How much do Russians trust their government?

About as much as our weather.

We trust our weather to be:

  1. Unpredictable
  2. Often brutal
  3. More benign to us—who know how to adapt to it and see early warnings of approaching tempests, snow storms and icy spells—than to our enemies. Our weather famously defeated Napoleon and Hitler’s plans of conquest. This makes the parallel to our government obvious to even the hopelessly obtuse.

The motif in the picture below is inspired by the British Peaky Blinders TV series. It resonates with the deep philosophy of our mighty State in treating its subjects. Gems form under scorching temperatures and unimaginable pressure, geologists say. This is exactly Russia’s secret recipe for producing so many talents at most critical turns of history.

Putin-haters among our Stalinists and radical nationalists loudly bemoan the lacklustre performance of modern Russia on the global scene. They ascribe it to the calm, comfortable life of our generation. Consumerism and the cult of self-gratification spoiled men who no longer seek glory and conquest, they say. The innate ability of our State to corral the populace into epic projects is their last hope that another world is still possible. The great mass of my compatriots also trust that if someone of Stalin’s caliber takes the Kremlin after Putin, the spirit of Biblical endeavours might well rise and shine again in Moscow.

Which is why few of us really want President Putin to leave.