Susan Glasser on George Kennan, author of the famous Long Telegram that formed American policy during the Cold War:
….Based in Moscow a few years later, Kennan saw the historical contradictions that undermined the foundation of the Soviet regime — while at the same time giving it a veneer of power. Russians were “used to extreme cold and extreme heat, prolonged sloth and sudden feats of energy, exaggerated cruelty and exaggerated kindness, ostentatious wealth and dismal squalor, violent xenophobia and uncontrollable yearning for contact with the foreign world, vast power and the most abject slavery, simultaneous love and hate for the same objects.” Looking for an insight into the forces competing for political supremacy in Russia today, you could do far worse than Kennan’s observations.
Today we would call that bi-polar.
……”The strength of the Kremlin lies largely in the fact that it knows how to wait,” Kennan wrote. “But the strength of the Russian people lies in the fact that they know how to wait longer.”