Russian Soviet Federate Socialist Republic was the biggest entity within the USSR for sure, and also was the backbone of it, but it was the select few calling the shots and dictating policies, and they were a patchwork lot.
Furthermore, given the trend to suppress all the pesky nationalist feelings among the citizenry and to replace them instead with the concept of ‘Homo Soveticus’. You must be familiar with the word ‘kulturniy’ or ‘cultured’ in the sense that a Soviet person must be, in broad brushes, calm, reserved, polite, respectful towards women, children and the elderly, sober, hardworking, and etc. You’re encouraged to do sports, frequent theaters and read appropriate literature. Just remember that far across the ocean the people are not kulturniy. In a way, those party bonzas were correct, it saddens me to say.
Having typed all of the above, I have to state that I’m not trying to whitewash the Soviet Union, I’m merely trying to humbly remind that the USSR wasn’t ALL bad. The ultimate goals of the USSR were utopical, it’s ideas were sometimes criminal, but it’s ideals were and still are appealing, because they, in a lot of ways, prescribe universal unity and respect towards one another. Yes, sometimes by forcibly making you a part of something you don’t really want to be, like the Warsaw Pact :)
And I certainly agree, that the present debacle is equally shameful for both nations, in every respect.
One might think that I’m nostalgic for the Soviet Union. I am not. But I will quote Vladimir Putin (or his speechwriter) as follows:
“He who wants to resurrect the Soviet Union has no brain. He who doesn’t regret it’s downfall has no heart”.
Whoever penned this can certainly turn a phrase…