This article was originally published by the Center for the Study of Democracy
More than a generation has passed since the Berlin Wall came down, the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and the contest between East and West that had lasted more than 40 years ended. The average European would have been 15 years old at the time, hardly politically conscious. (More than half of the American population would have been a mere nine years old.) In the contemporary accelerated time frames of the West, those events are ancient history – but not to Russia’s current leadership steeped in the history of imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.