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Old Posted Feb 15, 2017, 8:43 AM
cornholio cornholio is offline
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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
For people in the West during the Cold War era, the common thought was that "USSR = Russia", even though the USSR was a multinational federation of which Russia was just one of fifteen units. Sure, Russia was the largest, but it only made up about 50% of the population. Demographically, Russia's dominance in the USSR wasn't much greater than Ontario's dominance within Canada.

Many people in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia will actually be quite offended if you think of their countries as being "Russian". Their break from the USSR was by far the most "clean", in the sense that they want absolutely nothing to do with any of their former federal partners. It's all about the European Union for them, no questions about it. The popular opinion in all three now is that the Soviets were an illegal occupier and that all the ethnic Russians who moved there in the Cold War era are akin to West Bank settlers. In keeping with this view, Latvia and Estonia actually deny citizenship to ethnic Russians (even those who were born there), on the grounds that they and their parents/grandparents never had a legal right to live there in the first place. In both countries this is something like 20% of the population, denied all democratic rights and rendered legally stateless.
Just to make it clear the opinions of the "regular people" on the ground for the most part differ greatly from those of their politicians and leaders. For 25 years there has been a very concerted effort in eastern Europe to ensure its people align westward and every trick in the book has been used. Its a very complicated subject and not something really anyone from eastern Europe (regardless of country) will ever discuss openly/honestly with any outsider, in fact most people will be insulted if you want to discuss their politics/history with them and at best will tell you what you want to hear or at worse tell you to f off. I just want to make it clear that what happens in the public, and what you hear here in the west, is not representative of the opinions and attitudes of the people from those parts who have a actual history and past that is not as black and white.
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