Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Colonization of Russia

Over the past week, FH has put together a very intriguing series of posts about the creeping Chinese colonization of Siberia. (here, here, here, and here) I'll be honest and say that before I read these posts I had no idea that it was such a major problem. FH goes through several possible ideas as a way to stem this problem, including giving cash incentives to families who migrate to Siberia or selling Siberia to the US. While I tend to think that the cash incentive is the most practical, Russia hardly has enough money to fund this venture. So what should they do? They have a negative birth rate and the country is ravaged by organized crimes and AIDS.

In addition to the above posts, readers interested in the political aspects of Russia should read these articles. In Velvet Glove, The New Republic author Masha Gessen argues that contary to what Americans think about the Russian people nowadays, they do want democracy and not a dictatorship. Conversely, Paul Starobin argues that in this modern day world of terrorism, authoritarianism is sought by people in order to provide them with sufficient protection at home.

The Economist also weighs in with an opinion piece of Russian President Vladimir Putin.