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Union maniac as a phenomenon of the subculture of the Union of admirers
Union Punk is a wide circle of like-minded people who respect the era of the Soviet Union.
In many cities and countries of the former USSR there were fans who willingly share their memories with the same fans.
Proud of old times, constantly compare reality with the past.
THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN RUSSIA 1997Date of publication: 2017-10-18 16:23:08
Дата модификации: 2017-10-18 16:23:08
The article is timed to the date: 1997-01-01
Other articles related to: Date1997-01-01 Articles for: Year1997
Russia is currently going through a very turbulent economic period and, barring several zillion dollars in foreign aid and investment, it is going to take some time for the economy to stand on its feet. The former centrally-planned and administered state sector is simultaneously being dismantled and collapsing of its own accord, resulting in serious dislocation and hardship for millions of people. In the old days, though things weren't great, everyone was able to get by with a bit of grit and hustle, though to hear some people tell it, the days of Brezhnev were the days of milk and honey and, more importantly, cheap plentiful vodka. Today the state is financially unable to support the citizens that kept it propped up for so long; public sector salaries (for doctors, teachers, government functionaries, etc.) are appallingly low, as are pensions, and child support is virtually non-existent.
On the other hand, St. Petersburg is teeming with a free-market frenzy that would give Adam Smith goosebumps. There has never been such a large selection of consumer goods available and all the wonderful manifestations of a new-born market economy (bribery, gambling, prostitution, and organized crime) are everywhere. A new class of successful entepreneurs grows daily, many of them extraordinarily young, complete with flashy imported cars, Swiss bank accounts, and brightly colored double-breasted suits.
As a foreigner with convertible currency you are widely considered to be rich beyond means which is therefore license for anyone to try to squeeze as much out of you as possible on the scientifically proven theory that "$20 means a lot more to me than it does to you." The incredible bargains of old are rapidly disappearing as prices reach and in some cases overtake world levels, leaving only a few items (public transport, bread) still dirt cheap. Most of the population has unfortunately been reduced to abject poverty, a reality of which you should try to be understanding, though not too understanding or you will be mercilessly taken to the cleaners.
Corollary #1: Inviting People to your Country
Very few Russians have been further west than Minsk and thus they are extremely fascinated by whatever's out there. Most people express a desire to go West for a look-round or, even better, to find some work and make some precious hard currency. We at Fresh Air certainly do. Most countries require that Russian citizens be officially invited by a native of that country before they can be eligible for a visa. Be aware that you will be responsible for the health, well-being, and lawful conduct of your Russian guest(s). Should your guest be hospitalized or commit a major felony you may be held responsible to pay their hospital bills or to serve time as an accomplice to their actions in your country. Be careful and be sure. While we don't advise you to categorically refuse to invite anyone, it couldn't hurt to check with your consulate or embassy as to both the procedures and the responsibilities.
Corollary #2: Love
"Russian woman, 24, will marry foreigner..." Ads like this appear in English-language newspapers here as well as in the twinkling eyes of attractive young women in microscopic skirts who hang out in the fancier bars and night clubs. We wouldn't dare suggest that you're not the sexy hunk he or she says you are, but a foreign romantic partner is something very highly prized here for both financial reasons and the exit potential. People susceptible to heartbreak are advised to give some time to any romantic liason(s) entered into before making a commitment. If you are set on getting married, check with your consulate for immigration and naturalization procedures (we're sure your future spouse will also be interested in these procedures).
Corollary #3: Shady Business Deals
It is not uncommon for acquaintances to propose some kind of sweet sounding deal or joint venture. Though this may be the largest, richest, and fastest growing market on the planet, common sense is still the most valuable local commodity. If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. You may be a respected expert in your field back home but the fact of the matter is you probably don't know diddly-squat about business realities here. It is worth mentioning that business trust is a two-sided coin, and Russian business people are usually wary and slow to trust foreigners, often with good reason. And if someone offers to sell you St. Isaac's Cathedral, don't believe it - we already traded it for the Golden Gate Bridge (and we got burned).
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Article description: Russia is currently going through a very turbulent economic period and, barring several zillion dollars in foreign aid and investment, it is going to take some time for the economy to stand on its feet.
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