A hypothesis I've been mulling over for some time in thread form;

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Reichs - all of them... Archduke, Kaiser and Fuhrer - has had disastrous consequences for the mentality, psyche and spirituality of the Russian people
The Russians are a profoundly - and intentionally - misunderstood people but no aspect of their make up is more misunderstood, IMO, then Russian imperialism. It is, in my view, a phenomenon not nearly as cold, stoic and "Soviet Absolutism" as it's often portrayed
The domineering stance that the Russian people intermittently and commonly take towards their neighbours is not born of true malice, in my view, so much as it is humility; in simple terms Russian xenophobia is threat recognition, not hatred
They are a people who are mature and humble enough to recognize that entities such as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Ottoman Empire and Reich pose a *threat* to them and respond accordingly. It is almost anti-chauvinism. A vigilance born of knowing they aren't invincible
-but even more deeply than that the Russian people are, before else, a people who relish struggle. They do not love war, they're sweethearts that way... but they relish the clash of civilizations. The test of Russia and "Russianess" against a worthy, equal and dangerous foe
People often point to the "No mercy for cowards!", meatgrinder war doctrines during WWII as some kind of horrid statement about Bolshevism's cruelty but the reality, I think, is that it was quintessentially Russian; dash the Russia upon the jagged rocks and see who is a diamond
I think they have always been this way and always will be and I think the lapsing of a viscerally apparent imperial rival for Russia in modern times plays some role in the growth of nihilism that has regrettably gripped her people - drugs, etc - in recent times. No Great Cause
The truth is that the United States is never going to mobilize across Eastern Europe on mass and try to push into the Muscovite heartlands and China simply wishes to trade and make money. There is no Reich or Sultan anymore. No primeval - caveman - clash of wills
In some respects Russia is uncomfortable with idle "victory", finds there being no more contests to measure herself in disquieting and irksome. Yearns for the return of the wars of Eagle and Bear.

Russians *miss* Hohenzollern in some ways. They loved fighting him
I could be entirely wrong, of course. My views are biased and deeply colored by the profound - if begrudging lol - respect I have for the Russian people. Perhaps I project *my* belief that they are destined for ever greater things onto them and pretend they believe it too lol
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