My Unintentional Blog Turned In To A Must Read.

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worldpeace

Unfortunately, the stats show that my blog series called, “Letters from Russia” are proving unpopular with my readers. I understand why. I realize that many people are not concerned with that part of the world and have written Russia off a long time ago. I remember during the Reagan years when each country “knew” the other had their finger on the red button, ready to fire off nukes at a moments notice.

Instead, everything changed. The USSR crumbled, Russia and its neighboring countries left each other alone, while each country tried to make its way through a new, independent way of life. People were encouraged to think for themselves and many grew to love freedom and independence. Finally, the stress we all felt from that part of the world was all but gone.

But all of that has changed now.

Russia’s leader, President Vladimir Putin despises the west, equating it (us) as living in anarchy. This belief is what drives him. He cannot abide by the idea that those countries that border Russia being westernized and pulling further away from Russia. First the Crimea, now, various areas in Ukraine have apparently been taken over by Russian people paid to create major disturbances. In those areas, the Ukraine flag has been taken down and the Russian flag has been erected. Couple this with the continuing and rising unrest on the south and east borders of Ukraine and it appears Putin and Russian officials were lying about moving in to other areas of Ukraine.

Who cares? We ALL should.

If Putin continues taking over areas outside of Russia, the international community will have to get much more heavily involved. President Obama is going to have to do FAR more than he is doing now, which is next to nothing. Most of us were not yet born during WWII, but we know it began with HItler first only wanting Czechoslovakia, then more and more. The question is, does Putin hate (fear) the west so much that he would go back on his word? I believe the answer is yes. He took Crimea with practically no international interference. A few sanctions here and there. Whoop-de-doo. It would be easy enough for him to create disturbances in Ukraine and take them over again, to use his excuse, “to protect Russian speaking citizens”.

The only real risk he would be taking and would be blissfully unaware of is that Russian citizens are not ignorant. They have access to news from around the world. Still, it’s difficult for them to believe anything that shows Russia in a bad light. It is their way to love their homeland and believe in it wholeheartedly. Still, Russians will certainly remember Putin’s promise that he does not want anything from Ukraine (except what he’s already successfully taken). If he takes it further, he will create doubt in the minds of many Russian citizens.

My dear young friend who I have been writing about in my blog series, “Letters from Russia”, contacted me at 1:00am her time, very scared and confused. She desperately wants to know the truth. In her words, “my mind is blown and I don’t know what to believe”. I reassured her at least for now, so she could sleep (they are 13 hrs. ahead of us). I told her it appeared to be localized right now and no big moves have been made yet. I promised her I would continue to research this and she will awake with contact from me regarding the latest news.

The point I am trying to make here is that this is not just about governments and territories. These situations never are. It’s about people, nations of people who are largely left in the dark and worse, lied to.

I am worried about my friend. And she is just one of many. Imagine living in a country where freedom is non-existent. A country where you must subscribe to everything your government says or in my friends words, “you must hide because it is not safe for you”.

I’m going to sign off for now. I have more research to do for my friend. If this situation matters to you, I encourage to reach out to Russian and/or Ukrainian people. Attempt to bridge the gap that our governments have failed miserably at. If I can do it, anyone can.

Talk to you again soon! xoxo

Blog Series: “Letters from Russia” Chapter 3*

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I cannot understand why every human being on this planet does not want world peace. Why? WHY??

I still have much to share from my friend, Jessica Cher. We have committed to each other to not give up. It’s difficult at times, though, for both of us. The information she receives from her government almost always directly contradicts the information I give her. And though she has access to news outside of Russia, she has been brought up, as most Russians have, that Mother Russia loves you and is a part of you. You are taught to believe in the motherland above all others. We have resolved our issues by both believing we can support and love our respective countries and not support our governments. It is my opinion that President Obama has no clue whatsoever what to do outside the borders of this country, therefore, he does nothing. It is also my belief that President Putin rules with an iron fist for one reason, fear. People fear what they do not understand. Putin does not understand being Westernized and he will not stand for it in his country or on its borders.

Border countries have much to be concerned about right now and concerned they are.

Still, Jessica Cher and I persevere.

*I am changing the format slightly. Copy/pasting each conversation takes an incredible amount of time. Some conversations will be condensed though it’s integrity will not be compromised. You will also no longer see quotation marks. The comments made are direct quotes nonetheless. Hopefully, these changes will make it a more pleasant read.

So we pick up right where we left off in Chapter Two.

Jessica Cher: Have you seen those reports how happy people of Crimea now? They are happy that now they live in they motherland.

Me: I am sure there are lots of Russian citizens who are very happy about it. But the way Russia too Crimea is illegal and wrong. Putin has stated clearly that he does not want to take Ukraine. We don’t believe it. Do you?

Jessica Cher: We don’t need Ukraine 100%

Me: I soooo wish you could come to Miami for a visit.

Jessica Cher: Ahah fast friends! I’d love to come;).

Me: It is such a cool city! I’m from SC and moved to Miami 2 years ago to get married. I love it here! Always summer!

Jessica Cher: Sooo cool! It’s 4 degrees outside now. The whole world is scared of Russia right?

Me: Yes, I think so. Our leaders would never admit it but I believe it is the truth. However, we saw all nations getting along at the Olympics.

Jessica Cher:Btw did you like Olympics in Sochi?

Me: Love love love the Olympics! Especially the figure skating and the hockey. Damn Canadians. Lol!

Jessica Cher: Haha don’t want to sound rude but Russians don’t like Americans after that game on Olympics when our goal wasn’t counted. But it’s ok now, we calmed down:))

Me: Oh I know. Wasn’t that game incredible? Haha I must go to bed now. Let’s talk again soon? Just let me know when you have some time!

Jessica Cher: Ninight<3

Me: G’Nite! Talk again soon?!?

Jessica Cher: Yeah for sure!

Me: kk Good night from the USA!

I will stop here for now. You may have picked up on a pattern. Whenever she or I pick up on the fact that we may be insulting the other, we quickly change the subject. The object here is never to fight. What would be the point? The object is to show that we can work through our differences and remain friends.

In the coming chapters, you will see this more clearly.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

 

 

Blog Series: “Letters from Russia”, Chapter 2*

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*If you have not already done so, please read the blogs preceding this one, including, “Blog Series Letters from Russian – Introduction”  and Blog Series: “Letters from Russia”, Chapter 1 prior to reading this blog.

Chapter 2 picks up directly after where I left off in Chapter One. The topics change from serious to light and back to serious again. We are learning about not only each others countries, but about each others personal beliefs.

March 19, 2014

Me: “I believe I am about 13 hours behind you. I will be up until at least 11 PM my time. Let me know if you’d like to chat.”

Jessica Cher: “Are you asleep?)”

Me: “Hi! No I’m still up! Did you sleep well?”

Jessica Cher: “Yes,thanks)”

Me: “It’s so weird you already had a night sleep and I’ve been off the whole time! Lol I have so much I want to talk to you about. I hate it has to be over Twitter. The messages must be short. So I have some information for you but you said you had some questions so how about you go first?”
Jessica Cher: “If I come to Miami I’m gonna be do jetlaged:)”

Me: “Yes! How fun though!”

Jessica Cher: “Well,you compare this situation in Crimea with Miami and Cuba. Did ever territory of Miami belong to Cuba?”

Me: “No. It was just an example. Under the Ukrainian Const. 3 million citizens must request vote. All of the Ukraine must vote & vote must be Called for by Ukrainian parliament. There are reports of Ukrainian citizens refusing to vote b/c of armed Russian soldiers.

Jessica Cher: “Russia never insisted that referendum and our soldiers never entered Ukraine.”

Me: “We receive news reports from all over the world. Russian news is owned by the Russian Government. I will try to find photos for you to see.”

Jessica Cher: “We know that neither Europe n America accept this referendum.Why? Do you think Russia made them vote?”

Me: “It’s illegal. A forced takeover. There’s no way 97% of Ukraine voted on Sunday, had all votes counted & new government was installed in a day. I hope I do not sound mean. I am genuinely concerned for you. Fast friends!👍❤️”

Jessica Cher: “do you think that all that situation in Ukraine on Midan happens because of Russia? Square in Kiev where all those horrible things happens”

Me: “That started it, yes. It was the popular uprising against the pro-Russian president because he refused EU trade the people wanted. 800,000 people marched on to Kiev in protest”

Jessica Cher: “Then do you think that new Ukrainian government legal?”

Me: “Yes. The Ukrainian parliament voted him out of office after the uprising. I am glad you are not close to all of that mess❤️👍.”

Jessica Cher: “Did you know that new Ukrainian government acts very aggressively about Russian-speaking people? Banderovtsy kill them,hit them,destroy. Their passports .They canceled Russian as second official language but more then a half Ukrainians speak Russian.is that ok?”

Me: “No, that’s not correct. There have not been any reports in the international media stating that.

Jessica Cher: “But that’s true. Unfortunately.”

Me: “It’s not true it is what the Russian government and TV stations are telling you.”

Jessica Cher: “I saw a video,where bleeding man told that he was hitted bc he speaks Russian.”

Me: “all of the Ukrainian troops are locked up on the bases And surrounded by Russian troops.I am sure that everyone is stressed both Russians and Ukrainians in the Crimea right now. I am not surprised that fights have broken out.” (I posted these for JC to look at.)

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Jessica Cher: “I haven’t seen them,but anyway I think that’s so wrong. Some years ago we used to be one big country USSR and fighter against fascism. In that war Ukraine suffered even more than Russia from fascism and fascists take over Ukraine..That is so wrong.”

Me:”Fascist have not taken over Ukraine. The same Ukrainian Parliament that was there before the uprising is still there now only not president.”

Jessica Cher: “You see how different our information is.”

Me: “It makes me want to cry. If the Russians are being told fascists are running the Ukraine, that is not so. Just normal Ukraine parliament. This is thankfully not WWII. The Ukrainians want to align more with the western world. Putin thinks it’s anarchy. I live in the west. No anarchy here. We have an elected government and we have freedom.❤️ I am very happy we are allowed to talk to each other. I do care very much.”

Jessica Cher: “New Ukrainian government are nationalists,they hate Russians. That’s so sad.But I’m glad too I can talk about this.”

Chapter Notes: This dialog occurred in real-time, as the situation was unraveling. I am not an expert in World History but I answered as best I could. It’s very clear that even though Russians have access to media outside the country, they very clearly believe the Russian Govt. news over any other.

I apologize for the conversation, at times, being disjointed and therefore a little confusing. I feel, however, it is the authenticity of this piece that makes it special. It’s simply two ladies, one quite young and the other (me) not so much, trying to pull apart and piece together the truth. It is hard sometimes for me to remain diplomatic. But, I care about this young lady and I want to help her. We are proving day by day that we can chat, disagree, and get angry/upset at times, but we don’t give up on each other. If only our countries could do the same.

Please, again, feel free to comment/make suggestions/ask questions on this blog. I would be happy to ask her anything you would like to know.

There is much more to come. Please watch out for Chapter 3 coming out shortly.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

 

 

 

 

Blog Series: “Letters from Russia”, Chapter 1*

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*Please read the blog preceding this one called, “Blog Series Letters from Russian – Introduction” prior to reading this blog.

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Preface

The #1 thing you need to know is that I did NOT have the idea of doing this blog until well in to my and my friend’s conversations. It was not planned, it was spontaneous. If my Russian friend had said no to my blog request, I would have respected her wishes and would not be writing this right now.

The conversations may seem disjointed. I am going to write them in this blog exactly as they happened (leaving out personal details). Please keep in mind that my Russian friend speaks some English. I speak NO Russian, so we do the best we can. You will get the general idea of what we are trying to say, though some of the words may be jumbled. In keeping with the integrity of this piece, I will not correct any grammar; hers or mine.

I did a google image search, “USA and Russia People” and was so disappointed in the lack of photos. The only photo I found did not have people at all, rather, both countries flags (see above).

My new, sweet Russian friend has chosen her alias. She would like to be called, “Jessica Cher”. Going forward, I will refer to her as Jessica Cher. Also, please feel free to ask questions in the comments section. I will be happy to ask on your behalf. That said, I will not forward anything rude to her so negative remarks will be deleted.

Chapter 1

March 18, 2014

Our conversation began as I commented on an article in social media. I commented that I couldn’t believe how many “I don’t give a shit” comments are here.Hitler only wanted Czechoslovakia…

Jessica Cher: “Excuse me?!  Did you study history??”

Me: “You are excused. And yes, I did”.

Jessica Cher: “so if you really did, then you wouldn’t say that Hitler wanted only Czechoslovakia.”

Me: “Initially that is what he said he wanted.”

Me: “I did not realize you are from Russia. I am from the USA. I would love to discuss this with you further. Follow back?

From this point forward, most, but not all, of our conversations have been private.

Me: “Thanks for accepting my friend request. I feel honored to be able to discuss this with someone who is living in the middle of it. Please Tell me if I am wrong here. A loose example of what is happening and Crimea would be like this: I live in Miami, mostly Cubans here. Say the Cuban leader got concerned for the Cuban citizens here. The Cuban citizens in Miami voted yes so it’s* ”

Jessica Cher: “Well..I don’t know English very well,so don’t judge me if I make mistakes:)”

Me: *”Ok for Cuba to take over Miami. I don’t know Russian at all so you were doing better than me!” It would never happen.my point is Cuba has no authority over citizens here. Why should Russia have authority over citizens in Ukraine. And if you and I can talk about this why can’t our leaders? It’s really sad that people can connect but governments cannot.❤️”

Jessica Cher: “Crimea was Russian from 1783 and 50% of citizens are Russian I honestly can’t understand why the whole world thinks that Russia acts aggressively about crimea and Ucraine.*”

Me: “I understand. But now it is Ukraine. How can Russia just take it? It’s not theirs to take. Did you know all Ukraine TV is gone? Russian now.”

Me:*It’s because Putin put four times the troops and Crimea and surrounded Ukraine with troops. He says the Western world is anarchy.and he says Ukraine is to westernized. (4 times the troops may not be correct. The exact number is not known. The term “surrounded” was meant of the south and east Ukraine).

Jessica Cher: “I feel like we have absolutely different information,coz they tell us that Russian TV gone from ucraine”.

Me: “Wow. Let me make sure. I will be right back!👍👍❤️”

Jessica Cher: “Crimea is Russian now coz people who live in crimea desided so As we’re said Russia didn’t enter troops into ucraine and crimea. people who live in Crimea have Russian nationality and in the fact they have Ukrainian citizenship and they wanted to return to his homeland of historically it is obvious that it was in the interests of Russia to regain the Crimea because there our fleet. every year we pay rent for our warships and bases located in Ukraine and now we will not do this.”

Me: “But one country cannot conquer part of another country because it does not want to pay rent. If you can, check out my blog. I’ve written 2 or 3 articles about Ukraine. Also are you on Facebook Or is that monitored? We could chat more. My blog is http;//heartsnlaughs.wordpress.com.”

Jessica Cher: “in the UN Charter says that particular Crimea has the right to secede if so wants citizens it’s not about paying rent,it’s about safety of russian-speaking people who want to be a part of Russia. it was their desision,not Russian. it was very nice to talk to you because I have learned a lot of new information and if you do not mind, we can talk about it some more bc I’ve got couple of questions to you:)”.

Me: “I would love to! I’m charging my phone. Are you on Facebook?”

Jessica Cher: No, I’m on * and * only. (Sorry folks, not sharing). I’ll write you tomorrow,fine?) I live in Siberia and it’s 10 pm here now))

Me: “Wow! Yes that would be great and I will leave you a message for when you wake up as well. Night night sleep tight💤💤💤”

Jessica Cher: “Thank you .x what time is it now in Miami?”)

Me: “It’s 11:13am”

Jessica Cher: }Wow,then have a good day;)|

Me: “LOL thank you and you have a good night😎 Just in case you lose contact with me, my email is (blah blah).

Chapter Notes: This is the end of the chapter. By this point, I understand this is a young person. She just had her 17th birthday. And I automatically felt a connection with her. I think of her daily and pray for her and her family.

I hope you have enjoyed what you have read so far. There is more to come. Please comment on what you walk away from this dialogue with. I’m interested in your opinion.

This is 100% how our written conversation went down. Stay on the look out for Chapter 2.

Talk to you soon! xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog Series: Letters from Russia – Introduction

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Does anyone remember this video? It was so long ago…17 years old in fact. I remember seeing it live and when I need a giggle, or a warm fuzzy, I still keep this video at hand. Take a look.

Things are so different now.

With all that has transpired in Russia recently, many news outlets have been reporting daily with updates. Russia vs. Ukraine with Crimea being the prize, has taken center stage as a worldwide concern. I know that many people here, in the USA do not particularly care about the activities in that region of the world right now. But it is important.

I have always said our nation’s security is our #1 issue because without it, nothing else matters. With this in mind, I have made it my business to read and study about the current situation regarding Russia, as well as its history. I have learned a lot. My greatest resource has not been from watching the news or reading the paper.

My understanding of Russia has come to me quite by chance and it nearly did not happen at all. I commented on an article I read in social media, and someone replied, challenging my statement. She was quite snippy with her remark and I answered back equally snippy. I wondered who this person was and realized she was from and still lived in Russia.

In an instant, it occurred to me, with the power of internet and social media, we can connect to the world like never before. Couple that, with watching our governments continually clashing, why not then, should the people attempt to bridge the gap between us? Even if it is only one person at a time,

After all, ignorance leads to fear. Just as education leads to understanding. Fear + ego = global unrest. We are seeing this over and over again, all over the world.

So, even though she and I were a bit snotty to one another at first, I asked her if we could talk further. I wanted to know her story and, as it turns out she wanted to know mine. We have become fast friends. She is a lovely young lady. She is well-educated. She is curious. She wants to know the truth and has no problem expressing herself. Though we have only known each other a short time, I have grown to care deeply for her and applaud her for entertaining opinions that differ so much for her own. We talk daily and they are good, productive conversations.

I know I will probably never get the opportunity to meet her face-to-face. But that does not mean our friendship is any less. It is incredibly interesting and sometimes a little sad that her opinions are so strong. But she is open. She’s no dummy. In fact, she’s really wonderful.

She and I will continue to talk. We will ask questions of each other and offer opinions. With her consent, I will share much of our conversations with you via my blog. Her only condition was that I not report Russia in a negative light. I also assured her that I would not divulge her identity. I would be crushed if our friendship ended because of this. Plus, I must make sure I keep her safe.

And so, I will be writing a blog series titled, “Letters from Russia”. Each conversation/blog will be numbered, much like a book. Consider this blog entry as the introduction to the “book”. Following this will be Chapter 1, then Chapter 2…you get the idea. What you will see is the genuine dedication of two friends learning and understanding each others world.  You will have a better understanding of both of us as the story unfolds.

PLEASE: If there is anything specific you would like me to ask her, just add it to the comments.

This will not be the only subject I will be writing about. I will continue to write about the same types of things I have blogged about in the past. I’m thinking I will write this blog series once a week, depending upon your interest. I really hope that even if you feel this would not be the right blog for you to follow, just give it a chance. We cannot fix our governments, but we can help each other to a better understanding. Hopefully it will be contagious.

Stay tuned for Chapter One, “Letters From Russia” very soon.

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo