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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Getting a Charge From the Moscow Metro

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In response to "From the Depths of Moscow," a comment by Megan Stack on Jan. 18.

Megan Stack's Dostoevskian view of the Moscow metro is too unidimensional. Perhaps because my profession as a scholar is isolating, I find comfort being one among the many in the subway. My fellow riders seem more human -- and environmentally conscious -- than drivers who complain incessantly about traffic jams. The Moscow metro is cleaner and runs more frequently -- 30 seconds between trains at rush hour -- than the Paris metro. And unlike the baffling New York subway, its layout is obvious.

I also notice the destitute passengers, but most metro users, regardless of their difficult lives, project enviable resilience and dignity. I never have a day so bad in Moscow that giving away a few 10 ruble notes doesn't help put my problems into perspective.

But I mainly get a charge from the power of the workhorse metro and a sense of human comfort when engulfed among the fur coats. I maintain awareness of my bag at all times, however.

Catherine LeGouis
Professor, Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, Massachusetts

In response to "More Kremlin Bullying," comments from The New York Times and Financial Times on Jan. 21.

The current arm wrestling between Russia and the Britain goes well beyond what was described in the editorials. We are witnessing a worldwide contest between Russia, Britain and the United States for control of energy resources that reached a new climax last week with President Vladimir Putin's grand slam in Bulgaria. This competition over mineral wealth has been masked by an artificial public relations issue -- the ideological fig leaf put up by Britain, among others, bashing Russia for an alleged return to authoritarianism.

As regards the British Council in Russia, we are all shedding crocodile tears. Its English language courses have been denounced as unfair competition with other language schools available in a large quantity in Russia. And as a source of information about British higher education, the Council has today comforted its Russian friends by pointing them to its online services.

Gilbert Doctorow
Brussels, Belgium

So Andrei Lugovoi allegedly assassinated Alexander Litvinenko. And that's fine -- he becomes a hero, gets elected to the State Duma and is appointed second head of the LDPR party list. He also gets asked if he will run for president.

Vitaly Kaloyev, the architect from the Caucasus region of North Ossetia, assassinates Peter Nielsen, a Swiss-based air-traffic controller, and Kaloyev gets a senior government job in his hometown.

Now, just what message about Russian society and morals does that send?

Giles Cattermole
Sonning-on-Thames, U.K.