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Solschenizyn, Alexander

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Der Spiegel - Germany | 24/07/2007

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on Russia's transformation

Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn explains in an interview with the German weekly Der Spiegel, parts of which were published online, that until NATO's bombardment of Serbia in 1999 Russians regarded the West as the "knights of democracy". "Then we were forced to realise with disappointment that Western politics are primarily guided by an often cynical and self-serving pragmatism. Many Russians experienced this as the destruction of their ideals. The West celebrated the end of the tiresome Cold War and watched how anarchy took hold within Russia during Gorbachev's and Yeltsin's rule, and how Russia gave up all its external ambitions. It quickly got used to the idea that Russia was virtually a third-world country and that this would always be the case. Once Russia started regaining its strength, the West panicked - perhaps as a consequence of long suppressed fears."

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