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Don't Cancel Russian Culture

Refusing to engage with Russian culture will not change President Vladimir Putin’s calculations, let alone impel him to withdraw his forces from Ukraine. It will merely cut off a potential source of information about his objectives and motivations, while seemingly lending credence to his claims that Russia is a "besieged fortress."

NEW YORK – Before he wrote The Brothers Karamazov or Notes from the Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to death by the czarist government for allegedly participating in revolutionary activities, sent to a Siberian prison camp, and forced to perform military service in exile. Nonetheless, it was after returning from Europe, where he spent years living in freedom, that Dostoevsky wrote in A Writer’s Diary, that “everyone” has “secretly harbored malice against” Russians, that Russians “were followers and slaves.”