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Crime on the Moscow Metro (2012)

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  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: California
  • 3,643 posts
Crime on the Moscow Metro (2012)
Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, April 30, 2017 4:54 AM

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 6,460 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, April 30, 2017 10:07 AM

No real surprise there.  Moscow's a big city, big citys have a criminal element, all of them.  The real surprise to us in the West comes from supposing a country with a kick-butt government and a kick-butt president and no Bill of Rights as we have would have a situation like this, but it happens all right.

Personal example:  Back in the 80's I worked for a gun company and a government official from the former Yugoslavia came calling to arrange for the sale and export to us of some surplus Yugoslavian military weapons.  I drove him to his hotel in New York City and on the way (he spoke excellent English) he asked me if it was safe to do some sight-seeing while he was there.

"Certainly," I said, "If you stick to the famous tourist areas like the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall and the like it's very safe, you'll have no problems.  But I wouldn't be on the streets after dark if I were you!"

"I understand," he said, "There's places in Belgrade you don't want to be after dark either!"  

And this from an agent of a country with another kick-butt government!  It sure surprised me at the time, but now it wouldn't.

And don't misunderstand, I thank God for the Bill of Rights!

  • Member since
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  • From: California
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Posted by DSchmitt on Sunday, April 30, 2017 4:16 PM

Firelock76
  The real surprise to us in the West comes from supposing a country with a kick-butt government and a kick-butt president and no Bill of Rights as we have would have a situation like this, but it happens all right.

The Russian Federation has rights guarenteed in their Constitition.   http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-03.htm

The Soviet Union had several Constitutions over the years that also guarenteed rights.

Of course ultimately such guarentees are only as good as the governments willingness to abide by them. 

 
 
There was an enormous amount of crime the 1920s including banditry and organized crime families (as in the US, probably worse). In the 1930s, state violence (collectivization, suppression of rebellions in Ukraine, Stalin's purges) overshadowed everything else. There was a lot of crime during WWII (including marauding, extrajudicial killings, and even cannibalism during the Siege of Leningrad), but it was hushed down for patriotic reasons. Crime after WWII was also high, as illustrated in the iconic 1980s movie The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed. Perhaps, crime decreased in the late 1950s when the economy picked up and poverty decreased. But quite a few people suffered in various man-made environmental accidents and poorly planned nuclear tests (Totskoye nuclear exercise). The stagnation of the 1970-80s brought a new wave of crime.

Street crime and gang violence were common even in large cities, like Kyiv, Ukraine where I grew up. Groups of drunk young people looking for trouble, hit-and-run accidents, street robberies, burglaries, pick-pockets, scammers, con artists, deadly environmental pollution, and even serial murderers (like Andrei Chikatilo).  I've encountered more than enough myself, and heard of even more from friends and relatives. A number of movies and TV shows in the 1980s focused on contemporary crime (Следствие ведут ЗнаТоКи). Mortality statistics were classified in the USSR, including violent crimes and suicides, as a way to prevent further spread of crime and limit discontent. Overall crime was not uniform across cities and districts, and the police would typically pay more attention to downtowns. So, crime in general and gang violence in particular were higher in uptowns and suburbs. Many gangs in Moscow were named after suburbs (like Lyubertsy).

In Ukraine, the general trend has been for more crime in Russian-speaking areas because they were mostly industrial (Donbass) and touristy (Crimea). Industrial cycles create unemployment, which begets crime. Touristy places bring people with money, free time and inclination for vice.

In Russia, the trend was the opposite - "persons of non-Slavic appearance" were associated with organized crime, gang violence and drugs. This worked in several ways - both through traditions of violence around the Caucusus mountains, and through trade (fruits from Georgia and Armenia, etc) which often became the target of crime groups and provided financing to them through protection racket. Much of Chechen funding for the Chechen war was provided by organized crime operating in Moscow.

I don't think the general trends changed much with the fall of the USSR (except for the Baltic countries that joined the EU), but economic crimes and police corruption have multiplied
 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 11,413 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Tuesday, May 02, 2017 1:21 PM

DSchmitt
Firelock76

The Russian Federation has rights guarenteed in their Constitition.   http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-03.htm

The Soviet Union had several Constitutions over the years that also guarenteed rights.

Of course ultimately such guarentees are only as good as the governments willingness to abide by them. 

 
 
There was an enormous amount of crime the 1920s including banditry and organized crime families (as in the US, probably worse). In the 1930s, state violence (collectivization, suppression of rebellions in Ukraine, Stalin's purges) overshadowed everything else. There was a lot of crime during WWII (including marauding, extrajudicial killings, and even cannibalism during the Siege of Leningrad), but it was hushed down for patriotic reasons. Crime after WWII was also high, as illustrated in the iconic 1980s movie The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed. Perhaps, crime decreased in the late 1950s when the economy picked up and poverty decreased. But quite a few people suffered in various man-made environmental accidents and poorly planned nuclear tests (Totskoye nuclear exercise). The stagnation of the 1970-80s brought a new wave of crime.

Street crime and gang violence were common even in large cities, like Kyiv, Ukraine where I grew up. Groups of drunk young people looking for trouble, hit-and-run accidents, street robberies, burglaries, pick-pockets, scammers, con artists, deadly environmental pollution, and even serial murderers (like Andrei Chikatilo).  I've encountered more than enough myself, and heard of even more from friends and relatives. A number of movies and TV shows in the 1980s focused on contemporary crime (Следствие ведут ЗнаТоКи). Mortality statistics were classified in the USSR, including violent crimes and suicides, as a way to prevent further spread of crime and limit discontent. Overall crime was not uniform across cities and districts, and the police would typically pay more attention to downtowns. So, crime in general and gang violence in particular were higher in uptowns and suburbs. Many gangs in Moscow were named after suburbs (like Lyubertsy).

In Ukraine, the general trend has been for more crime in Russian-speaking areas because they were mostly industrial (Donbass) and touristy (Crimea). Industrial cycles create unemployment, which begets crime. Touristy places bring people with money, free time and inclination for vice.

In Russia, the trend was the opposite - "persons of non-Slavic appearance" were associated with organized crime, gang violence and drugs. This worked in several ways - both through traditions of violence around the Caucusus mountains, and through trade (fruits from Georgia and Armenia, etc) which often became the target of crime groups and provided financing to them through protection racket. Much of Chechen funding for the Chechen war was provided by organized crime operating in Moscow.

I don't think the general trends changed much with the fall of the USSR (except for the Baltic countries that joined the EU), but economic crimes and police corruption have multiplied

Remember to most of us 'boomers', the USSR did it's best to present itself to the rest of the world as the Communist paradise and very few internal problems found their way into the media of the Western world.

It wasn't until the USSR crumbled in 1989 that the rest of the world knew that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was at best being held together by bailing wire, duct tape and chewing gum - not the coheasive empire of evil that we had been taught to fear in the Cold War.

With all the 'political deaths' that have been happening since Putin came to power, it would appear he is trying to bring back the glory days of Stalin.

Nowadays we don't have the safety of our school desks to hide under.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

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