Exactly. Remember Abu Ghraib? There was enormous, widespread outrage in the US over the torture of Iraqi prisoners. But in Russia people sincerely don’t understand why it’s not cute and funny to watch videos of Russian soldiers castrating Ukrainian POWs.
Remember a few years ago when Russians fed a polar bear who had just had cubs some explosives, filmed the animal’s gruesome death and gleefully posted it online? Yes, a human being is not an animal but this gives you a good indication as to where a culture is heading. What we see today is a natural result of the direction of Russian progress.
Ukrainians have been sending the bodies of the dead Russian soldiers back home. There was a hope that once parents saw their dead boys, they’d oppose the war. But the opposite happened. The grieving parents are swapping the bodies for cash rewards and old cars that the government gives them and eagerly sending more of their sons to war in hope of another payout if another son is killed. They post joyful videos of driving these old clunkers they get as a reward. It’s really weird to watch but it’s not surprising because I’ve seen how N’s mother treats him, and she’d totally not mind getting this kind of reward.
I’ve been saying for years that not all cultures are the same. People aren’t widgets. There are cultures with a completely different understanding of life and family. We make a huge mistake when we assume that everybody feels as we do.
Of course, when I say these things, somebody immediately points out that murderers, serial killers, and bad parents exist everywhere. They do but that’s not what I’m talking about here. There either is a widespread societal approval of these behaviors or there isn’t. And once there is, things get really scary.