Posted 30 декабря 2021,, 13:55

Published 30 декабря 2021,, 13:55

Modified 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022,, 22:37

Nina Khrushcheva: why America is unable to understand the Russian mentality

Nina Khrushcheva: why America is unable to understand the Russian mentality

30 декабря 2021, 13:55
Фото: Фото: Соцсети
American politicians still do not understand that the citizens of Russia consider their country great in the same way as the citizens of the United States consider theirs.

The renowned American political scientist Nina Khrushcheva explains in her publication What America Does Not Understand About Russia why it is so difficult for American politicians to overcome the crisis in relations with Putin.

According to Khrushcheva, after back in 2001, President George W. Bush said his famous words about how he looked Putin in the eyes and "felt his soul", which was "very straightforward and worthy of trust," cooperation, relations between countries are invariably descending.

Americans insist that Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union because he called the collapse of the Soviet Union a "tragedy," but that is not the case. Khrushchev cites the opinion of the late American diplomat and strategist George Kennan, the author of the policy of containing the USSR during the Cold War, who believed that the behavior of the USSR was explained by the mentality of a “special country”. The fact that Russians regard their country as a great power is a lot like the idea of American exceptionalism. It is known that according to the latest polls, 58% of Russian citizens are sure that the country is following its own special path, and 75% (!) Believe that the Soviet era was the “greatest time” in the history of Russia. However, only 28% would like to "return to the Soviet path."

This means that Russians are not at all hungry for the revival of the Soviet Union, but for the greatness of the status and influence of their country, and therefore of its spheres of influence in the world. That is why NATO's eastward expansion is fraught with tough resistance, which Kennan has always understood.

Back in 1998, when Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joined NATO, he predicted that Russia "would gradually begin to react quite hostilely" and that the West would say in response that "Russians are always like that." And after all, as many as 11 former satellites of the USSR, including the Baltic republics, entered NATO. And Putin's demands to deny the former Soviet republics entry into the bloc were rejected.

As well as ignored the Kremlin's security concerns, which it associates with the former Soviet republics. According to NATO's logic, no one threatens Russia; but it just threatens its neighbors: it invaded Georgia in 2008, and in 2014 - in Ukraine.

It is unreasonable, according to Khrushcheva, to expect Russia to believe that NATO is pursuing only defensive goals, since it includes countries that are geographically and historically connected to Russia, and therefore also from a security point of view.

Another mistake of the West, which does not understand Russia, the analyst considers the opinion that the nationalist surge associated with the annexation of Crimea is declining. Yes, the war in Donbass and militant rhetoric have tired Russians, but this does not mean that they are ready to sacrifice their security (in their understanding). On the contrary, ignoring the Kremlin's concerns about NATO actions will rally them around Putin. It is not for nothing that only 4% of Russian citizens consider the accumulation of Russian troops near the borders of Ukraine to be the fault of the Kremlin, all the rest blame Ukraine and the United States. And they see a threat to themselves when Zelensky puts on a military uniform and talks about imminent NATO membership, and other Ukrainian politicians declare their readiness for the return of Crimea by force.

It is true that America does not want a repeat of 2014 in Ukraine, but geopolitics has nothing to do with justice. This is a cold calculation. This means that the Americans need to understand that the Russians, like themselves, consider their country to be exceptional. Until this happens, it will not be possible to get out of the vicious circle of crises. This means that human civilization will be under the threat of nuclear war, as Kennan warned.