The Russians Have a Word for Dressing Up Reality

“When a team of US psychiatrists visits the Soviet Union next month to size up the state of Soviet psychiatry, they might want to interview Leonid Dobrov if they can find him. Dobrov has been in hiding since April, when he escaped from a psychiatric hospital in Kishinev. Dobrov could tell the Americans about the regular beatings dealt out to patients at the Dnepropetrovsk Special (i.e., police) Psychiatric Hospital while doctors looked the other way. He can warn them to watch out for ‘pokazvkha,’ which is the well-developed Soviet art of dressing up reality. At the Kishinev hospital, he said, patients always knew when inspectors were coming because bird cages and flowers suddenly appeared in the wards.”

Scott Shane from Moscow in the Baltimore Sun, October 6,
1988, after a clandestine interview in Moscow with a fugitive sculptor and teacher put away as insane because he agitated for the linguistic rights of his minority people in Moldavia

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