Er, did someone mention Russia? I have lived in different cities of Russia for just over ten years now. I am as British as they come and have no relatives here either. I'm not quite as kneedeep in it as Krepestnoi - I've never studied Russia or Russian as an academic subject, for example - but I feel I've earned the t-shirt. Putin is a corportate thug, and I hate the way certain Western right-wingers have taken to idolising him and apologising for him in various ways. That said, as Cochise remarked above, Russian has come a long, long way in recent times. I am rather surprised at Krepestnoi's depressing outburst above. I have never felt endangered here in any way and can't think of that many people who I know who have been. Russia leaves you alone if you leave it alone, is what I find. Moreoever, I feel justified in continuing to think of the big old place as an `emerging democracy`. Yes, this may be a case of one step forwrd, two steps back a lot of the time, but there are green shoots in evidence if you care to look for them. We tend to forget that, in living memory of many posters here, Spain - sunny Spain - used to be under a dictatorship. As for whether is is ethical to continue to work here or not....well, we all have our own lines in the sand, I suppose. I am not making great money here and largely stay out of personal interest. As an experienced and well -qualified teacher of English I have been told that I could be making life changingly big money in the Middle East (by, for example, former colleagues who are now over there) but I refuse to budge.This is largely because I couldn't work for a regime which has public executions (I've heard stories of teachers being invited to pic-n ics in which the chief entertainment consisted of public beheadings) and where men and women are strictly separated. Neither of those things apply to Russia, whatever else you might say. I do not openly oppose the regime, and often wish that I could feel as though I could, however, in its own small way my job does involve building bridges between the East and West - and Putin's brand of Nationalistic-Conservatism relies on a feeling of Us vs Them to survive, which I, and those like me, are chipping away at.