Russia is a country most people have an opinion about, and in many cases these opinions tend to be negative. No country or culture can be classified good or bad (the world is not black and white, it is shades of grey), and the same applies to Russia. I could write a long list with the good things this country has to offer, for the negative things you only need to switch on the news.
But one thing that never has been a strong in Russia is something that people in the West take for granted: freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, no active debate can be formed among people in order to improve and develop the society they live in*. This issue, its causes and consequences, deserves a deeper analysis that I am going to give in this blog. I just want you, the readers, to be aware of the fact that a demonstration will be organised in Moscow tomorrow. The purpose of this demonstration is to commemorate the human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and the journalist Anastasia Barbulova, as well as protest against political murder. These individuals were killed for their opinions, and their courage deserves any ounce of respect. More importantly, their work should not be forgotten. Not by Russians and not by foreigners, who should take a moment to be think about their own political systems.
* or so we like to believe.