One Video You MUST Watch to Understand the Russian Mindset
Does a fish know it’s wet?
The biggest challenge I’ve always had in explaining Russian attitudes to people in the West, a task that has become significantly more important of late, is I often don’t know what I take for granted. Even after decades of living in the UK, it’s hard to separate my own personality from my Russianness.
Do I smile less than British people because I am Russian or because I’m a grumpy fuck? Or are those two just the same thing?
While interesting to me, questions like this are extraordinarily unimportant to you, so what’s my point?
Well, there are questions that you do want to know the answer to:
Why did Putin invade Ukraine?
What will Russia do next?
Will Putin be overthrown in a palace coup or a popular revolt?
Will sanctions work to end the war?
Could this have been prevented and, if so, how?
How do we stop him?
Contrary to the stupid and rather dangerous explanation Western media most frequently give (Mad Vlad), the answers to these questions lie in understanding the Russian mindset.
But what is a mindset exactly? In short, it is the sum of values, norms and core beliefs that shape your actions and reactions. How do you react to threats? What are the situations in which you’re prepared to lie? What does happiness and success mean?
All of these differ from culture to culture. In interviews and media appearances, as well as discussions we’ve had on TRIGGERnometry, I’ve done my best to explain how Russians think differently to us in the West. But I’ve not always been explain why because it’s difficult to know why you value something that others don’t.
This is a job for an extremely knowledgeable outsider and thanks to a fan who sent me this lecture, I’ve discovered a man who answers all of these questions better than I ever could.
A retired Colonel in the Finnish Military Intelligence, Martti J. Kari, spent decades working in and on the Soviet Union and later Russia. He has a deep understanding of the Russian language, a brilliant grasp of key moments in Russian history and most importantly, he understands how language and history are both the product and the driver of the Russian mindset.
Why has Russia never had a single democratic transition of power? Why does Joseph Stalin, a man who murdered over 20 million of his own people, have a higher approval rating in Russia than any current Western leader? Who takes over when Putin is gone?
In an hour, he covers with astounding accuracy how Russians think about the world and what that means for us. The video is in Finnish but is available dubbed or with (excellent) subtitles. Check it out!