Russia update

Still going through Russian Accelerator and asking odd question to kind Russian friends / friend of friends on FB.

Very excited to be going to St Petersburg with a friend for 5 days in May – the Russian tourist office in London have been completely fab about everything. Will be great opportunity to practice Russian and what a beautiful place to see first. 

After 10 months of following various Russia accounts on twitter, blogs am still shocked by some of the hostility but I live in a country that is more hostile than previously thought and I have campaigned at grassroots.

Off tangent but I was campaigning in Rotherham with a candidate on NHS issues. He is Asian and a lovely man. There has been a lot of press in Rotherham about child grooming by an Asian gang. We walked into a pub and it was a bunch of white blokes who stared at us. My friend was temporarily uncomfortable but I walked  up to first table and introduced us. One of the men said this is a National Front pub and we chatted a bit more. I explained that my friend had founded and continued to self-fund Rotherham learning disabilities network and after that tension eased.

I haven’t done this level of preparation before visiting a country but keen to find out more. I understand very little about Russian politics so keep reminding myself daily not to rush to snap judgements about the way things are. I have found Irrussianality blog and Rethinking Russia useful for this and Kremlinstooge and Odessa blog for further commentary on Ukraine and other topics.

Maybe none of us would be where we are if it wasn’t for the kindness and compassion of others – this is certainly true of the last ten months on all things Russia.

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