Escaping Putin's Russia the Hard Way
Besides being burdened by high rates of alcoholism, TB, HIV, crime, corruption, smoking, and drug addiction, Russia is suffering a stealth epidemic of suicide.
Child and teenage suicide in Russia came into spotlight after a series of suicides last month. On February 6 two teenage girls jumped from the roof of a high-rise building. The next day a 15-year-old boy jumped from the window of his apartment presumably after a row with his father. Subsequently, at least four other children committed suicide in about one week.
On Monday afternoon a seven-year-old boy hanged himself on a synthetic cord in his house. His stepfather and sister were in the house at the moment, but could not rescue him.
“After the boy witnessed his father’s suicide, he occassionally asked his mother what happens when you put a rope around your neck,” investigation department spokesman Yegor Markov said. _ria.ru
Russia is hard on its children, and Yelizaveta Petsylya and Anastasia Korolyova finally decided, at the age of 14, to do what thousands of other Russian teenagers have done. There was one way to assert control over their lives, and that was to end them.The articles focus on teens, but the problem is severe across all age groups past the onset of adolescence. Children take to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs at an early age. Home life can be oppressive, given the oppressive sense of futility that hovers over so much of Russia.
Russia has the third-highest teenage suicide rate in the world, just behind its neighbors Belarus and Kazakhstan and more than three times that of the United States. On an average day, about five Russians under age 20 take their own lives.
...The suicide rate is highest in the Far East and in parts of northwestern Russia, said Bertrand Bainvel, head of the UNICEF office in Moscow. It is much higher in small towns than in cities. More boys kill themselves than girls. There is not a big seasonal variation, despite the long hours of darkness in a northern winter. _WaPo
Despite claims that low Russian birthrates have reversed themselves, the truth is that without immigration from the Central Asian republics, the ongoing demographic collapse of ethnic Russians could not be covered up nearly so easily.
Russians need hope and opportunity, not more of the same forced march to oblivion.
Labels: Russian woe