rich nations, falsifies the discourse from the outset.rnAs Ambassador Richard F. Staar pointed out, Russians comprisern83 percent of all Russian Federation people but occupyrnless than half of federation territory. The other half belongs tornvarious national groups to whom Russian rule brought unqualifiedrnmisery. The British settlers civilized the lands theyrntook away from the American Indians, and they created a newrnnation in these territories, eventually severing their political tiesrnwith the country from which they came. But Russians kept attackingrntheir contiguous neighbors and, having overpoweredrnthem, treated them as Mother Russia’s bounty. Russians generallyrntreat wealth as something one can take away from Paulrnand give to Peter, not as something that can be created. FromrnPeter the Great until 1914, the empire has expanded at a raternof 55 square miles a day, plundering other people’s wealth as itrnwent along.rnIt can only be imagined what brutalities this rate of expansionrncreated both for the conquered and the conquerors. Thesernbrutalities became enshrined in the empire’s social memoryrnand its political behavior. Such voracious colonial appetite alsorncreated a land glut that exists to this day in the Russian Federation.rnIt made assimilation and the rule of law practically impossible.rnThe Russian Federation is simply too vast and diversernto be administered in an orderly fashion or to be a unified state.rnIt can be ruled only by a tyrant, whether he be czar or commissar.rnThis rather obvious conclusion emerges as one acquiresrnsome knowledge of the geographic, linguistic, and historical differencesrnbetween the various lands that American courtiers sornobligingly call “Russia.” But I have yet to encounter a Russiawatcherrnwho would come forth with a set of coherent suggestionsrnin this regard. The fear of offending Moscow goes far beyondrngovernment circles. It is a disease that has affected a goodrnnumber of American scholars, not to speak of journalists.rnWhile the latter may claim that their livelihood is at stakern(Newsweek’s Moscow bureau chief, Andrew Nagorski, was expelledrnin 1982 for “impermissible methods of journalistic activities”),rnscholars do not have a similar excuse.rnWhile the empire expanded in an unprecedented fashion, itrnfailed to produce intellectuals capable of fashioning out arnmodus Vivendi for the vast territories conquered by the brutalizedrnand brutalizing Russian peasants. With a few notable exceptions,rnthe Russia-watchers in this countrv have refused tornnotice that very little in Russian history, literature, or social experiencernprovides patterns of peaceful living within Russia’srnethnic borders. The tragedy of Russia is that its culture createdrnno understanding that the military must be subordinated tornthe civilian, that treaties with weaker neighbors were not to bernsecretly broken, and that a nation need not constantly think ofrnhow to sow discord among its neighbors, with a view to takingrnthem over and running their countries for its own benefit.rnRussia has had no political thinkers who could lead it into arnpeaceful and realistic world. The best ideas Russia has producedrnare applicable to private lives (as, for instance, some ideasrnof Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn), but not to the running of arnstate or to the study of history. On the political side, there havernbeen the expansionists and bards of Russian suffering (includingrnDostoyevsky); the wrongheaded Utopians like Chernyshevskyrnor Tkachev, from whom Lenin derived his conceptionrnof an elitist Communist Party; and the benign Utopians like Tolstoy,rnwho led Russian social thought down dead-end streets.rnNot only did Russia not have its Thomas Jefferson or GeorgernWashington or the Federalist Papers, it did not have the dozensrnand hundreds of civic-minded writers who have abounded inrnAmerica, France, England, Poland, Czechia, Spain, and Germany.rnRussia’s writers either refused to provide any politicalrnand social answers, like Chekhov, or they pointed in the wrongrndirection, like Dostoyevsky in his eulogies of Russia or Chernyshevskyrnin his vision of a Utopian socialist future. Thus Russiarnentered the modern age carrying on its back a bundle of chauvinistic,rnUtopian, or socialist writings, with not a single writer offeringrna realistic pattern of development for the empire. Notrnone Russian author has concluded that Russia’s troubles stemrnlargely from its having swallowed too much of other people’srnland. For generations, Russian intellectuals treated Russia’s militaryrnposture as a nonissuc. This is the Russian tragedy one seldomrnhears about. This phenomenon should attract the attentionrnof both foreign researchers and the Russian elites; butrnnothing of that sort has happened.rnNow the nations conquered by Russia, which Russia failed tornassimilate because of the rate of its expansion, have emergedrnfrom the cocoon of tribalism and begun the laborious processrnof self-assertion. For starters, they want to put a stop to the kindrnof accounting by which it appears Moscow subsidizes them, notrnthe other way around. Sakha-Yakutia has been empowering thernRussian military for hundreds of years with its gold and diamondsrn(mined by prison labor in a premodern gulag), yet inrnpresent-dav economic accounting it figures as one of thernprovinces that gives less to the central treasury than it receives!rnThis is because what counts is taxes and not the mineral resourcesrnof which Moscow gets a lion’s share.rnA correction that the discourse on Russia urgently needs concernsrnthese nationality issues. The Russian Federation is notrnthe same as ethnic Russia, yet of its inhabitants only Russiansrnprofit from Western attention and largesse. On July 15, 1994,rnthe Senate voted in a foreign aid bill that contained $839 millionrnfor the former Soviet states, including over half a billionrndollars for Russia. One may be sure that this money will not gornto the Confederation of Peoples of the Caucasus, United Nationsrnof the Middle Volga and the Urals, Siberian IndependencernMovement, Sakha-Yakutia, or the Far Eastern Republicrn—all created recently to ease the dependence on Moscow ofrnvarious regions of the former Russian Empire. If these regionsrneventually succeed in breaking away and allying themselvesrnwith Japan, India, Turkey, Iran, or the former Soviet republics,rnthe “inner empire” of Russia may follow the route of herrnouter empire. “If these vast areas succeed in breaking away,”rnwrites Ambassador Staar, “Russia will be confined to a smallrnpiece of real estate in the European part of its former empire—rnwithout the size or power requisite for an important role inrnworld politics.” This possible scenario is hardly ever contemplatedrnby the American elites, ever solicitous of Russia’s imperialrninterests.rnThe population of the Russian Federation is 150 million; ofrnthese, 120 million are Russians. The population of formerlyrnSoviet Central Asia and the Caucasus is about 60 million.rnEastern and Central European nations, formerly under Sovietrndomination, have 170 million inhabitants (excluding Yugoslaviarnand East Germany). Under the Soviets, these non-rnRussian Soviet fiefdoms were not exactly favored in terms of industrialrnand cultural investment. The center was in Moscow,rnand whatever spoils the empire managed to accumulate—rnsuch as scientific institutes, schools and museums, libraries,rnbanks, and centers of learning and information, in short, capitalrnin all forms—were eventually inherited by Russians and byrn34/CHRONICLESrnrnrn