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In Soviet Russia....
 

Dr.Matt581
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Join date: Feb 2012
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SteelyD wrote:
I would just like to thank the Russian government for Anna Chapman.



She is a very beautiful woman. She is actually from the same city as I am. Her father was a big shot in the party, but I don't remember what he did. She was actually arrested a couple of years ago and was deported back to Russia.

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thethirdruffian
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Join date: Sep 2011
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Dr.Matt581 wrote:
SteelyD wrote:
I would just like to thank the Russian government for Anna Chapman.



She is a very beautiful woman. She is actually from the same city as I am. Her father was a big shot in the party, but I don't remember what he did. She was actually arrested a couple of years ago and was deported back to Russia.



Just came out Chapman tried to pull the Honey Trap with someone in the Obama Admin.

They should have used a pretty boy.

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Dr.Matt581
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Big_Dave wrote:
Matt, I've thoroughly enjoyed this thread so far. I want to thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us and now a few questions from me.

Did your apartment come with its on bathroom or did you share one with the people in your building? Did you guys have both hot and cold water at all times? What about heat during the winters. Did your family have a heater or a wood burning stove or fireplace? You mentioned your mother was a mathematician. Did she teach or did most women stay in the home?

I find reading about your experiences very interesting. Once again thanks for your time and this thread.


No, the communal apartments were mostly done away with thanks to Khrushchev. They still existed, but many people had single family apartments with their own bathrooms and kitchens and all. Hot water was unreliable, but it wasn't usually that bad. I do remember in the winter of 87 that we went for almost 2 weeks without hot water (the smell was horrible), but it was rare to go more than a couple days without hot water. It was worse in the winter, of course, but for the most part we had hot water. Heat was a little less reliable than hot water, but we would just huddle together for warmth. The lack of heat wasn't that big a deal to us. We are Russian, being cold is just a part of life.

My mother worked at the Volgograd State Pedagogical Institute. Women's rights were guaranteed by the Soviet Union and they had the same access to school and equality in the workplace. That was the theory at least. Women in the Soviet Union certainly did have the same access to education as men, but they experienced a fair amount of discrimination and rarely held top positions in any field.

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Dr.Matt581
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Aggv wrote:
Dr. Matt i know you're loaded with questions, but anyways...

I'm used to walking into my food stores, and i think "wow, look at all this processed crap food, full of chemicals i cant pronounce and high fructose corn syrup, fucking gross" Does that enter your mind at all? Is that something ex-soviet residents would laugh at and call spoiled american syndrome? Obviously id rather eat overly processed food instead of no food, but it's been something i think about often when shopping.


You mentioned you're family is from the Volgograd region. Did you or family/friends ever have any "supernatural" encounters? I ask because Gettysburg is often called the most haunted place in America from the amount of death that happen there, but the Battle of Stalingrad is one of the most disturbing things ive EVER read about (really the whole eastern front, but Stalingrad was the worst) I know it's been rebuilt unlike the Gettysburg site, but still curious.

I would love to visit Mamayev Kurgan some day.


I don't really think about stuff like processed foods, at least not to the extent that health nuts here in America do. I am not going to go out of my way to avoid restaurants that use preservatives and other stuff in their foods. At home, I have a very simple diet, Usually meat, milk, eggs, rice, and vegetables, but I don't feel the need to buy "organic" foods. My fiancee makes wonderful curry.

I have never had any "supernatural" experiences in Volgograd, but I don't buy into that stuff anyway. There are people who claim that that stuff goes on there, but I just don't buy it. I think those Ghost Hunters jackasses actually did an episode in Volgograd, but I am not sure.

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Bellmar
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Join date: Apr 2007
Posts: 255

Hey Dr. Matt.

We do have a tendancy to import some pretty BA Physics and Math professors from the Eastern Block.. I don't know you personally, but if you're anything like my Russian undergrad professors, who taught EMAG & Waves and Optics, you are the kind of professor you hate while you have them, but love after you move up to take classes that use the material they taught.

And as another poster noted, they also have a pretty great sense of humor about things.

Thanks for the information about life in the SU. It's extremely interesting, keep it up.

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Dr.Matt581
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Jewbacca wrote:
I actually know the answer to this, but I'd love to hear what the Soviets taught about WWII (the Great Patriotic War) from someone who sat through the classes.

Of particular interest to Westerners would be:

1. Stalin's pact with Hitler re: Poland. How is this spun?

2. The American supplies to the Soviets prior to actively getting into the war. Was this mentioned?

3. My former Soviet friends in Israel became addicted to shows about D-Day and the like, as they were basically told the West did nothing to defeat the Axis. Curious what you were and were not taught.

4. The nuking of Japan.


1. The official position was that Stalin entered into that pact to buy time to fortify the Soviet Union and strengthen our defenses and combat forces and to secure a buffer against the German war machine.

2. The American aid given to the Soviet Union was very much downplayed by the teachers in the Soviet Union. It was barely even mentioned (I think it was brought up once in class), but most people old enough to have lived through WW2 had at least some idea of the extent of American aid we received, so we occasionally heard some stories from older folks, but they never said much about it since it was dangerous.

3. We were pretty much taught that the Soviet Army had all but defeated the Nazi's single handed. Western contributions, especially American, were downplayed or not taught at all. We were taught that the Western nations were being overwhelmed by the Nazis and were only able to hold onto any ground at all was the fact that we were winning and killing them in the East. Also, the hardships and lack of weapons and ammunition of our own forces were downplayed (but former soldiers did tell stories so it wasn't that big of a secret.

4. It was taught as one of the ultimate evils of the West. It was taught that the US used the atomic bombs more to intimidate the Soviet Union then to end the war in Japan, and that the US would rather target civilians with atomic weapons rather then engage the Japanese military was used to teach that Americans are weak and cowards. It was very effective at convincing us that Americans were weak, cowardly, and evil.

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Dr.Matt581
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Chushin wrote:
Thanks again, Matt.

I'd like to ask you about something else. Almost without exception, the Russians that I've had contact (mostly superficial) with here in Japan have been, well, less than polite to me. Have I just been unlucky in who I've come across, do you think? Is it a cultural thing? Is there some antipathy toward Americans?


We are an intense people, but not usually rude to people who have not offended us and I don't see you as doing that. Maybe you have run into mainly diehard pro-Soviet Union types who hate Americans. There is still some antipathy toward Americans, but nothing that would cause the general population to act that way.

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lanchefan1
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Join date: Feb 2003
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Matt first let me start by saying thank you for sharing so much of your personal history with all of us. Being a child of the cold war myself it is very interesting to read what was taught to you from you perspective (as I learned much of the same about the Soviet Union - which was very little).

I've heard similar stories from other Russians that have moved here as well.

One thing I have run into in my profession is what I can only describe as fear and distrust towards those of us that do police and fire. Could you elaborate (it would help me greatly in my job)?

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Dr.Matt581
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Agressive Napkin wrote:
Haven't had a chance to read the whole thread (sleep time), but it's very interesting stuff so far!

What I'm getting is a real "fuck the Soviet Union" vibe, but I was wondering what good things there were, either before or after the fall, or about Russian people culturally/in general. I have a hard time imagining any place totally bereft of positive things, so I was wondering if anyone could talk on that point a little more. Sorry if this has already been addressed.


I have touched on a few of the not so bad parts of the Soviet Union (healthcare, railways, women's rights), but the bad things about life in the Soviet Union far outweigh the good, and this is not a thread about being politically correct and pointing out good things to counterbalance the bad things I have told people about. This thread is about life in the Soviet Union, and life in the Soviet Union was not good. And yes, this thread very much has a "fuck the Soviet Union" vibe to it. That is the correct way to feel about the Soviet Union. If you don't feel that way, read this thread again and ask yourself if living that way is worth the very few benefits like universal health care. If you do, get your head checked. If not, well, fuck the Soviet Union.

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Dr.Matt581
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thethirdruffian wrote:
Not particularly relevant, but I bought a 1940s vintage Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle at a gun show on a whim. (It was like a $100.)

After hunting high and low for ammo, I found a pack of 1,000 rounds for like cheapness, took it out back to shoot the thing.

I THINK I managed to hit the side of the barn, but I KNOW I almost broke a bone, so it re-retired after one shot.

It's now on a shelf, waiting as last resort for the zombie apocolypse, after more civilized weaponry.


I have never shot a gun before, but a friend of mine has one of those and told me pretty much the same story. It must be one powerful gun.

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Dr.Matt581
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lanchefan1 wrote:
Matt first let me start by saying thank you for sharing so much of your personal history with all of us. Being a child of the cold war myself it is very interesting to read what was taught to you from you perspective (as I learned much of the same about the Soviet Union - which was very little).

I've heard similar stories from other Russians that have moved here as well.

One thing I have run into in my profession is what I can only describe as fear and distrust towards those of us that do police and fire. Could you elaborate (it would help me greatly in my job)?


Police officers in the Soviet Union were very corrupt. They would beat people (sometimes even in public) and rob us, falsify evidence and worse, so that is a big reason why we tend to be very mistrustful and wary of cops.

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lanchefan1
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Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1193

Dr.Matt581 wrote:
lanchefan1 wrote:
Matt first let me start by saying thank you for sharing so much of your personal history with all of us. Being a child of the cold war myself it is very interesting to read what was taught to you from you perspective (as I learned much of the same about the Soviet Union - which was very little).

I've heard similar stories from other Russians that have moved here as well.

One thing I have run into in my profession is what I can only describe as fear and distrust towards those of us that do police and fire. Could you elaborate (it would help me greatly in my job)?


Police officers in the Soviet Union were very corrupt. They would beat people (sometimes even in public) and rob us, falsify evidence and worse, so that is a big reason why we tend to be very mistrustful and wary of cops.


Very understandable, what about fire/ems?

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Dr.Matt581
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Bellmar wrote:
Hey Dr. Matt.

We do have a tendancy to import some pretty BA Physics and Math professors from the Eastern Block.. I don't know you personally, but if you're anything like my Russian undergrad professors, who taught EMAG & Waves and Optics, you are the kind of professor you hate while you have them, but love after you move up to take classes that use the material they taught.

And as another poster noted, they also have a pretty great sense of humor about things.

Thanks for the information about life in the SU. It's extremely interesting, keep it up.


I have been described that way by many of my students. My classes tend to be much harder then regular, but my students tend to do much better in their higher level class then other students. One of the main thing that sets us apart is that we force students to learn. One major trend that I have noticed over the past few years is that teachers and professors are "dumbing down" the material in order to make the classes easier to understand and help students pass. This is just plain stupid. Our job as educators is to help bring students up to the level of the material being taught, not bring the material down to their level. If their level of knowledge and understanding was good enough, they wouldn't be students.

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Dr.Matt581
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lanchefan1 wrote:
Dr.Matt581 wrote:
lanchefan1 wrote:
Matt first let me start by saying thank you for sharing so much of your personal history with all of us. Being a child of the cold war myself it is very interesting to read what was taught to you from you perspective (as I learned much of the same about the Soviet Union - which was very little).

I've heard similar stories from other Russians that have moved here as well.

One thing I have run into in my profession is what I can only describe as fear and distrust towards those of us that do police and fire. Could you elaborate (it would help me greatly in my job)?


Police officers in the Soviet Union were very corrupt. They would beat people (sometimes even in public) and rob us, falsify evidence and worse, so that is a big reason why we tend to be very mistrustful and wary of cops.


Very understandable, what about fire/ems?


I don't really know on that one. There weren't too many problems with those guys behaving like that. Maybe it is something to do with your local community?

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SteelyD
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Join date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12077

Dr.Matt581 wrote:
thethirdruffian wrote:
Not particularly relevant, but I bought a 1940s vintage Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle at a gun show on a whim. (It was like a $100.)

After hunting high and low for ammo, I found a pack of 1,000 rounds for like cheapness, took it out back to shoot the thing.

I THINK I managed to hit the side of the barn, but I KNOW I almost broke a bone, so it re-retired after one shot.

It's now on a shelf, waiting as last resort for the zombie apocolypse, after more civilized weaponry.


I have never shot a gun before, but a friend of mine has one of those and told me pretty much the same story. It must be one powerful gun.


In Soviet Russia, gun shoot YOU!














Thank you, thank you... I'll be here all week.... Try the pork!

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Chushin
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Join date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7449

Dr.Matt581 wrote:
Chushin wrote:
Thanks again, Matt.

I'd like to ask you about something else. Almost without exception, the Russians that I've had contact (mostly superficial) with here in Japan have been, well, less than polite to me. Have I just been unlucky in who I've come across, do you think? Is it a cultural thing? Is there some antipathy toward Americans?


We are an intense people, but not usually rude to people who have not offended us and I don't see you as doing that. Maybe you have run into mainly diehard pro-Soviet Union types who hate Americans. There is still some antipathy toward Americans, but nothing that would cause the general population to act that way.


Thanks.

BTW, as a second language speaker myself, I find your command of English to be truly amazing. I would never guess that it is your second language (and I've known some folks who were VERY good, but had subtle telltale signs).

How the hell did you manage that? :-)

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Chushin
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Join date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7449

SteelyD wrote:
Dr.Matt581 wrote:
thethirdruffian wrote:
Not particularly relevant, but I bought a 1940s vintage Soviet Mosin-Nagant rifle at a gun show on a whim. (It was like a $100.)

After hunting high and low for ammo, I found a pack of 1,000 rounds for like cheapness, took it out back to shoot the thing.

I THINK I managed to hit the side of the barn, but I KNOW I almost broke a bone, so it re-retired after one shot.

It's now on a shelf, waiting as last resort for the zombie apocolypse, after more civilized weaponry.


I have never shot a gun before, but a friend of mine has one of those and told me pretty much the same story. It must be one powerful gun.


In Soviet Russia, gun shoot YOU!














Thank you, thank you... I'll be here all week.... Try the pork!


Youz funny, SD!

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Tex Ag
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Join date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2811

Matt, I remember reading an article about Moscow where a citizen said something to the effect of, "Americans see everything as black and white; Russian, 90% is grey." Does that strike you are fair? If so, could you explain it a bit?

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Dr.Matt581
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Join date: Feb 2012
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Chushin wrote:
Dr.Matt581 wrote:
Chushin wrote:
Thanks again, Matt.

I'd like to ask you about something else. Almost without exception, the Russians that I've had contact (mostly superficial) with here in Japan have been, well, less than polite to me. Have I just been unlucky in who I've come across, do you think? Is it a cultural thing? Is there some antipathy toward Americans?


We are an intense people, but not usually rude to people who have not offended us and I don't see you as doing that. Maybe you have run into mainly diehard pro-Soviet Union types who hate Americans. There is still some antipathy toward Americans, but nothing that would cause the general population to act that way.


Thanks.

BTW, as a second language speaker myself, I find your command of English to be truly amazing. I would never guess that it is your second language (and I've known some folks who were VERY good, but had subtle telltale signs).

How the hell did you manage that? :-)


It is because I am typing and can take my time and think about how to properly "say" things, as well as to read over and revise what I have written. Speaking to me in real life is much different.

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Dr.Matt581
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Tex Ag wrote:
Matt, I remember reading an article about Moscow where a citizen said something to the effect of, "Americans see everything as black and white; Russian, 90% is grey." Does that strike you are fair? If so, could you explain it a bit?


I don't know who said that, but I don't agree with that at all. Russians, as a people, tend to view things as they are instead of some idealized fantasy that I noticed many Americans tend to view things as (that was not meant to be an attack or insult to Americans). If something is white, we view it as white, same with black and grey.

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roybot
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thethirdruffian wrote:


It's now on a shelf, waiting as last resort for the zombie apocolypse, after more civilized weaponry.


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Dr.Matt581
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roybot wrote:

thethirdruffian wrote:


It's now on a shelf, waiting as last resort for the zombie apocolypse, after more civilized weaponry.




I was thinking of the exact same thing, but was too lazy to look up a pic of Obi-wan.

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Tex Ag
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Join date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2811

Dr.Matt581 wrote:
Tex Ag wrote:
Matt, I remember reading an article about Moscow where a citizen said something to the effect of, "Americans see everything as black and white; Russian, 90% is grey." Does that strike you are fair? If so, could you explain it a bit?


I don't know who said that, but I don't agree with that at all. Russians, as a people, tend to view things as they are instead of some idealized fantasy that I noticed many Americans tend to view things as (that was not meant to be an attack or insult to Americans). If something is white, we view it as white, same with black and grey.


Actually, I think your response fits. Americans, it is theorized, tend to consider things in a rather dualistic way, ignoring all the complicating space in between. Sounds like, from what you wrote, y'all deal with the stuff in between becaus

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thethirdruffian
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Dr.Matt581 wrote:
roybot wrote:

thethirdruffian wrote:


It's now on a shelf, waiting as last resort for the zombie apocolypse, after more civilized weaponry.




I was thinking of the exact same thing, but was too lazy to look up a pic of Obi-wan.


I was actually referring to my M4, any of the various shotguns, pistols, other rifles whatever I own, even my Weatherby .300 I've used to kill elk.

The Mosin is just a terrible rifle, iron sites, etc. What keeps them around is they were cheap, plentiful, forgiving of poor maintenance, forgiving of ill-fitting ammo, and a peasant who never held a rifle before can be taught to use one in about 45 seconds.

Consider them the Trabant of rifles. Perfect symbol of the Soviet Union.

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lanchefan1
Level 3

Join date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1193

Dr.Matt581 wrote:
lanchefan1 wrote:
Dr.Matt581 wrote:
lanchefan1 wrote:
Matt first let me start by saying thank you for sharing so much of your personal history with all of us. Being a child of the cold war myself it is very interesting to read what was taught to you from you perspective (as I learned much of the same about the Soviet Union - which was very little).

I've heard similar stories from other Russians that have moved here as well.

One thing I have run into in my profession is what I can only describe as fear and distrust towards those of us that do police and fire. Could you elaborate (it would help me greatly in my job)?


Police officers in the Soviet Union were very corrupt. They would beat people (sometimes even in public) and rob us, falsify evidence and worse, so that is a big reason why we tend to be very mistrustful and wary of cops.


Very understandable, what about fire/ems?


I don't really know on that one. There weren't too many problems with those guys behaving like that. Maybe it is something to do with your local community?



LOL no I don't think it is that, we were wearing our button shirts with our badges on them, so I can see the apprenhension (we look just like a cop).

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