Relatively little is known about the disabled in Russia, although more information is available now than when it was thought that talking about the disabled or showing pictures of them was as taboo as talking about train wrecks or natural disasters. The situation began to change in the early 1990s as mass-circulation newspapers began to publish photo and other types of stories about the disabled, but discussions of problems the disabled faced were still rare, except in the pages of Sotsial’noe obespechenie, a journal supported by the Russian Ministry of Social Protection. More recently, some information appears fairly regularly in the popular press. Ogonëk, a mass-circulation magazine, has in the last few years published a number of sympathetic depictions of the disabled,1 including a discussion of terminally ill cancer patients.2 Izvestiia reported as news in 1998 that in Artem, a city in the maritime region, several dozen blind people and children were picketing and living in tents in front of the city’s administrative offices, to protest the fact that their dormitory, built in 1957, has neither lights, nor plumbing, nor water.3 There are quite a few stories dealing with participation by the disabled in various sports, with the theme generally that such participation returns the individual to life.4
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