistence to arrange the huge Russian territory from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean, on our ability to become leaders and the center of attraction for the whole of Eurasia.

We will achieve our goals if we are a united and cohesive nation, if we cherish our Motherland, strengthen Russian democracy, constitutional rights and freedoms, encourage citizens’ participation in governing the country, in shaping the national agenda. The desire of each of us for a better life should be embedded in the joint work for the prosperity of the country. We will succeed if we rely on a solid foundation of cultural and spiritual traditions of our multinational people, on our ancient history, on the values that have always been the moral basis of our lives, if each of us lives according to conscience, faith and love for our homeland and our loved ones, taking care of our children’s happiness and well-being of our parents. We want and we will live in a democratic country where everyone has the freedom and space for applying one’s talent and labor. We want and we will be living in the successful Russia, which is respected worldwide as a reliable, open, fair and predictable partner. I believe in the power of our common goals and ideals, in our determination to transform the country by the joint actions of citizens, in our common wish for freedom, truth and justice.We are ready for future tests and future challenges. Russia has a great history and also a great future. And we will work with the faith in soul, with a sincere and pure thoughts.

Thank you!”

Articles by Vladimir Putin seen by Wordle

This post is probably more interesting for my Russian readers. As many of you might know, Vladimir Putin had not participated in a single debate with his opponents for the post of the President of the Russian Federation. He, instead, has written a set of articles about my country, that are published on his the official site. I used the tag cloud software Wordle to run the full texts of his articles to analyse the most frequent words.

“Democracy and the quality of the government”

“Russia and Changing world”

“Economic Tasks”

“Russia muscles up – the challenges we must rise to face”

“Russia: The ethnicity issue”

Presidential Elections in Russia, March 2012

Map on the final results of votes for Vladimir Putin by Regions.


Public transport in Russia in 1992 and 2010

This morning for the first time I started using an online visualization software "Many Eyes" where you can upload your own data and create visualizations in different formats.