Is there a country more misunderstood than Russia?
To me, Russia is a matryoshka doll. Nothing is what it appears to be and always, there is another layer to be discovered.
So few of us Westerners understand Russia or Russians. So few of us have made an effort to go there. Yet, we have a steadfast opinion on its people and their leader. Catching a glimpse of the many layers of this matryoshka doll is reason enough to visit.
Within a span of 100 years, Russia has experimented with all kinds of ‘ism’ – monarchism, fascism communism, socialism and capitalism. The largest country in the world (it has 11 time zones!), it was (and still is?) one of the great superpowers. It was the first country to put a man into space (much to the chagrin of its arch-rival, the U.S.). It has an abstruse and highly effective Machiavellian leader who will be remembered (for better or worse) in infamy. Its capital city, Moscow, has more billionaires than any other city in the world (what?!) while the average income for most Russians is mere $100 per month. Russia is interesting at so many levels.