There was a thread today that got locked supporting Putin that was frankly flame bait. I'm making this post to create civil discussion.
As an American, the annexation of Crimea is not what concerns me about Putin. Crimea was Russian land until the 60's. Khrushchev added the land to Ukraine without considering that the USSR may one day be dissolved. Majority of the people living there are ethnically Russian.
What concerns me about contemporary Russia is its extreme sense of nationalism. Leaders have always used nationalism to manipulate their people. The country's become extremely conservative and hostile towards minorities, homosexuals, and women.
During the Olympics, Pussy Riot was protesting in public, performing a song called "Putin Will Make You Love The Motherland". A conservative Russian group started whipping the women in the street while the police just stood there and watched.
Voltaire once said "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." Men and women, heterosexuals and homosexuals, westerners and Russians, all deserve to have the right of self expression. It is apparent that Mr. Putin does not believe so.
I hope that thread produces meaningful debate rather than a flame war. Let's be civil.