by Don  

The word против in Russian means “against” in the sense of being for or against an idea. It can be used adverbially, without an object:

— Мы решили поехать кататься на лыжах. Ты не против?
— Нет, совсем не против. Я с удовольствием поеду.
“We decided to go on a ski trip. Are you okay with that?”
“I'm not at all against it. I'll be happy to go.”

In the above dialog the phrase that is translated “Are you okay with that?” literally means “You aren't against?” This is one of those places where a word for word translation would get the tone of the dialog wrong; instead a good translator will select a phrase in English that matches the emotional content of the original. Another example:

В июне девяносто шестого года Лужкова выбрали мэром Москвы. Девяносто пять процентов населения проголосовало за него, и только пять процентов против. In June of ninety-six Luzhkov was elected mayor of Moscow. Ninety-five percent of the population voted for him, and a mere five percent against.

The word против can also be used as a preposition that governs the genitive case:

Кто не с нами, тот против нас. Whoever is not with us is against us.
Во второй мировой войне русский народ сражался против нацистов. In the second world work the Russian people struggled against the Nazis.

Hm... what other things have the Russians battled against? Ah, yes, here's a glorious reminder of one of the lesser known battles of World War II:

Can you read the sign? That's right: STALIN VERSUS THE MARTIANS! What, dear reader? You didn't know that Stalin saved the planet from evil aliens while also fighting the Nazis? That is because you have an American education and can't tell the pax romana from the chicken pox. This vital battle is commemorated in an RTS game by BWF/DreamLore/N-Game. In short, it's an übersimplified version of Blitzkrieg II (review here). Do you want to know more? Do you want to see Stalin dancing like a raver kid strung out on Ecstasy? Then you need to view this trailer:

Attentive students will notice that Stalin's Russian is not so great. That's because he was an ethnic Georgian who never really perfected the language. Russians love to poke fun at people what can't talk right.

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