For the Love of Russia

Watching “Russia’s Toughest Prisons” on Netflix. Not exactly the typical thing to watch, but my love of Russia won out and I started it. It is interesting to see the way in which prisoners of another country are treated and managed. And we’re only at prison #1 right now, Black Dolphin…the strongest in Russia, near the Kazakhstan border.

However interesting it may be, it is also extremely disheartening. This is the Russia that is shown to the world, America in particular. And it’s the only Russia that’s shown.

Shows like this are very likely what causes the majority of my peers to think I’m insane for wanting to go to Russia. Here, it appears deadly, terrifying, and cold–in a number of ways. Yet, I find myself fascinated with the Russians’ hardiness, shall we say, for survival. Even the deadly killers and cannibals seem far more dignified than those in the States. Also, they’re showing all the prisons in the dead of winter (50 below 0 weather)…much more daunting than Russia in spring/summer.

Facts from the show:
Russia has a murder rate that is 5x higher than that in the United States.
Russia prison tattoos are some of the most famous; Classic tattoos were used to create an identity, and more recent transitions (80s on) show the duality of light and dark.

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