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Another Russian loony bin burns down

Illustration for article titled Another Russian loony bin burns down

Dozens are dead in yet another fire at a psychiatric institution in Russia. This one was such a firetrap authorities were apparently "trying to" condemn it, but hadn't. The story goes on to say that this is the second such incident in recent times, and reflects a growing concern for how Russia treats its mentally ill.

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Russia believes in institutions. For orphans. Elderly. Disabled. Less than perfect babies. The country is full of them, shut away from the rest of society.

So then if these institutions are made of ancient materials and falling apart and nobody's fixing them and then they mysteriously catch fire and the people inside die....One smells a plan afoot.

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On several visits to Moscow I was always struck by never seeing any disabled people on the street. No wheelchairs, no walkers. Maybe an old Babushka with a crutch, but you should have seen how little regard they had for her, pushing and crowding by her like her bones weren't so much more brittle than theirs. I asked and was told it's the way, no sympathy for old grandmas.

I never saw accomodations for the disabled. No ramps. No lifts. Impassable sidewalks. And the worst — high-rise apartments with no elevator. Or one that never worked. I asked my Russian friends and they shrugged and said if you were in a wheelchair you probably spent a lot of time sitting in your apartment looking out the window.

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What do y'all think about this attitude? Or have I got it wrong and do you have better knowledge of this? Or do you not care? Can you say "hello" in Russian? I can also teach you how to say "Meet my little dog." I figure we ought to start having fireside chats about Russia since we're about to nuke the shit out of one another....

Illustration for article titled Another Russian loony bin burns down

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