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Give modern Russia a look

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Regarding Mr. (Gordon) Ainsleigh’s letter of Dec. 20, almost all of his comments had some basis in fact, except at least one. It was not Russia that terrorized eastern Europe during the cold war years, it was the Soviet Union (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) of which Russia happened to be one of 15 republics and the seat of the Union. In 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia became a free and independent nation, loosely connected within the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 1993, a new constitution was ratified for the Russian Federation which included a bi-cameral legislature and included individual freedoms very similar to the guarantees amended to the Constitution of the United States. That the U.S. Constitution was used as a model may be open to question, but reading through the constitution of the Russian Federation, the similarity is undeniable. Unfortunately, far too many influential Americans regard modern Russia as the old Soviet Union (Sen. John McCain for one) perpetuating an unjustified animosity that needs to be corrected. Russia is not a communist country. Of the five political parties, the Communist Party being one, it holds about 2 percent of the Lower House with United Russia nearest to a majority. The reason for this dissertation ... the warmonger mentality in Washington, D.C. continues to create false scenarios intended to stir up fear and hatred where there should be none. Modern Russia is a market-driven economy (with stock markets) with vibrant private companies partly supported by the federal government. We need to look at modern Russia as more of a friend and market opportunities, and not as an enemy. They are like us except they sleep when we’re awake. Bob Kaiser, Newcastle