Staunton, July 1 – Every nation has a unique set of coping strategies, and Russia is no exception. Some promise to solve problems but many only cover up or delay their resolution. In a Nezavisimaya gazeta article today, commentator Igor Yarkevich lists 13 such “Russian strategies” (ng.ru/ng_exlibris/2020-07-01/13_1036_strategies.html).
1. Drink heavily and then ask “what is to be done?” and “who is guilty?”
2. Give the world the finger while insisting that everyone is falsely accusing Russia because they don’t understand “the mysterious Russian soul.”
3. Repeatedly choose leaders who won’t solve problems and then accuse “global warming, liberalism, and Western institutions” for all of Russia’s problems.
4. Constantly shift back and forth between attachment to 19th century Russian literature and ignoring it as the country tries to deal with problems that literature didn’t address.
5. Take part in protests and shout “the powers must go” and then go home and forget that participation and begin to denounce protests as ineffective at best.
6. Denounce the 1990s then and later only eventually to recognize that Russia hasn’t had a better decade in recent times.
7. Hold women up to the impossible standards of one’s first love and then turn against all of them despite being incapable of understanding why the deification of one leads to the damnation of all others – a pattern broader than just the one between the sexes.
8. Turn from hating Stalin to believing he is Russia’s “all,” and then repeating that cycle with all subsequent leaders.
9. Fall asleep, dream of a Russia unlike any Russia that has ever been, and then wake up to discover it won’t change.
10. View Russian patriotism as “an advanced progressive ideology” only to discover that it doesn’t work for ordinary people but only for their rulers.
11. Believe that Russia contains something besides the powers that be and songs like Katyusha only to discover that for most people it doesn’t.
12. Always be convinced that “Russia will never escape from the vicious circle of Russian problems” only to escape and then return and then escape again.
13. Give the finger to everything, then accept everything, then show it the finger again, and then accept it because one has shown it the finger.