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It’s stupid to shoot the messenger. That’s a message the billion-dollar Russian corporate public-relations industry fails to understand because it pays so often, and so lavishly, for distorting the truth, it can’t believe there isn’t a rival or a hostile commercial plot at work when the unvarnished truth slips out unexpectedly. Take, for example, Russia’s [...]

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MOSCOW – The English and North Americans have never been much good at analyzing Russia, and they haven’t gotten better. A long time fighting an enemy can make you wary, without becoming wise. But in war neither time nor experience need make any difference to who wins, who loses. Kremlinology was a wartime industry, and [...]

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The only foreign phrase that managed to lodge itself correctly in the brain of Ronald Reagan, before he developed Alzheimer’s disease but after he became president of the United States, was “doveryai no proveryai.” As he never tired of explaining, that’s Russian for “trust but verify,” Reagan and his successors always meant to apply that [...]

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Never apologize, never explain. Charles de Gaulle, the French leader, made this a tactic – which many lesser, and less popular, politicians than he have followed; but none as successfully as de Gaulle. Richard Nixon tried it, for example, when he was guilty of the minor crime of spying on his opposition. The tactic became [...]