The people of Russia shouldn’t look the other way this time


Many commenters advise RussiaIn foreign policy, make the argument that it’s not the Russian people – it’s their regime. But that’s the point – it’s their regime.

Some Russian experts argue that after the chaos of the Yeltsin years, there is a tacit understanding between the populace and the regime through which the Kremlin elite can repress free speech and civil liberties and behave as a malevolent force around the globe, providing security and a basic standard of living.

Wladimir Putin wrecked that deal by imposing crippling economic sanctions on Russia.

Some further argue that the people are the helpless victims of the state’s media propaganda machine. But this benefits the liberal left, as YouTube and myriad other internet sources are still available in Russia. Doesn’t anyone there wonder why the West as a whole is so agitated to shamefully sanction Russia and return it to the misery of Soviet times?

A few thousand anti-war protesters in Moscow out of a population of 12 million suggest that while the internet-savvy cohort may be able to secure the truth, very few are listening and even fewer see a reason to act.

History teaches us that Russians enjoyed very little freedom, having only been freed from serfdom in the 1860s and from the Soviet system in 1991.

Russia had a revolution in 1917, but the hereditary tsarist autocracy was simply replaced by a more ruthless totalitarian socialist autocracy. Upon its collapse, the latter was replaced by an insidious cadre of ex-KGB apparatchiks led by Putin.

Has the national psyche been so brutalized and intimidated that, even in the face of irrefutable, conflicting evidence, an ingrained sense of fatalism allows for the servile and routine acceptance of lies?

R salvation

Mullagh, Co. Cavan

The claim that same-sex schools underperform is false

Dearbhla Crosse’s proposal (“If we really want to fight sexism in all its forms, same-sex schools will be a thing of the past”, Irish Independent23 April) that Irish single-sex schools are outdated cannot go unchallenged.

She claims that research shows that same-sex schooling encourages sexism and stereotyping. As a parent of three children, I can vouch for the quality education each of them received in their English boys’, girls’ and mixed secondary schools.

And then, here in Kerry, I have seen my grandchildren enjoy and benefit from the same variety of school opportunities.

Parents in Killarney, like parents across Ireland, have a wide range of excellent primary and secondary schools to choose from – both single-sex and co-educational. Why would anyone want to take away this parental choice?

In England, which is rich in data on student performance, research has consistently shown that girls do best overall in single-sex schools and that boys do best in mixed schools.

This would hardly lead to the simplistic conclusion in favor of mixed schools.

Alan Whelan

Killarney, County Kerry

The deflated Kremlin’s war of words is absolutely ridiculous

In a Monty Python-esque response to Ukrainian resistance, Russia has urged the US to stop arming it Ukraine since it only increases the loss of life.

Alternatively, they (Russia) could always bring their punctured ball home.

Eugene Tannam

Firehouse, Dublin 24

A very one-sided pro-Putin view of the war in Ukraine

I was disappointed to read Eoin Clancy’s letter about the invasion of Ukraine (letters, April 25). Mr Clancy blames NATO and the US for the ongoing devastation in Ukraine.

Nowhere does he mention that Russia invaded a peaceful nation, expelling millions of its people and killing thousands.

Name and address of the publisher

France in safe hands as Le Pen’s populist push failed

French President Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential election puts France and the rest of Europe in safe hands for the next five years.

The popularity, evidenced by far-right candidate Marine Le Pen’s strong showing, despite having a softer personality these days, had more to do with the most important issue of the day for French citizens; the cost of living increases.

The French throughout their history have always been on the right side of social justice, including workers’ rights, so Ms Le Pen’s offer would always be well received. Irish political parties take note of this.

Aidan Roddy

Cabinetly, Dublin 18 The people of Russia shouldn’t look the other way this time

Fry Electronics Team

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