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I am by no means means a Russian expert, at least anymore. So much has changed. But my bachelors degree from Uni Michigan was in Russian and Eastern European Studies and I spent three semesters at the now-defucnt Moscow Institute of Social and Political Studies in 94-95.
There I had the pleasure of lectures by Yavlinski, Zhirinovsky, Yuganov, Gaidar, and others. I met my ex-wife there, to whom I was married for eight years, and though I divorced her, I regret my mistake as she truly loved me but time goes on.
My ex-mother-in-law was a die-hard Stalinist and loved FDR and Reagan as her favorite US presidents. At that time, the time of the first Chechen War when Russian paratroopers guarded the metros, we were in favor of Putin as a leader. Knowing the particular Russian history and in discussion, not always in agreement with my ex-Mother-in-law, we uneasily agreed on Putin as at that time I tended to agree that perhaps Russia needed a benevolent dictator for a full democratic transition. So many conflicting factors in that opinion, not in the least that they never experienced the Enlightenment.
14 years later, I was wrong, of course. But so much has changed since that time and I have not kept up. Including my language - I scored as just under native speaker on my Navy language proficiency exam, but since I started German, I search for words though I understand what I hear in Russian. That is degrading too, unfortunately.
But I do know the importance of International Woman's Day!
"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte!
Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"
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