Non-libertarian hell

Trump didn't meet Putin and Putin's popularity among the Russian people is 80%.
Trump did meet Russian people and commented on them, not Putin, except for a speculation be would get along.
I went sailing with an exceptional Russian yesterday. I might get along with Putin also. So what?

I lived in Eastern Ukraine in 1998/99, and there are many misconceptions about the regions that get reduced to a simplistic sound byte. The Crimea problem goes back to Kheruschev's PR decision in 1954. The area is ethnically Russian, and the citizens were undergoing a "Ukranization" policy similar to the Magyarization policy of the Austri-Hungarian empire in real action to ethnic Ukrainians in Galicia. The Poles in the East around Lvov/Lviv/Lemburg did not face such social engineering, and the whole situation was, in any case, given over to the mob. There were stores known as '"many zero shops" that bespoke the pricing of conspicuous consumption. This isn't even a clan culture!

The anger over the famines of the 30's is palpable and justifiable, as they were completely the result of collective farming.

In regard to Russia: it simply needs a strong leader. History always shows this. Let us not begrudge it. The Russians are a proud people, and they are excluded worldwide. Cultural values are different there: doctors are respected, but viewed like a schoolteacher with corresponding wages. Moreover, they still have a bona-fide peasant class.

There are things I love about that country. The way exams are given in schools. The way engineering is applied rather than given over to credential inflation. The appreciation of the arts. The way the people sing - actually sing with full voice- when Americans can't recite happy birthday in a restaurant.

And the ignorance of this country is all the reason to shut our trap.