Friday, April 04, 2014

Some pro-Russian Crimeans already regret their votes

Supporting Russia is one of the choices that often are often regretted later. This is exactly what is expected to happen in Crimea. Some vulnerable people, like canaries in a coalmine, are already regretting.

Quating from Laura Mills' report Crimea side-effect: Addicts deprived of methadone (AP via Yahoo! News):

"Every morning, Sergei Kislov takes the bus to the rundown outskirts of this port city for the methadone doses that keep him off heroin without suffering withdrawal. Now that Russia has taken over Crimea, the trips are about to end...

Russia, which annexed Crimea in mid-March following a referendum held in the wake of Ukraine's political upheavals, bans methadone, claiming most supplies end up on the criminal market. The ban could undermine years of efforts to reduce the spread of AIDS in Crimea; some 12,000 of the region's 2 million people are HIV-positive, a 2012 UNICEF survey found.

After years of rapid growth in the infection rate, the Ukrainian Health Ministry reported the first decline in 2012.

Many have attributed that decline to methadone therapy...In Russia, which recommends that addicts quit cold turkey, HIV is spreading rapidly. According to the Russian Federal AIDS Center, the number of people registered as infected increased by nearly 11 percent in 2013...

In preparation, Kislov has already started reducing his daily intake of methadone by about 10 milligrams each week.

Although he voted enthusiastically for Crimea to join Russia, he didn't expect the methadone program to end so quickly...

Patients say that since the program started here five years ago, local doctors had been nothing but supportive of the therapy. They reassured recovering addicts ahead of the referendum that the program would be extended at least until the end of the year.

That attitude changed on March 20, when the director of Russia's Federal Drug Service, Viktor Ivanov, announced that the program would be banned in Crimea...

Even if the group gets permission from local authorities to extend the program, the Ukrainian health minister told local news agencies Monday that Ukraine would not be sending any more methadone to Crimea, and recommended that any addicts there move to mainland Ukraine if they wanted to continue their treatment.

For Alexander Kolesnikov, a 40-year-old who has now been in the group for four years, moving to Ukraine isn't a possibility. He's proud of being from Sevastopol and has an aging, diabetic mother to care for.

But while the two went proudly to the polls on March 16 to vote for joining Russia, they are now dreading how a return to life without methadone might affect them.

"One half of my mother's heart is for Russia — for example, she will get a higher pension and she'll have a better standard of living," he said. "But the other half of her heart supports me, and she doesn't want to see me in that state ever again.""

Let me first mention that I am filled with disgust to the Crimean voters mentioned in the report. I think that people like Kislov and Kolesnikov who have made such a mess of their lives should have the decency to abstain from voting. They have proven in a dramatic way their decision-making incompetence, and they should not go "proudly" to decide the fate of their country and their fellow countrymen.

As for Mr. Kolesnikov's mother, she shows us in pure form the ugly face of elderly egoism. What is her primary motivation for voting? To get "a higher pension and a better standard of living". For the same reason, elderly Bulgarians keep voting for the Bulgarian Socialist Party, although everyone knows that electing this party is a recipe for disaster. Obsessed with their pensions, selfish old people do not hesitate to doom their young compatriots to misery and nonfreedom. A surprisingly high number of retirees are happy to sell their souls for the equivalent of $ 5. Elderly egoism is a very serious menace for the future of all countries that have completed the demographic transition.

Let me finish by copying a comment to the report, by someone posting as Randy:

"Dude, you voted to become part of Russia and now you are complaining? Maybe you should have voted to stay as part of Ukraine. Given your choice, you would be facing this sooner or later. I don't know why I am having a problem giving you sympathy...  Many people in Crimea will soon realize that they have not exactly solved all their problems by joining Russia. Many things will, in fact, become a lot worse. Better get your visa so you can leave what you voted to create."

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