Monday, April 03, 2006

The Eyes of the World in Russia

Большой Город - БГ встретился с иностранными коллегами и посмотрел в глаза, которыми мир смотрит на Россию.

Bolshoi Gorod has an interesting story about foreign correspondents in Russia, revealing a bit about each writer and their personal experiences and prejudices regarding Russia. The links above are in Russian; a crude English translation can be read
here via Promt webpage translation. An incomplete English version (with only part of three of the interviews) can be found here on MosNews. The MosNews story skews things a bit, by not including Raed Dzhaber of the newspaper Al-Hayat and Chzhungu B'engsanu of a conservative South Korean newspaper.

The prejudices of the writers,
Dina Nyushina and Mikhail Vinogradov (joke - I wonder if he is related to Gilbert Grape?) clearly show through in their impressions of each writer, as well. This isn't necessarily bad, as I find these prejudices and impressions to be typical of many Russians (I can't say all, however) so it makes for a good study of Russian viewpoints. It all makes for an interesting character study - not only how each country views Russia - but how Russia views the watchers and each country. Surely, Russia is overly eager to present good images of their nation to the rest of the world.

The Reporters:
  • Stephen Lee Myers, New York Times - Characterized as being not typically American as he has a "shy smile" and seems to enjoy Russia. Typical American in that he is a sloppy and disorganized pig.



  • Klaus-Helge Donat, Die Tageszeitung (The Daily News) - Charcterized as a liberal slanderer and irrational hater of Russia. Is dying to get out of Russia as soon as possible. Apparently it has something to do with the cold ...



  • Marie Jego, Le Monde (The World) - Awestruck by the changes in Moscow the last 10 to 15 years, irritated by Russian rudeness, but thinks everything is getting better in Russia, not worse.



  • Raed Dzhaber, Al-Hyat - States both Russia and Arab world do not have enough representatives of the liberal press. Smoking and drinking turkish coffee, he states the world policies of the US are a big failure and because of this Russia aspires to be "in first place". Russia the big friend, the great neighbor [the great seller of weapons to Arab states, I add cynically].

  • Chzhungu B'engsanu, South Korea - Well dressed and organized, he considers Russia the "world's most important country" and more interesting than America, China, or Japan. Oh yes, and he has a Russian wife (an important detail, I suppose) It was also noted that Myers wife is Portuguese, Jego's husband is Turkish, and Donat is twice married, both to Russian women. Dzhaber is presumably too busy smoking to find a wife.

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