Not Denmark

Yes, Russia is definitely not Denmark.  It’s more like the DROC.

Vision of Humanity has released its 2011 Global Peace Index (GPI), which places the Russian Federation as the 147th least peaceful country in the world.  To get your bearings, Pakistan is 146th.  The DROC is 148th, North Korea 149th, etc.

The most peaceful countries were Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Czech Republic, etc.  The United States was 82nd.

The study uses 21 indicators of peacefulness; it doesn’t just count active conflicts.  It looks at societal security and safety issues and militarization.  The results are tested against related indicators on democracy, tolerance, education, etc., things where a country would be expected to score high or low depending on how peaceful it is.

At any rate, add Russia’s 147th on the GPI to its “Not Free” rating by Freedom House, its 154th on TI’s Corruption Perception Index, and its 140th on RWB’s Press Freedom Index.

Some Russian media coverage of the GPI . . .

Novyye izvestiya quotes Sergey Karaganov:

“A steady negative background is following Russia in recent years.  And this influences the evaluations of experts.”

He says not to believe such semi-artificial research fully, but:

“It’s true Russia doesn’t appear to be a peace-loving country.  Because we have quite an impressive history of using armed forces and a quite strong power element in our domestic and foreign policy.  So there’s nothing offensive or surprising in this.  We actually use force in conflict situations.  We conducted two ‘victorious’ wars in the last decade.  One of them civil in Chechnya, the second in Georgia.  Therefore, it’s not appropriate to talk about needing to compare us with Denmark.  And the fact that we’re in such company [Pakistan, DROC???] should make us think.”

Aleksandr Khramchikhin doesn’t think this assessment of peacefulness is objective:

“From a scientific point of view, such ratings are bogus because a green square sums it up.  No kind of strict scientific assessments could be done this way.  Therefore, if this rating in some way coincides with reality, it’s completely accidental.  In general, it’s incomprehensible why such indicators, as, for example, corruption are included there.  It seems to me that everything’s very artificial in the indicators.”

Chaskor.ru notes that Russia’s 147th rating on a list of 153 countries is a drop of four places from last year.  Looking into the report, it concludes Russia’s high level of crime and terrorist threat along with its significant spending on its power ministries explain its low ranking for peacefulness.  It also rated high for the ratio of police and internal security personnel to total population.

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