Ironically, the collapse of the Soviet Union – an empire made up of 15 republics encompassing some 12 million square miles – has been far more difficult for the West to come to grips with than it has been for the Russian people, who witnessed the decline and fall firsthand. Indeed, many Westerners are ardent believers that the Soviet Union is still alive and kicking.
This apparent paradox was foreseen many years ago by the Soviet political scientist, Georgi Arbatov, when he told a US diplomat shortly after the collapse: “We are going to do the worst thing we can do to you. We are going to take your enemy way from you.”
Thirty years later the West still revisits the grave of its former Soviet nemesis, yearning for its rise from the ashes. Just this week, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham conjured up the spirit of America’s ex arch-enemy when responding to Donald Trump’s suggestion that Russia be readmitted into the G7.