Culture: A Mind of Their Own

On their voyage of reinvention, Russians grapple with the centuries-old question of what their national destiny should be

Russia cannot be understood with the mind,

Or measured by an ordinary yardstick:

She has a special status --

All you can do is believe in Russia.

-- FYODOR TYUTCHEV

No nation can ever become something altogether new: it is what it is by virtue of what is in the minds of its people. Those habits of thought, ingrained over the centuries by geography and the vagaries of invading tribes and traders, do not shift as easily as the political winds. To make their voyage of reinvention even harder, Russians, ever since their empire began expanding from the principality of Muscovy...

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