Fascinating interview over at The Atlantic with Andrew Meier, author of Black Earth: A Journey through Russia After the Fall. In the interview he talks about life in the former Soviet Union, the war in Chechnya, Siberia, Anton Checkhov, the danger of losing democracy in Russia, and more. I found this quote in particular fascinating and a bit haunting:
Wherever I had been in the most extreme corners of the countryâ€”and Russia is still the largest country in the world in terms of land massâ€”people would again and again and again ask me this question: can a country live without a conscience? Where is our conscience? They know full well that there is a conscience, but somewhere it’s buried, somewhere it’s hidden, somewhere it’s afraid to come out.
As they say, read the whole thing.