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Understanding Russian Hearts and Minds

•, by Guy Somerset
 Few dissertations have thus far bothered to concern themselves with the realpolitik preoccupying the Kremlin due two decades of broken promises from liberal Western leaders culminating in relentless encroachment of NATO upon former Soviet territories. Lamentably, even less time has been devoted to the national psychology; for one cannot understand the politics unless one first understands the people.

In this, primary among aspects of the Russian psyche is its capacity for creativity. Whether painting silk in St. Petersburg or weaving rugs on the Steppes, most Slavs exhibit inventive talents; a collective passion remarked upon as early as Gogol. Essential in modern artistry are literacy and innovation, characteristics lending themselves to defining a self-reliant, adaptable and intuitive population.

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