Where is the R in BRICS?

Julia Ioffe has articulated what I’ve meant to write so well.

Where is the R in BRICS?  No Russians I know want to go back to Russia, myself included, no matter how much money the government provides. I’ve been extremely homesick for Russia, but then I remember that, in 2004 my dad was still afraid the Moscow hotel we were staying in was being wiretapped, and I snap out of it. For myself and Ioffe, the fact that our parents were Jewish refugees from a government that officially called them kikes may have something to do with it.

The economic boom there is for the kleptocracy, which I could never, ever get into.  The last time Russia welcomed repatriates, or “traitors,” was during the Stalin “administration.” Then they all got capped.  It’s no wonder that we’re all a little jumpy and, with the population decline, Russia is scraping the bottom of every barrel of every immigrant population in the world.

I know people that have gone back to China and India for opportunities.  But if someone, like Ioffe, goes back to Russia, they are insane.  Or end up writing a book about it.