Unfortunately, for Russia, its people, Russian teens, and especially for minorities such as the Russian LGBT community, bullying in the country of Russia and bullying by the country of Russia is epidemic.
A study of 40 countries, published in the International Journal of Public Health says that Russia is on the top-ten list of the countries in the world with the most bullying of teenage students. The other countries on the top-ten list are Austria, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Ukraine. Being on this list is not something to be proud of at all.
The Legacy of Russian Bullying
The name of the Russian country means the “Land of the Reds” as Owlcation said in an article about why people hate redheads (which is an interesting read about how simply having red hair attracts bullying). Russia was the name choice for the country in order to honor a Viking with red hair named Rurik.
The national color of the country of Russia is red. Bourn Creative says that red is an intense color, which is the color of fire and blood. The positive aspects of the color red are passion, love, and romance. The negative aspects are that red is the color of anger, malice, and war. This is why there is a Red Square in Moscow and a why there was “Red Scare” in America during the Cold War. It is interesting to note that Communist “Red” China has the same color.
Rurik established the country of Russia with the Rurik Dynasty in 862 A.D., which led to founding of the Tsardom in Russia. The Russian Tsars remained in power until Vladimir Lenin led the Bolsheviks in the Russian Revolution, which ousted the Tsars in 1917. The Tsars were brutal rulers who bullied the peasants, which led to the uprising.
After the Russian Revolution, things went from bad to worst. Russia started its great experiment with Central Party communist control. Immediately, a terrifying group of bullies, in the form of the state security police, called the “Red Terror” began killing people who opposed the single Communist Party and putting dissidents in prison.
This brief history review shows that Russia has a long reputation of using bullying tactics in the political arena to put down any efforts of the opposition and keep its people in a constant state of fear. This is a classical definition of state-sponsored bullying deployed on a massive scale.
The Greatest Bully in Russian History
Trying to define what is a bully in Russia means that the definition must include not only the schoolyard bullies, but also a bully who terrorized the entire Russian people for decades. That bully was Joseph Stalin.
Stalin’s rule of Russia, as its dictator, gave him complete rule over Russia and its people. The Russian people call his rule the “reign of terror.” Stalin was a verbal bully, constantly screaming at his staff if they displeased him, even in the slightest way. He was a physical bully, who would strike his staff, his personal soldier guards, and others with impunity. If his staff were not careful, Stalin would send them off to the gulag prisons or worse; they faced extermination.
Each night, Stalin would look at a long list of prisoners and check off the ones he wanted killed. Afterwards he would sleep like a normal person as if nothing bothered him at all, even when he sent millions to their death. Although the estimates vary widely from 3 million to 60 million, the History of Russia website says that most scholars think the deaths caused by Stalin were about 20 million.
That Stalin ordered the direct deaths of ore than a million people is certain. He also caused many millions more to die from starvation. An article published on the New York Book Review websites, says that Stalin killed more people by starvation. Starvation was a tool he used to bully people of certain ethnicities or from certain territories that he wanted to control. The rush to industrialization initiated by Comrade Stalin caused millions to starve to death.
During the famine of 1930 to 1933 about five million people died. Over three million of them lived in Soviet Ukraine. In 1930, an announcement made by Stalin was his intent to kill peasant farmers to steal their agricultural land for state control, in order to fund the Russian Industrial Revolution.
Stalin ruled the country with an iron fist. Russian citizens were terrified that the secret police would come in the night and take them away. Stalin controlled the media with a propaganda campaign, so he bullied the citizens into submission in every way possible.
One of the most terrifying quotes from Stalin is, “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.” Stalin, who terrorized his own Russian people, was the greatest bully in Russian history.
The history of bullying in Russia creates the characteristics of contemporary bullying in Russia. The effects on the Russian psyche of the mass murderer Stalin, still revered by some as a hero and a founder of modern Russia, is what sustains bullying in Russia. For centuries, bullying was, and still is, an intricate part of the Russian culture. This causes the negative long term effects. This is part of the reason why bullying on a national scale continues to this day.
Types of Bullying in Russia Today
In contemporary Russia, bullying signs are everywhere. There is child abuse at home from parents and sibling bullying. Domestic violence is rampant with severe abuses of women. Russia has nearly the highest rate of youth suicide in the world. LGBT people in Russia are threatened, attacked, and beaten in the streets.
There is bullying at school. There is cyberbullying. If a youth or man joins the Russian Army or military, they should expect harsh bullying and many have died from it. Sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace is common. Russia constantly engages in political bullying and invasion of neighboring countries.
Modern Russian Bullying Statistics
In 2012, Microsoft commissioned research about bullying in Russia. Russian youth between the ages of eight and 17-years old were the subject of the study. The study found that bullying of youth in Russia is rampant.
The Microsoft report noted that:
- 86% of Russian youth experienced bullying either while being online or offline
- 71% reported being bullied offline
- 49% said they were bullied online
- Girls (40%) and boys (41%) experience nearly equal amounts of online bullying
Almost all of the Russian youth experienced bullying. The rare ones, of only 14%, are those who do not experience bullying. Half of the Russian youth experienced bullying online. This is higher than the average of 25 other countries in the global study. The average was 37% online bullying in other countries compared to 49% in Russia.
Online bullying in Russia included:
- 20% who were teased or made fun of
- 24% who were called mean names
- 27% who received mean and/or unfriendly treatment
Awareness about the problem of cyberbullying amongst Russian teens is 67% and 34% are worried about the problem. Boys (55%) say they know more about cyberbullying than girls (44%) do, yet both genders are almost equally worried about it, with 65% of boys having concerns and 68% of girls. Older students between the ages of 13 to 17-years old have more knowledge about cyberbullying, yet they also have the same concerns as younger students.
Of the 86% who are bullied both offline and online, most of the bullying happens offline. Russian youth are more likely to be bullied online (58%) if they spend ten hours or more each week using the Internet. Those who spend less than ten hours online (39%) experience less bullying.
From the bully’s perspective:
- 33% say that they bully someone online
- 50% say that they bully someone offline
- 67% of those that bully someone online are recipients of online bullying also
- Girls (39%) are more likely to engage in cyberbullying than boys (27%) are
- For younger students between the ages of eight to 12-years old, girls (85%) are more likely than boys (71%) to engage in offline bullying
Regarding parents, the Russian youth reported:
- 26% of parents ask them if they experienced online bullying
- 49% of parents teach online manners to them
- 52% of parents monitor their computer use
- 55% of parents talk with them because of concerns about the risks of online use
- Boys (55%) are more likely than girls (45%) to receive parental guidance not to bully people online
In Russian schools:
- Only 11% have formal policies regarding bullying online
- 25% provide education about online bullying
- 21% have online bullying education for students
- 8% have online bullying education for teachers
- 6% have online bullying education for parents
Russia compares very poorly with the rest of the world. The Microsoft study asked the same questions of students having the same age in 25 countries. On the top-ten list of Austria, Estonia, Greece, Greenland, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine, Russia is ranked the fifth worst country in the world for bullying.
Cyberbullying reported by Russian youth is significantly higher in Russia than in other countries. About half the Russian youth experience online bullying and seven out of ten are concerned about it.
Russia is way below the world averages in having anti-bullying or nobullying polices in schools. Education of students, teachers, and parents about cyberbullying is severely lacking.
|Activity||Russia||25 countries average|
|Worried About Cyberbullying||67%||54%|
|Bully Someone Online||33%||24%|
|Bully Someone Offline||50%||42%|
|Anti-Bullying School Policy||11%||23%|
Of the eight categories listed, Russia does worse than the average of all 25 countries in the study in seven of the eight categories. The eight one were Russia does slightly better than the 25 countries average is Bullied Offline, which has 71% for Russia versus the 25 countries average of 72%. Russia’s scores, by every measure possible, are abysmal. These results warrant a major national anti-bullying campaign. Nevertheless, it seems the Russian culture could care less about the bullying problem and in some cases encourages it, such as the horrific treatment of the LGBT people in Russia. It is no wonder that Russia has one of the highest rates of youth suicide in the world, discussed in the youth suicide section below.
Facts about Cyberbullying in Russia
UNICEF published a report during 2011 on cyberbullying laws and internet bullying in Russia, called The RuNet Generation, which notes a significant increase in cyberbullying in Russia and a lack of adequate laws to prevent it. The RT network reported on growing problem in Russia of cyberbullying on social media and the abuses caused by the Russian equivalent of Facebook bullying.
Bullying Facts from Russia
The World Health Organization (WHO) gave a report on violence in Russia that shows significant bullying in Russia that leads to violence. The report also pointed out the potential causes of the problem.
The report noted that the Russian people, on average, have a severe drinking problem. The WHO considers the drinking problems in Russia as the highest level of risk possible. The average per capita consumption of alcohol per year is 15.1 liters. The legal drinking age is only 15-years old. There is no national action plan to reduce domestic violence against an intimate partner. The excessive use of alcohol and the lack of sufficient laws with enforcement of those laws against domestic violence is a huge problem. Battered wives are common. There is no provision in the law to remove a violent spouse from a home.
In addition to the lack of domestic violence laws, there are no child abuse protections. In Russia, there are no significant educational programs aimed to reduce child abuse and no home inspections to investigate incidences of child abuse.
In Russia, there are no elder abuse laws for elders at home or for elders kept in institutions. However, there are elder abuse prevention programs to raise awareness for the public, professionals, and caregivers.
As noted above in the Microsoft study, there is a serious lack of school anti-bullying programs, which the WHO report confirms. There are only school programs for the prevention of dating violence.
The data on bullying information in Russia is deficient, because there seems to be little money for research grants to collect it. The government is in a financial crisis due to the low global oil prices and has more interest in being a bully itself with its invasion of nearby countries, than in supporting anti-bullying research or stop bullying programs at home. Russia receives heavy criticism from human rights organizations and the United Nations for its lack of resources allocated to create bullying awareness and its complete failure to takes steps to prevent bullying.
Bullying and Domestic Violence against Russian Women
The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs issued a report in 2010 that says on page six, one in four Russian households have domestic violence against women and 14,000 women die each year from attacks in their homes by husbands or relatives. In Russia, domestic violence is not a crime. Russian police do little about domestic violence and consider it a “private” matter, even though more than 70% of the homicides occur in the home. Russian women are three times more likely to suffer from bullying and abuse by family members than from strangers.
The BBC News reports that up to 600,000 Russian women face verbal abuse, bullying, and physical violence each year. The article tells the story of Anya who was beaten and verbally abused for the seven years of her marriage. She reported the incidents to the police, even made recordings of it. They police did nothing. A female police officer simply told her, why don’t you leave as I did.
Anya lived in constant fear. She finally divorced her husband and escaped with her two small children. At the time of the BBC report, they lived in a small room at a women’s shelter. The facility is only 35 rooms. In 2013, this was the only shelter for battered women in Moscow, which has a population of 12 million. Anya had to wait for the room while her husband continued to beat her. She could only stay two months at the shelter. When BBC reported her story, her future was bleak and uncertain. Having no relatives to help her, she probably ended up homeless and perhaps lost her children to a state orphanage. It is a very sad story and just one example of the hundreds of thousands of Russian women who receive mistreatment.
The Guardian told another story of Anna Zhavnerovich who received a beating that knocked her unconscious. When she went to the police with a swollen face, they asked her why she did not have any children and implied the beating was her fault. They did nothing to help her.
Sputniknews did an extensive report on the bullying and domestic violence against women in Russia. The lack of sufficient Russian laws against domestic violence and low levels of law enforcement, when women are violently attacked, keep the rates of violence against women in Russian homes at high levels. The article says Amnesty International reports that 58% of Russian women experience domestic violence from their partner or family. Because there is no law against domestic violence in Russia, women who are regularly brutalized by their bully boyfriends and husbands have nowhere to go and find few options for escape.
Child Bullying and Abuse in Russia
Child abuse in Russia is rampant. Many kids receive regular bullying and abuse from their parents. There is a lack of child protection methods employed in Russia, which are common in other countries, such as home visits by government child protection services to investigate child abuse cases. When the children leave an abusive home or if they are abandoned things may get worse.
In 2007, The Los Angeles Times reported on two fraternal twins, a brother and sister, who were 14-years old and homeless. They preferred to live on the streets instead of at home with their mother. Their mother bullied them verbally and physically and then finally kicked them out. They ended up sleeping under a railway in the dirt and trash. They spend days at a Salvation Army shelter and make money from prostitution.
The article says that the Child’s Rights group in Russia estimates that each year there are about 50,000 children who runaway from home because of abuse and 20,000 more who escape from institutions.
Five years later after the LA Times article came out; the Moscow Times published a story saying child abuse in Russia is common and considered routine. The amount of Russian child abuse shows little sign of improvement. About 60% of Russian children in orphanages suffer from bullying and abuse. The article reports that 50% to 95% of Russian children in orphanages grow up to become alcoholics, drug addicts, or commit suicide.
In 2012, the Moscow Times reported that Russia banned the adoption of its orphans by Americans, canceling 259 adoptions in progress as reported by Radio Free Europe. Some canceled adoptions were for handicapped children such as one 6-year old boy with Down’s syndrome. This change in the Russian laws happened in spite of the fact that Russian orphans, adopted by Russian families, are 39 times more likely to die than if adopted by a family from the west.
There are about 600,000 orphans in Russia and about 25% have special needs. Prior to the ban, Americans adopted about 60,000 children over twenty years, many with special needs. The ban signed by Vladimir Putin is just another example of Russian bullying on a large international scale. The sad part is the Russian orphans are the ones who suffer.
Dr. César Chelala writes on Counter Punch that child abuse increased in Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Sexual abuse of children in Russia includes child prostitution, using children in pornography, and human trafficking of children for sale, especially to the Middle East. Russia is the largest producer of child pornography in the world. Russian children are considered by many to be property.
Children, especially abandoned ones or runaways, go into the sex trade industry because of promises to be in fashion magazines, meet wealthy people, and have a better life. They soon learn it is a trap. However, there is no escape. The human traffickers bully them into a degrading life of prostitution and drug addiction or they sell them as a sex slave. Those who do not cooperate are beaten and some murdered.
A documentary on this problem in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe, presented by Angelina Jolie called “Inhuman Traffic,” is available for viewing on YouTube.
Primary Bullying, Middle School Bullying, and High School Bullying in Russia
Russian students may suffer a long time from bullying. For some, bullying starts in primary school and then continues with attacks of bullying in the university in Russia.
A research study of bullying in Russian schools published in the International Journal of Environmental & Science Education says that violence in Russian schools has the slang name of “baiting.” In Russia, the researchers found the emphasis is more on preventing students from bullying their teachers, rather than preventing them from bullying other students. The researchers noted that studies regarding bullying in Russia are in such an early stage that there is not even a consensus among Russian academics about how to define bullying. One critical conclusion of the research study was that the majority of Russian students (56.6%) had a very low level of empathy for others.
Another group investigated the attitudes of Russian teenagers about bullying and violence. The Journal of Sociology and Criminology published the report during 2014. The researchers studied 993 Russian children in the 9th to 11th grade levels. They found a direct correlation between low levels of family income and increased bullying by the children from those families at school. Of the children who came from highly prosperous families, 48.8% reported they did not experience violence at school, whereas only 34.3% of the low-income students had school experiences free from violence.
Children from low-income families who regularly experienced physical and psychological violence were 2.9% and those who occasionally experienced violence were 8.6%. Of those from prosperous families, only 0.1% regularly experienced violence and 0.8% occasionally experienced it.
The researchers noticed that the financial status of a family influences the emotional condition of students at school. Children from prosperous families were more comfortable with other students and because of this suffered less violence.
The researchers found a similar correlation between parent’s education and the students’ experience of violence at school. Only 0.01% children of well-educated parents experienced violence, compared to 5.0% of children of less-educated parents who experienced violence at school.
The conclusion of this research study was that demographics and social status are strong determinants of whether a Russian student is a victim of violence at school. The students from weaker social groups are more at risk to become victims of violence in the Russian school environment.
Teenage Suicide in Russia
The NY Daily News reported in 2012 that Russia’s teenage suicide rate is the third highest in the world. About 1,500 Russian teenagers commit suicide each year. This is three times greater than the average rate of youth suicide in other countries. The only countries where the youth suicide rate is higher than Russia are the countries of Belarus and Kazakhstan, which were both former members of the U.S.S.R.
The article quotes Natalya Sinyagina, who works in Moscow for the Education Ministry’s Center for Education Issues. She says that parents of Russian children often express cruelty, which contributes to the teenage suicide problem.
Russian children and youth commonly experience child abuse and see domestic violence occur in their homes. This combined with experiencing bullying at school are the main reasons why a Russian teen takes their own life. Experiencing violence at home and bullying at school, makes many Russian youth feel there is no escape from bullying except suicide.
At the age of 17 for males, going into the military to escape abusive parents or siblings is possible. However, this subjects them to more bullying abuse. More details about this problem are in the section on bullying in the Russian military below.
To make comparisons between countries the standard used is the rate of suicides per 100,000 youth. The Daily News story reported the global average is 6 to 7 youth suicides per 100,000. These are youth aged 15 to 19-years old. In Russia during the past few years, the rate was 19 to 20 youth suicides per 100,000.
In some impoverished areas, where crime is rampant and alcohol abuse is out of control, such as the region of Buryatiya near Moscow, the rate is 77 youth suicides per 100,000. In the Tuva region, which is located in the southwestern part of Siberia, the rate is an ungodly 120 youth suicides per 100,000!
There are “suicide clubs” on the Internet in the Russian language that show over 1,000 ways to commit suicide. One example in the Daily News article, also reported by NBC News, was two 14-year old girls in Moscow, who jumped off a building together to commit suicide. Liza Petsylya and Nastia Korolyova were holding hands as they fell to their deaths. They had not gone to school for two weeks. They were terrified of the beatings they would receive when their parents found out about the truancy.
The Washington Post gave more details in its report on the rising level of teenage suicides in Russia. It says that one of the few child psychologists in Russia, Anatoly Severny, summed up the problem in this way. He said at home parents constantly punish their children instead of trying to understand their children’s needs. At school, the school system has the design of “repressive pedagogics,” which is forcing the children to do everything.
Add harsh bullying from other students to this mix and many Russian youth feel overwhelmed. They simply give up and find relief in the idea of stopping the suffering by committing suicide. They are not really trying to “get back” at anyone, just get away from everyone that is causing them intense emotional and many times physical pain. Some Russian youth in this condition falsely believe that suicide is heroic.
Much research, such as a meta-analysis study reported on JAMA concludes that bullied teens are much more likely to commit suicide. The Russian authorities accept the correlation between bullying and teenage suicide as well, but have done little about it.
Bullying of LGBT Russians
If the rate of youth suicide in Russia is shocking, the suicide rate for LGBT teens in Russia is even more horrendous as reported in an article on Thought Catalog. The Thought Catalog article’s author is Michael Walker who co-authored a research paper with Kirill Guskov and Oleg Kucheryavenko that published in the Health and Human Rights Journal. This paper studied the Russian LGBT teen suicides.
During June 2013, the Presidential bully Vladimir Putin signed a law that makes it illegal in Russia for anyone to disseminate materials about homosexuality among minors because the “gay propaganda” gives a distorted image about sexuality and encourages non-traditional sexual behaviors that corrupt Russian youth.
This new law has penalties of fines for individuals of 5,000 rubles ($155) and 200,000 rubles ($6,186) for officials and organizations. Foreign citizens face 15 days of jail and subsequent deportation. Organizations, including LGBT support groups, have their activities suspended for up to three months.
This law banned gay parades, since youth could see them. It bans giving teens medical literature about safe sex between same sex partners. Simply putting the name of an LGBT organization on the outside to identify a building can cause a police raid. A model of the Apple iPhone on public display needed removal because the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, is an openly gay man. The repercussions of this laws are outrageous and in violation of United Nations resolutions on human rights.
This law is a legal violation of the Russian constitution, which allows freedom of speech. Moreover, this new law encouraged a level of bigotry that caused an explosion of hate crimes against Russian LGBT people. The violence against LGBT youth increased dramatically and against other Russian youth if they simply appeared to be LGBT, even if they were not. Young Russian men now routinely attack an LGBT person in the street, or anyone who looks like they may be one, just to prove that they are not gay.
The AmericaBlog gave a comprehensive report during 2015 on the status of bullying LGBT people in Russia and anti-gay sentiment. The problems for LGBT people in Russia are severe and continue to get worse. The detailed Suuntaus Project in 2015 gave a detailed report on the status of gender and sexual minorities in Russia. More than half the Russian people condemn LGBT people, only 34% support LGBT people and just a mere 4% of Russians think LGBT people should have the same rights as everyone else.
Being homophobic is Russia is the new norm, encouraged by the government. The police do little to help any LGBT person under physical attack, even when it happens right in front of them.
A Russian study of LGBT people in urban areas reports that 56% suffered attacks of verbal bullying, 16% suffered a physical assault, and 7% suffered rape. These attacks occurred because of the way they were dressed, their mannerisms, and/or appearance.
An article in Psychology Today talks about the long term negative effects of LGBT discrimination and notes that a Russian neo-Nazi group is promoting hate crimes against LGBT Russians. A Yahoo News reports gives further details about videos showing hate crimes in Russia (viewer discretion advised).
The Barents Observer published an article about LGBT Russians who live in the Artic areas that describes life-threatening dangers from homophobic bullies. Pink News reported on 25 examples of bullying cases that are the worst anti-gay stories about Russia. Bullying of LGBT people in Russia is increasing, with no end in sight.
Why People Bully LGBT Individuals in Russia
Government attitudes against LGBT people are one of the reasons why people bully them in Russia. Sometimes a vicious cultural norm is what causes bullying. When most adults of any community select a group to single out for oppression, there are few possible steps to take on how to stop bullying. When the police ignore complaints about bullies, trying to prevent bullying of members of that group is impossible. There is no effective way in these times to stop bullying of LGBT people in Russia. This makes it difficult to imagine how to deal with the bullying of Russian LGBT people. Since, at present, it is impossible to prevent it, the only way how to handle bullying for many is to leave their home country to immigrate to another country or seek asylum elsewhere.
The organization Immigration Equality works in the USA to help Russian and other persecuted LGBT people made applications for asylum in America. They saw a huge increase in requests from those with a Russian heritage after the new ant-gay laws passed in 2013.
Bullying in the Russian Military
GlobalSecurity.org reports on Russian Military Personnel. All men in Russia who are between 18-years old and 27-years old must serve one year in the Russian military according to the Russian laws. During 2015, the draft forced 297,100 Russian men into military service. A report on the Russian soldier today that appeared in the Journal of International Affairs says that the Russian military physically captures men of draft age on the street and takes them to the nearest military base for interview and conscription.
Prava reported on a long-standing problem about bullying in the Russian Army that sometimes results in death of those bullied. Death by hazing in the Russian Army reported on the Observers website says that in 2009, 149 Russian soldiers committed suicide to escape the bullying. The average deaths from hazing are 200 per year. A commander beats soldiers who report abuse to them because in the macho Russian military, making a complaint to a commander is cowardly. Some murders are covered-up by faking a suicide.
Time magazine reported on the problem about the bullying deaths of soldiers in the Russian Army noting that many of the suicide victims show signs of receiving a vicious beating before their death. The BBC News covered the problem also with a story about social media helping in Russia to publicize the deaths of those young men in the Russian military from bullying. Efforts to bring attention to this problem come from a group called the Mother’s Rights Organization.
As noted by Lexology, there are no specific laws against bullying in Russia that cover bullying at work, however some Russian laws give protection from certain behaviors or actions that result in a negative impact on a worker from things that are types of workplace bullying.
The New York Times reported on the increase in sexual harassment in the Russian workplace that started in the 1990’s and there are no Russian laws to prevent sexual harassment.
Criminal Bullying in Russia
The Russian Mafia is the largest criminal organization in the world. Fortune magazine says the annual revenues are over $8.5 billion. Besides the drug trade and human trafficking, a lot of money comes from extortion, which is paying the mafia protection money to keep a business operating. This is like the schoolyard bully stealing a kid’s lunch money, but on a massive scale.
In Russia, most small businesses have to pay 30% or more of their revenues to the Russian mob. Those who refuse to pay are either killed or their family members are kidnapped and tortured until they pay. The mafia bullies send the business owner one body part of a kidnapped family member, forcing them to make the payment to save their loved one from being killed, one small piece at a time. The Russian Mafia is the most brutal criminal force in the world.
Political Bullying of Russia
The historical trend of political bullying by Russia continues to this day. Examples are the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, annexation of Crimea in 2014, and continued military intervention in Ukraine from 2014 until the present. There is also the economic bullying Russia does to its nearest neighbors, especially the smaller countries.
At the Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit, held during 2013, the subject of Russia’s political bullying received significant attention. The report from the summit showed that Russian political bullying included such things as:
- Import bans on Georgian wine and mineral water from 2004-2006
- Interruption of gas deliveries to Ukraine and Belarus on many occasions, including in winter
- Restricting imports of wine and spirits from Moldova
- Imposing import restrictions on dairy products and chocolate from Ukraine
- Blocking the importation of dairy products from Lithuania
- Bullying Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova into not signing the AA/DCFTA trade agreement with the EU, yet Ukraine and Moldova signed in 2014 despite Russian pressure
- Putting Russian border controls on Ukraine
- Bullying its neighbors to integrate with Russia instead of the EU, when the small countries need to be able to trade with both Russia and the EU to survive
These are just a few examples of how Russia bullies the smaller countries that are its neighbors.
To say that Russia is a “bully country” is an understatement. Bullying in Russia is some of the worst in the world. A fair representation of how the country operates, at almost all levels and throughout its society, is with a brutal bully mentality. Bully thugs from the Russian Mafia run the country and the government is more of the same.
The saddest part is that women, children, and LGBT people are the most vulnerable and these groups have the least power to fight back.