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comment by FirebrandRoaring

    but only for the reason that it crops up in almost 20%-ish of the articles written about him.

And here I am, talking about like nobody's heard it before. I get it now. See upper-level for a bit of clarification.

    I want to declare once again that we citizens of the U.S. don't hold you citizens of Russia directly accountable

I hear you. If I've ever assumed that anyone would, it was a mistake on my part.

    We would, however, like to see some changes within your government

Absolutely!

    but doubt whether or not the populace has the information or ability to affect those changes

Or the desire.

I've read somewhere that the quality of life is low enough to provoke popular displeasure, but not low enough to provoke an active desire to change (whether it's a revolution or a strong political movement). Even considering how people like to complain, there are certain points that Russians bring up often:

The prices are rising faster than the paychecks.

The police does nothing (or can do nothing).

The hospitals are overcrowded, the doctors are overbooked and pissed.

And yet there's stability (here's one of the staple words of the regime): no war, no troubles in the country, very little crime (as if) and the paychecks are actually being given out (which is big fear for older people, like my parents' generation, who have experienced it in the post-Soviet decade). Nothing's changing, and I feel like, in the position the Russian people are in, they're rather have that than gather what little strength they have and go out to fight the regime.

Then again, I might be wrong. I've heard of the protests in Russia that the local media never report on but have never observed just how strong or frequent they are. I hope I'm wrong. I hope people want change more than they want whatever we have now.

Here's to hoping.