Cathy Young and her parents emigrated from Russia to the US when she was 17 and so her perspective on things Russian has particular merit. In her op-ed piece, From Russia with Loathing, in today's New York Times the author overviews Russian attitudes and offers advise to the new administration.
In the post-Soviet era, many Russians are angry because their country has neither the stature nor the living standards that they believe it deserves. . . most actually favor a Western way of life. . .(and find) it is easier to blame an external force than the country's own failings. . ."
Ms Young also notes that in recent years, propoganda on government-controlled television has cultivated public fears and thus many feel some level of paranoia toward the US. As a result, 43 percent of Russians believe that . . . One of the goals of the foreign policy of the United States is the total destruction of Russia.
As if the US has nothing better to do.
She advises that president-elect Obama and his administration respond to Russia with both firmness and flexibility while not seeking opportunity for confrontation.
Cathy Young is author of "Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood." I've marked her blog, The Y Files, and plan to visit often.