Russia: My Experience, by Zack Strong

December 26, 2015 Posted by: Kelly Gneiting

saint_petersburg_city_in_russia-1920x1200Russia has occupied a prominent place in the news as of late. There is a huge internet buzz about everything Russian. I am seeing a very misled and disturbing attitude developing regarding Russia, Russians in general, and Vladimir Putin specifically. I have a good amount of experience in this area and so I wanted to break down, drawing from my own experiences and study, several of the prevalent myths I’m encountering constantly. Of necessity, most of what I write will be very personal. This article will be very different from the much more academic, scholarly series of articles I’m planning for next year on the same subject. Please bear with my indulgence.

First, let me give you a background about my interest in, and experience dealing with, Russia. Many years ago, I developed a strong interest in Russia, particularly Soviet history and communism. At the age of twelve, I had a profound experience which changed my life. I was sitting at a computer reading about Russia when I was struck with the firm impression that the Soviet Union never actually fell, but that it faked its own collapse. I knew in an instant that it was all political theater—an elaborate ruse designed to lull the West to sleep. As far back as Lenin, Russian leaders have been writing and talking about putting on a grand facade of peace so that the West would lay down its arms and go to sleep. This notion entered forcefully into my heart and mind that day sitting in front of the computer. That witness, I believe from the Holy Spirit, has stuck with me and has been confirmed by my continuing study. The USSR never fell; communism is not dead; and Russia poses a greater threat to the world now than ever before. I learned this and know this independent of any other source.

When I was finishing my first semester of college at the University of Alaska—Anchorage, I was contemplating which classes to register for in my second semester. I was sitting up late one night alone looking through the course catalog trying to find an Arabic language course. Instead, when my eyes noticed the listing for a Russian language course, I had a crystal clear thought pop into my mind that I should take Russian. The next day, I signed up for the Russian course. Even though I was deeply interested in Russia and studied about it as often as I could, I had never had any inkling to study the Russian language before that time. Again, I firmly believe I was inspired to take Russian. Two months after successfully completing a semester of Russian, I was called to serve a volunteer two year mission for my church—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—in Moscow, Russia.

I lived in five Russian cities from late 2006 to late 2008 (Moscow, Lobnya, Mitishi, Ramenskaya, and Nizhny Novgorod). I ended my two years as a missionary the same week the Russian-Georgian war began. During my stay there, I spent my time on the street talking to average Russians. My message was primarily a religious one, but I conversed on a multitude of topics, including history and politics and life experiences. I visited with Russians in their homes, went door-to-door looking for receptive individuals, and taught for an English language club. I participated numerous times in an anti-alcohol/cigarette puppet show in many schools. I did service projects in, and had tours of, hospitals. I did community service, picked up trash, distributed clothes to needy people, etc. I lived in Russian housing, shopped at local grocery stores and in the outdoor bazaars, bought items from street vendors, rode the trains, metro, and other forms of public transport, attended cultural events, shows, ballets, circus performances, museums, and much more.

Unlike most Americans who visit Russia, or even those who live there, I actually associated with Russians and lived side by side with them. I didn’t live in one of the several foreign enclaves or shop at the large international stores or have a private car with a driver or go to the upscale hospitals for foreigners. I wasn’t wined and dined, shown around, escorted, or given any privileges. I lived like Russians, ate their food which I bought in their stores, spoke their language, interacted with them on the street, attended their church services, participated in their holiday celebrations such as Easter mass and Victory Day, indulged in their entertainment, played their sports, visited their historical and cultural sites, used local medical facilities, read their literature, lived in their apartment buildings, took the same public transportation they did, dealt with Russian landlords, went to their banks, used their currency, etc. In a word, my experience was different, and far more revealing and authentic and extensive, than the vast majority of foreigners who visit or stay in Russia ever experience. And you certainly can’t learn these things from a book.

In addition to all of that, I had numerous run-ins with Russian police. I once had machine guns pointed in my face by a SWAT team. I was arrested a different time and interrogated by FSB agents after having mugshots taken and being threatened with deportation. On this occasion, my house was searched (and I had several missionary items stolen—which the police called “paraphernalia”). I constantly had the police called on me by Russians who hated Americans or who thought I was suspicious. I had one furious man try to assault me and one of my fellow missionaries. I’ve also visited two “closed” Russian cities—cities off limits to foreigners. Yes, I had many varied and interesting experiences in Russia.

During my two years, I was able to visit the beautiful Ukraine twice and Lithuania once for a several day span. Additionally, I was able to not only live in five Russian cities, but to visit numerous others, including St. Petersburg. In 2009, I returned to Russia and lived for a month with a family I knew. Their apartment was one of the older, communal living buildings. For half of my stay, we visited the Russian countryside and lived in a home with no working plumbing. A month ago, I had an opportunity to once again visit Moscow to assist a family member with translating for his company. However, upon arrival, customs prevented me from leaving the airport because of visa complications.

During the 13 hours or so that I was in the airport, my family back home could not locate me—and I could not contact them (the airport denied to my parents that I was there, refused to page me, and told me that they didn’t have a phone that could call out to America on). My family contacted the U.S. embassy and the State Department. Both sources told them that Russia has been detaining an increasing number of Americans (some of them for lengthy periods), slapping them with fines (such as I received), and generally treating them with contempt. Luckily, I was treated well (or at least with indifference) by almost everyone I dealt with. I believe this was due to the fact that I speak Russian. Whatever the reason, it seemed most people just wanted me out of their hair.

Not only did I live in Russia, but in 2009 I became engaged to a wonderful Russian girl whom I had become friends with back in 2007. In the end, we decided to go our separate ways, though I am still very good friends with her. I have taken other Russian-borne girls on dates since then. I bring these last points up to emphasize in the reader’s mind that I don’t hate Russia. In fact, I love many of the people I met there, am still friends with some of them, and almost married one. I have a lot of love for the people I taught or tried to teach while a missionary. The single most humble, pious man I’ve ever met in my life—a man of truly extraordinary spiritual strength and character—is a Ukrainian who had settled in Russia. I still listen to Russian music and enjoy many points of Russian culture and fashion. And every day before I read scriptures I sing hymns in Russian. I sincerely miss Russian cuisine, such as their superior sour cream and mayonnaise, juice, soups, salads, freshly baked bread, to-die-for shawarma, and fantastic chocolate. So below when I speak very negatively of various aspects of Russian culture, society, or politics, just know that I don’t do so out of blind hatred, some conditioned response, or out of ignorance.

On top of living in Russia and visiting neighboring countries in the region, I have devoted myself for 16 years to studying Russia, the Soviet Union, and the communist conspiracy. This has not been a casual study, but a fervent, constant one—one that I’ve lost a lot of sleep over. The only subject I’ve studied with more vigor is the American Founding Fathers, whom I love dearly. Books such as “The Black Book of Communism,” “From the Gulag to the Killing Fields,” “The Gulag Archipelago,” “The Naked Communist,” “You Can Trust the Communists (to be Communists),” “We Will Bury You,” “Red Cocaine,” “Masters of Deceit,” “The Chief Culprit,” “New Lies For Old,” “The KGB and Soviet Disinformation,” “Through the Eyes of the Enemy,” “Putin’s Russia,” “Putin’s Labyrinth: Spies, Murder, and the Dark Heart of the New Russia,” “Death of a Dissident,” “Survival is not Enough,” and many more works line my bookshelves. I don’t say any of this to brag, but to impress upon you that I’m not just another blogger spouting off an opinion about Russia based on something I saw in a YouTube video or in a movie or that I read on Facebook. I’m not regurgitating something I heard on talk radio. I might not have all the answers, but I do have a fairly clear picture of how the world operates, or globalist conspiracy, and of Russia’s place in the mix. I’m aided by the fact that I speak, read, and write Russian and because of my personal experiences living in Russia and dealing with everyday Russians. Please consider my views as I explain them.

One final word before I begin breaking down several myths about Russia. I increasingly see fawning statements about Russia from people who ought to know better—particularly from certain media personalities whom I agree with more often than not. In some cases, these individuals visited Moscow once on a vacation and suddenly believe they are experts on Russian culture, attitudes, politics, and so forth. Many times, these individuals are wined and dined and driven around in fancy cars from one tourist location to another. This is the resume of an expert? Hardly! Trust me, Russian tourist sites do not represent Russia in the slightest. Not one iota. Russian tourist sites are, in all likelihood, unsurpassed in the world in their awesomeness. They are marvelously kept up, beautiful, and magnificent to behold and experience. Yet, I again stress that these spots are not the real Russia, nor do the Russian workers there represent the man on the street. The Moscow Sheremyetovo Airport is not real Russia. Red Square and the Kremlin are not real Russia. The Hermitage is not real Russia. The big business centers and expos and top notch hotels that foreigners frequent are not real Russia. The newly constructed industrial center in southern Moscow is not real Russia. The real Russia is down on the streets where I spent my two years. With all of this in mind, I ask everyone to open-mindedly consider my views and to learn from my personal experiences.

I first want to address a very prevalent myth about Russia. I keep hearing that Russia is a “Christian nation.” While this is technically true, it is not true in practice. Yes, most Russians are, on paper, Russian Orthodox. Yet, it is a very minuscule number who attend church, who read scriptures, or who live up to Christian ideals. Considering I was a full-time missionary for two years and that my primary focus was discussing religion with people, I deem myself very qualified to speak on this subject. Sadly, church is more like a social function for the vast majority of Russians—as it’s becoming in the United States. They show up on Christmas and Easter, and mostly to gawk at the spectacle, but hardly any other times. On the other hand, you will see many Russians celebrate pagan holidays that the Russian Orthodox Church adopted when it forced the people of Rus to convert from paganism to Christianity. For instance, people show up in droves carrying baskets of apples to have them blessed by their local priest on a given day. This was a pagan ritual that was incorporated long ago.

Indeed, the main people who attend church services regularly in Russia are, ironically, the older generations who grew up under extreme Soviet oppression—but even this is a highly hands-off, detached sort of worship mixed with a high dose of folk superstition (Russians are generally very superstitious). And the younger generations don’t believe in much of anything. The older folks call them “hooligans” and endlessly shake their heads at how unruly, disrespectful, unbelieving, carefree, and amoral they are. Not to toot my own horn, but older Russians frequently told me and the missionaries I was with that they wished young Russians were clean cut, purpose driven, respectful, and believing like we were. They were disgusted at the conduct of Russian youth. Unfortunately, they blamed Western influence for this corruption when in reality they need only look at their own atheistic government and humanistic culture to detect the culprit (though, as I’ll show later, negative Western influences have crept in). In short, most people I met, both old and young, called themselves “unbelieving” or openly told me they were atheists or didn’t believe in God or the notion of right and wrong—it was all subjective.

I address this point because I keep hearing that not only is Russia a Christian nation (with the implication being that therefore they must be our friends because America is ostensibly a Christian nation), but that Russia is the world’s “defender of Christianity.” I see that phrase used a lot on the internet. I also hear people say that Russia is going through a religious revival, which is false. These claims, increasing in popularity, are baffling. Are people forgetting that the communists (who still rule Russia) literally blew up and demolished Christian churches, shot priests, ravished nuns, burned holy books, and persecuted Christians for decades? The Soviets went out of their way to snuff out Christianity! In fact, they persecuted people of all faiths. Their leaders openly declared that they wanted to dethrone God and that Christianity, and Christian character traits such as love, were obstacles to implementing communism. They preached hatred and advocated “revolutionary terrorism” and bloodshed. I believe it is quite possible to claim that no nation has ever done more to destroy Christian faith throughout the world than Russia.

You can see the remarkable success of their wicked efforts in the faces and appearances of Russians today. The average Russian lacks a certain light about them—a brightness of hope and faith. On one occasion in Russia I had family visiting me. They made similar observations about the people. As they put it, Russians look like their spirits are broken. And indeed they are. For this crime, the communists will give an accounting on Judgment Day.

To finish with this point, let me say that when you meet a Russian who is devout and on firm spiritual footing, you can literally spot them out of a crowd. I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. It’s an incredible thing. The difference is night and day. The few Russians who have the Christian fire burning in their hearts stand out like a torch in the dark night. They actually smile (which most Russians don’t). They have a hop in their step. They are marvelous people to be around—modern day pioneers trudging through a dreary wilderness and hostile terrain. No, sadly Russia is not a defender of Christianity or Christian values. It is a godless, materialistic, humanistic society—just the way the Bolsheviks designed it. People who think otherwise need to disabuse themselves of this notion post haste.

Next, I have heard numerous times that Russia is becoming a bastion of masculinity and manliness (or “neo-masculinity,” as one article put it). The first time I read that, I literally laughed. Clearly those who think this have never been to Russia. The stereotype we get from movies and media is that Russians are large, burly, tough, rugged, bearded men—manly men. While this was indeed the case even just 60 years ago, nothing could be further from the truth today. To be frank, I’ve never in my life met men so weak and pathetic and wimpy as the men of Russia. That sounds harsh, but that’s my experience. I would estimate the average Russian man to be about 5’6” and weighing somewhere near 130 lbs. They are beanpole thin with no meat on their bones. When you meet Russians, they shake your hand. On a daily basis, Russian men would gasp out loud in pain as I gave them a simple, average handshake. They were limp-wristed and physically weak and often sickly. It was embarrassing. It was similar to what you often see in men on American college campuses, only to a much deeper level. So many Russian women try to marry foreigners, literally selling themselves in some cases, because the crop of Russian men is so abysmal. There are exceptions, of course, but in general, the type of man I’ve described is the one walking around Russia today.

On top of it all, your average Russian male’s life expectancy is 51. Yes, 51. I know, if you look it up online (for instance, the U.N.’s “official” numbers), you’ll find that it puts their life expectancy in the 60 year old range. But I clipped out of a Moscow newspaper a story where they broke down the national numbers—Russian men on average die at age 51 and Russian women die at age 54. That’s the sad truth, at least, according to local Russian sources.

Why do Russians have such a low life expectancy? There are several key reasons. The first is their rampant alcoholism. I saw one blogger recently write that it’s a myth that Russians are “drunkards,” to use his term. I’m sorry, but this is almost as laughable as saying that Russian men are big and burly and strong. I literally had to step over passed-out Russians on many occasions. You can’t walk down the street without seeing men staggering around or passed out on the street, on benches, on the grass, in the metro. I’ve seen drunk Russians fall down many times and seriously hurt themselves. As missionaries, we often helped both men and women who had become so drunk that they had keeled over and hit their head on the pavement. I’ve seen Russians lose control of their bowels in public on more than one occasion due to their inability to move or function because of alcohol. Some areas wreak unbearably of alcohol, and you can purchase it almost anywhere (and in many stores the alcohol section is several times larger than the food sections). According to another Russian paper I read, Russians spend 1/3 of their annual income on alcohol (another third is spent on fireworks—which are being lit off at all hours all year around—and the rest is spent on the necessities of life). In one city I live in, it was very common to see a Russian walking down the street with a bottle of alcohol in one hand and a cigarette in the other. It’s so normal over there that no one bats an eye.

Cigarettes are another scourge in Russian society. Everybody smokes. The air is filled with vile cigarette smoke. My fellow Americans and I who lived in Russia had a running joke about how many packs of cigarettes we smoked second hand over there. One one occasion, I talked to a fitness nut who had just finished a jog. As I talked to him, and after he had told me what a fitness enthusiast he was, he pulled out his pack of cigarettes and lit up. I pointed out the contradiction, but he wasn’t phased. He was not the only so-called health enthusiast I met who was a cigarette or alcohol addict. I also witnessed grade school children smoking. Sadly, smoking was no big deal to most folks and many Russians look at you as odd when you tell them you don’t smoke.

Another reason Russians die so early is because of AIDS. I haven’t checked the official numbers in a handful of years, but last I knew Russia had the highest rate of AIDS outside of Africa. It’s a horrendous problem! There was an old saying that something rare was “as rare as sex in the Soviet Union.” This is far from the case today. Promiscuity is rampant and very public, as I witnessed with my own eyes. Immorality is commonplace. If people think American girls wear their skirts too high (which they do), they should see how high Russian girls wear them. I commend the beautiful Russian women for dressing far more feminine than American girls do. This is a good thing and accentuates their natural femininity. However, many take this too far and wear clothes fit for a prostitute. And on that note, prostitutes were absolutely everywhere in Russia. If you’ve never seen a dozen prostitutes try to run in heels to their getaway van as word came across their mafia handlers’ radio that the police were coming, it’s quite a sight. There are no moral restraints whatsoever in Russia, and many people openly, and proudly, told me as much. Frequently people told me there was no God, there were no morals, and that I could shove my religion. But what else can be expected from a godless society that acknowledges no deity higher than their own selves? This is the result of generations of collectivism, social conditioning, and militant atheism.

Yet another issue is drug abuse. I lived in one city where you had to be very careful where you walked because there where syringes and hypodermic needles lying all over the ground. I do not jest. They litter the roads in some places. I once stepped on a particularly large thorn that penetrated through my shoe and into my foot. I immediately thought I had been jabbed by one of these disease-laced needles and my heart jumped up into my throat. Another morning I came out of my apartment to find, on the stairs near my door, a syringe and other drug paraphernalia that some poor soul had evidently used to shoot up with. In that same town I mentioned earlier, our church building was located in a particularly run down portion of the city. When we found someone interested in coming to our church services, they’d immediately back out when they discovered where the church building was because it was such a high crime area (every night on my route home I had to walk past a row of prostitutes, past their mafia handlers sitting in their car scanning for police on the radio, and past a property out of which they ran a drug operation, just to give you an idea what type of area we’re talking about). Yes, Russians are killing themselves off with drugs and all the diseases that spread through needles and carelessness.

A further reason Russians die so quickly is because of the utter lack of sanitation and personal hygiene. I had studied Russia for years, but it was not until I got there that I realized how much of a third world country Russia really is. No, it’s not classified as a third world country, but in reality it is in many respects. In most Russian dwellings, toilets are not made to allow you to flush toilet paper. Toilet paper must be placed in a separate trash can and disposed of manually. But no matter, most Russians simply use the street, the metro, parks, or wherever strikes their fancy, to relieve their bowels. Yes, both men and women, and both #1 and #2. It’s common to see women teach their young children to pull down their pants and just go wherever. The entrances to metro stations are often drenched in urine. In my experience, deodorant is rarely used—and it’s very noticeable. Oral care is also less than desirable. Showers are not taken daily and frequently lack hot water due to horrendous plumbing. And try to find a bit of ground outside that someone hasn’t spit on or blew their snot onto. It’s just the truth, folks.

Most people still live in Soviet-era apartment buildings complete with classic Soviet engineering genius (yes, that is sarcasm). Under Krushchev’s reign, the government built a large number of five-story apartments. I lived in one for a period of time. The quality of construction is deplorable, and the plumbing is atrocious. Floors are frequently warped, lighting is horrible, and electricity is spotty. Everything breaks or leaks, and sinks and showers are rusted and corroded. You must manually operate some elevators, and can stop them at will by opening the door.

As indicated previously, hot water is a rare commodity during portions of the year—particularly during the summer when they shut it off to make the extensive repairs that annually need done to the corroded pipes. Heating is spotty. Air conditioning is non-existent (surprisingly, Russia gets hot and humid in the summer). Commodities like dish washers, clothes dryers, and microwaves are very rare. Ovens are dangerous to light and you often singe off hair in the process. And need I mention the rampant cockroach infestations that people put up with as a matter of course?

The water in most homes is undrinkable, even after being cycled through a three-filter system. In fact, it can be very dangerous. It often comes out of the tap colored and containing flakes of who knows what. A report was published in Russia while I was there stating that a government health agency had inspected street vendors in Moscow and determined that 80% of the food sold in the city at these vendors was contaminated by E. coli bacteria. I still ate at the street vendors anyhow because they made the most delicious shawarma. However, I did contract E. coli in the summer of 2007 after eating at a central Moscow street kiosk. It was the sickest I’ve ever been. I couldn’t walk for three days, the whole world was spinning down and to the left, and I was unbearably nauseous constantly. As missionaries, we were also forbidden to eat fish caught in Russian waters because of the dangerously high levels of pollution. In fact, Russian cities occupy two of the top three slots for most polluted cities in the world. Naturally, this makes food dangerous to consume at times, despite the noteworthy fact that Russia provides many natural foods, foods lower in fat and artificial garbage than American food, and much non-GMO food.

I know I’m painting an extremely negative picture, but this really is the truth of life in Russia. At least, it’s the reality in the Russian cities I lived in and frequented. At this point I want to remind people that I really do love the Russian people as well as elements of their culture, art, music, style, and cuisine. Not a day goes by that I don’t fondly remember my two years there and miss some aspect of it. I want the very best for Russia and mourn the fact that they are victims of godless communism and a deliberately designed culture of fear, immorality, and hatred. I hope to again visit someday and see some of my old friends.

I should mention a few additional cultural aspects before moving on. American rap and hip hop culture has fully seized the rising generation of Russians. Most Russians I met preferred American entertainment to Russian entertainment. The number of Russians who love rap and who go around rapping, break dancing, etc, in public, is staggering. One of my Dad’s first comments upon visiting me in Russia was how Americanized everyone looked. Indeed, and not with traditional American values, but with the modern humanistic, self-centered trends of Hollywood. This fact alone nullifies the absurd claim that Russia is moving in the right direction as a society—or that they are moving in a different directions as the United States. No, they are on the same downward trajectory as we are. They influence us, we influence them, and we both continue downward faster and faster. Evil is parasitic by nature and decadent nations feed off each other in a sickening symbiotic relationship.

The same people who claim that Russia is a bastion of masculinity and the world’s defender of Christianity often try to make Russia out to be some classical country with lost values—values that the West ought to adopt. Sorry to burst their bubble, but this is far from true. Modern Russian values are at variance with traditional values and wholesome morals—especially traditional American values like self-sufficiency, Independence, emphasis on human rights, constitutional government, rule of law, privacy, protection of personal property, the right to self-defense, etc. Russia should not be emulated. It is a collectivist, humanist society that destroyed privacy, property rights, Freedom, and rule of law long ago. Indeed, America’s emulation of European practices and ideologies was the death knell to our society many decades ago. We adopted their promiscuity and decadence and then broadcast it to the world in living color. We do not want to further adopt their amoral practices and habits, which are the same as ours, but though more advanced and malignant.

Russia is built on corruption. It is the rule of the day. And this is not just in the government, but entrenched in every level of society. I hope to God that it never reaches the same level in America, though we’ll likely see similar conditions before many years. Bribery is common place in politics as well as business (a police officer once tried to extort a bribe from me to let me cross over into the Ukraine). Theft is rampant. Bootlegging is a massive problem. You can buy any American movie or album for dirt cheap in a flimsy case at a Russian market. Sometimes they have literally been recorded on a personal camera and feature a Russian giving a shoddy voice over. On the day that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, I found an official English copy of it, clearly stolen, being sold at a small kiosk in a Moscow metro (I’ve always regretted not purchasing it). A Russian author also produced a series entitled Tanya Grotter and which is a complete and total rip off of Harry Potter. By why should that be surprising? This is Russia, after all. Russian companies love to produce “American” brand name goods—with the caveat that they are not even remotely authentic. For instance, I often saw people with Adidas shoes—except that Adidas was spelled Addidas and was a cheap forgery. But no one seems to care. This type of dishonesty is 100% normal and accepted in Russia.

Crime is horrendously high in the Russian Federation. Personal assaults, rape, and murder are off the charts. You see Russian men walking around with bloodied faces and knuckles every day. They’d get drunk, fight, go home and sleep off their hangover before going back out and doing it again. This is normal life for a lot of Russians. I don’t have time here to explain it, but Russians have an elaborate system of tattoos that former prisoners receive. I learned that one of the several ways they depict a murderer is by a dot on the hand. I got to where I’d look for it as I’d talk to people. I can’t even count how many dozens of convicted murderers I spoke with in my two years. Are we surprised, then, that crime is so high in Russia today? I once had a Russian family become concerned with my safety because they learned I was heading into an area known as the “murder district.” In that same town, I witnessed violent assaults occur, including one that I feel probably led to a woman’s rape.

In Moscow, on three separate occasions I walked past dead bodies along a prominent Russian street. In only one of these cases had anyone bothered to stop and inform the authorities. Literally no one cared. They just walked past the body and went along with their business. Russians are completely nonchalant about death and lack a certain empathy. When you suffer through persecutions where some 40-60 million of your countrymen are slaughtered by your government, and another 20 million die in war during the same time period, I guess you detach yourself and can’t afford to be empathetic. Another time at a train station in a south Moscow suburb people were stepping over the corpse of a man who looked like he had been mangle by a dog. I was at that train station at the time, but missed seeing the spectacle because of the platform my train arrived at. I was meeting up with other missionaries arriving from a different direction. They told me the story. It didn’t surprise me in the least, however, considering my previous experiences. My point with all of this is that Russia is a lawless, corrupt, amoral, decadent, dangerous, cut-throat, rotting society where death, disease, corruption, and crime are common place.

Of further cultural interest is my observation that the hip hop world’s greatest followers might not be in America’s inner cities, but in Russia. Most Russian young men love rap and hip hop. A huge crop of Russian imitation artists has popped up and the amoral vestments of rap culture are everywhere visible. The same goes for video game pushers. Outside of Asia, Russians probably play more video games than anyone in the world. They are absolutely addicted. You’ll see teenagers spend all day in internet centers, many of which have entire rooms devoted to gamers. Americans spend far too much time on these mind-numbing video games, but it pales in comparison to how much time Russians spend on them. Again I repeat that Russia is not moving in the right direction. Whereas America once took the best from other nations and made it better, Russia is taking the worst other nations have to offer and corrupting it even further.

Consumerism is another huge problem in Russia. They were denied material things for so long that now they’re splurging to an unhealthy degree. I already mentioned the statistic that 1/3 of your average Russian’s salary is spent on fireworks (fireworks which they like to shoot out of apartment building windows at neighboring apartments). I want to address a separate aspect of consumerism and materialism. Russian women are stunningly beautiful, but most are also trapped in the soul-destroying cycle of one-upping the next girl. As poor as Russians are, their women always have the latest fashion, always have the finest makeup and jewelry and fur coats. Their winter fashion is very unique, but it is also flashy and expensive. They often live at a bare subsistence level of existence, yet they go out and buy new leather boots, purses, and hats. We see this same superficial craze sweeping our own country, with Black Friday being the crowning jewel. Since the late 90s, Russians have earned more money. With this extra income came extra splurging and wasting. “Every grandma and her cat has a cellphone,” one person told me when I first arrived in Russia. Truly, materialism and the lust for stuff has taken over Russia as it has the United States.

I next want to address the issue of racism. I sometimes hear people say that it is false that racism exists in Russia. This is untrue. Racism is far worse in Russia than it ever was in the United States. In fact, most nations have a much higher level of racism and intolerance than the United States. There is a very large group of skinheads and neo-nazis in Russia. I sometimes even hear those analysts I most respect say that there is no such thing as real neo-nazis today. But this is false. I know because I have met them in person many times. Skinheads are everywhere in Russia. I have encountered them in apartment buildings and on the streets. Neo-nazis who unabashedly give you the heil Hitler salute in public are in every Russian city I’ve been in. On numerous occasions Russians came up to me and commended me for my hatred of blacks, assuming, because of media portrayal, that white Americans are racists. They congratulated me for supposedly sharing their view. They dismissed me when I informed them that I didn’t hate blacks, or anyone of color, and that in fact I had several black relatives.

A huge percentage of Russians hate foreigners, too. Nationalism is a great thing, but when taken too far it can be very dangerous. I’ve watched Russian police abuse and harass foreigners, particularly from the “stans” of Central Asia. I’ve seen their contempt for black people. I’ve witnessed blacks hide in fear on Hitler’s birthday, and I talked to one African, a member of my church, who was attacked by a group of skinheads on Hitler’s birthday in 2008. On the same day, a black man who dared to go out in public was pushed into the Moscow metro by a skinhead and was hit by a subway car. Now, the larger attacks that are carried out in the name of neo-nazis (such as when they went into a school and shot up dozens of children on Hitler’s birthday one year, as recounted to me by a group of Russian teachers) might by staged by the government, as they are in the United States, but there is no denying that many Russians are deeply racist and harbor openly nazi sentiments. There is good nationalism and dangerous nationalism. Russia exhibits the latter to a remarkably high degree.

Ladies and gentlemen, communism has rotted the soul out of Russia. There are a few stragglers who have either resisted the attempts to break them or who have awakened and rebelled against this devilish system, but by and large Russia is a shell of humanity. My heart goes out to them—many of whom are my dear friends. I love them. Yet, I know the truth that Russia is not our ally, is not a bastion of masculinity, is not the scene of a cultural renaissance, is not the champion of individual rights people crave, and is not the Christian defender people are looking for. Though many Russians like America, many more hate us—and that sentiment is increasing dramatically.

It’s hard to find a more despicable government on earth than the Russian regime, though the governments of the United States and China are on its same level. The Russian regime is led by Vladimir Putin, a very cunning KGB agent and devoted communist and tyrant. His men openly rig elections, arrest political dissidents, assassinate opposition candidates and honest journalists, and carry out false flag attacks on their own people, like our American regime does. The Russian government is basically a highly organized crime syndicate run by communist oligarchs. Additionally, Putin is not a sincere Christian. He is am immoral man, an adulterer (he cheated on his wife, Ludmila, and they are now divorced), an enemy of the United States, a conspirator in the plot to enslave humanity, and a total despot. This cannot be denied. The record is clear. The facts are public.

How can people sweep this all under the rug and call for Putin to be made Time’s “man of the year”? How can people be fooled by Putin’s charisma and articulate speeches? Despots are usually very charismatic and speak beautifully. This is how they hook their nation. How can people be hoodwinked into thinking that Putin is “waking up” to the Western conspiracy and is sincerely trying to defeat them? He knows full well what’s going on and always has. He’s manipulating, brilliantly I might add, the entire Middle East situation for his own gain—just like he did by orchestrating the phony coup in Ukraine and making it appear as if the West was involved. Let me be clear: Putin is not an enemy to the globalists’ goals of world domination and the enslavement of humanity—his only beef is that HE wants to be in charge of the world order when it ultimately comes. And he is surely helping it arrive.

Finally, I want to say a word about Russia’s involvement in Syria. Many of my fellow conspiracy realists know that the West created Al Qaeda and ISIS. This is irrefutable. They trained their leaders, funded them, armed them, and continue to do. They are fighting a phantom war against them while in reality supplying them and facilitating their rampage of death. Their immediate goals are to topple Assad in Syria while creating fear, panic, and paranoia about Islam and Arabs in the West. This state of hysteria will allow Western governments to further strip away their people’s rights and implement a full-on militarized, global police state. In short, ISIS is the Western conspiracy’s instrument of change (crisis, reaction, solution – that’s their modus operandi).

That being said, Russia is not the good guy all of a sudden because they are fighting ISIS. How short are our historical memories! The enemy of my enemy is not my friend—he is still an enemy. Those of us in the Liberty movement rightly condemn the utterly corrupt United States government and its militarized globalism. We acknowledge that the end game of these conspirators is to enslave mankind under a Luciferian one world government. Yet, somehow Russia’s bombing of ISIS has blinded many to the fact that Russia also wants a one world government run by themselves. And so does China—a player we are unwise to forget when discussing world events.

Russia and China are temporarily allied in an effort to bring down the West. This is undeniable. In my opinion, they will remain allies only as long as the West remains to stymie their attempts to seize world power. The communist goal has undeniably always been world domination, the destruction of Christianity, and the enslavement of mankind (the Western internationalists have the same satanic desires as these Eastern elites). China’s brand of communism, through originating in Russia, has a Chinese bent. China was once the hegemon of its known world—the center of the universe, in their view. They desperately want to reclaim that position and will stop at nothing to achieve it—even if it means one day turning on its current allies after the bigger threat is eliminated. Neither of these two tyrannical states are our friends just because they have decided to further their own interests by helping Syria, whom we are unjustly and immorally attacking. In reality, they are simply moving their own chess pieces into better attack position—and the ultimate target is not ISIS, but the United States. Similarly, the West’s main target is not Syria or Iran, but Russia and China. Both sides are waging a proxy war in Syria and neither cares about Assad or the Syrian people.

Our globe is heading for world war, ladies and gentlemen. Do not buy into the ignorant hype of those who claim it is imminent, but prepare for it nonetheless—because is WILL occur before too many more years. It will make the first two world wars look like a cake walk. It will be, in part, nuclear (contrary to popular myth, all the nuclear missiles in the world could not wipe out humanity). Hell will be unleashed. Tyranny and oppression as never seen before will reign. Bloodshed and slaughter, savagery and brutality, depravity and hedonism will be the rule of the day. Not a fun picture, but reality is never sunshine and rainbows.

The two main camps in this coming struggle will be the United States-led West against Russia and China and their cohorts. Don’t let the strife in the Middle East or elsewhere distract you from this ultimate showdown gathering on the horizon. It has been in the works for a long time. Russia has been preparing for this war for decades. China has also been actively preparing for it. And our own elites know it is coming and have been setting the world stage for the final act.

Remember, the Russian and Chinese communists hate you and me nearly as much as our own leaders do. Russian and Chinese elites serve the same master as Western elites do—Satan. That malevolent being, the father of lies, the archenemy of God, is the true mastermind of this world cataclysm. He has been quietly moving his forces into position for centuries. The leaders of this movement—the ones who rule from the shadows—know full well that Lucifer is their master and they have covenanted to serve him. They are not atheists—they are satanists. They are not benign idealists—they are scheming conspirators in a murderous global cabal. They are not Christians or defenders of human rights—they are demonic murderers and liars who lust for power and control and who hate Christ and anything lovely and good and beautiful.

Let’s not be deceived as to the intentions behind Russia’s countering of United States policy in Syria. The communist Russian regime is not well-intentioned in the slightest, as their continued oppression in today’s Russia firmly attest. They simply saw the opportunity to seize upon Western carelessness, to make themselves look like a defender of the innocent, and to move their forces into a stronger position for the coming world war. I still believe, as I have since I was twelve, that world war will break out in Asia, not in the Middle East. But the strategic movements in the Middle East and elsewhere are necessary steps in the various conspirators’ plots to bring about a world order in which their side is in control.

I might sound a little like a broken record by this point, but this information is too important not to be repeated again and again. I desperately want folks to see and understand that Russia is not our friend and ally. They are not our savior, or the redeemer of Christianity. They are not fighting the Western globalists because they oppose them, because they are themselves a shade of globalist. They wish us ill and are knowingly following a path that will lead to our destruction and to world government controlled by them. Putin is not a good man. He is unethical and corrupt. He is a murderer and a cheat. He is not our friend. He is not even Assad or Syria’s true friend, but is helping them in order to bolster Russia’s position in the region. I will write more in a future article about what type of man Vladimir Putin really is. He has hoodwinked the world and I am on a mission to disabuse people of the myths surrounding him and the communist nation which he and his fellow cronies and oligarchs run.

I sincerely hope that something in my personal experiences and observations was insightful. This article was much more personal and unscholarly, and less eloquent, than my previous articles, but I hope it was meaningful nonetheless. Again, I don’t want anyone to think that I hate Russia. Rather, I hope people realize that I’m on the side of truth and right. My goal is to one day breathe free air and to watch tyranny—whether Russian or American or Chinese—smolder on the ash heap of history along with all of its adherents who have brought so much death, destruction, and misery into this world. I want to see a future where, after the conspiracies have gone down to defeat, people of all nations and stripes can be legitimate friends and coalesce around the Gospel of Jesus Christ, true principles, and constitutional government. I spent two years in Russia trying to help move them along this path towards Freedom—spiritual Freedom. I sincerely want to see them throw off their shackles, prosper, and be happy. But I know that this cannot happen while the likes of Vladimir Putin occupy high office, while Russia’s population drowns in vodka, cigarettes, drugs, corruption, and promiscuity, and while Russians remain atheistic and aloof. If people actually love Russia, they cannot in good conscience support Putin or the current societal trends found in the land of the Tsars. God help the Russian people! And God grant all of us the discernment to see that Russia’s government is just as wicked as our own and cannot be trusted to rescue us from our own political morass.

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  • sbenard

    Good perspective! Thanks Zack!