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Tue Apr 5, 2022, 11:41 AM

Excellent long article about Russian mentality from a Finnish intelligence officer

Excerpt:

The Russian idea of truth is interesting. After all, language tells how people think, how they perceive the world, and how society thinks. The United States has two words for positive rights: “liberty” and “freedom.” Russia has two words for truth and three words for lie. This is certainly not a coincidence.

There’s the word “pravda,” which is truth but not absolute truth. Rather, the kind of truth that gets rid of awkward or bad situations. It’s like tactical truth. “Istina” is the opposite of a lie. Istina is true, as true as can be. But pravda is rather… sometimes it can be true, at other times not so true.

There are three words for lie. “Vranyo” is a white lie but on the strategic level. It is also kind of a way to get rid of nasty situations. The Russians know it, but we don’t realize it. We think that there are only truth and lies in the world. It’s just black and white. But the lie in Russia was born under Mongol rule; violence and lying were the way to survive. This tradition has been in their system ever since.

Russia has the word “krugovaya poruka,” or gang guarantee. It means that when we have some set of people with a common goal. Be it the Kremlin leadership or the Russian armed forces or whatever. We have a common goal so I step out of the circle and lie to an outsider. My gang hears that I lie but they don’t judge me as a liar because they understand that I am using tactical truth (vranjo) to achieve the greater goals of our gang. The use of tactical truth, or a lie, is accepted if it is done for the benefit of the in-group. Just like you can steal when you don’t steal too much or from the wrong guy. You also get to lie if you lie for the sake of the gang.

https://ricochet.com/1214468/finnish-intelligence-officer-explains-the-russian-mindset/

My analysis: They are paranoid, cowardly bullies

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Reply Excellent long article about Russian mentality from a Finnish intelligence officer (Original post)
Wicked Blue Apr 2022 OP
FreepFryer Apr 2022 #1
Wicked Blue Apr 2022 #2
dixiegrrrrl Apr 2022 #3
Aristus Apr 2022 #4
Igel Apr 2022 #5
Aristus Apr 2022 #6

Response to Wicked Blue (Original post)

Tue Apr 5, 2022, 11:44 AM

1. Interesting article but why a conservative web site? Just take a look at the article headlines...

“Ricochet: Conservative Conversation and Podcasts”

Yuck.

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Response to FreepFryer (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 5, 2022, 11:59 AM

2. Oops. Didn't realize that. But the article is still worth reading

I happen to be of Estonian ancestry. Both Estonians and their close relatives Finns have suffered greatly from the Russians over centuries.

Both nations have the unfortunate situation of sharing borders with Russia, and both have lost significant amounts of territory to Russia through wars. They have many Russians living among them. If anyone can claim to be capable of analyzing the Russian mind-set, I would venture to say that the Finns and Estonians certainly are.

Estonians refer to Russians as kurats. Kurat means devil, but with a much fouler connotation.

I apologize for the source of the article.

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Response to Wicked Blue (Reply #2)

Tue Apr 5, 2022, 12:38 PM

3. I've sourched info. from conservative articles here.


I generally something to the effect of...this is from xyz, a conservative rag, but this article has some significant truth/points/ etc.

Thanks for the article. A lot of folks are trying to sharpen their knowledge of the Russian mindset.

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Response to FreepFryer (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 5, 2022, 02:06 PM

4. "The Russians have two words for truth and three words for lie".

And Ronald Reagan said they have no word for freedom.

Which they do: "Svoboda."

This doesn't pass the smell-test...

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Response to Aristus (Reply #4)

Tue Apr 5, 2022, 09:22 PM

5. And they have two words for "freedom."

One is svoboda, the other is volya.

Volya's usually described as unrestrained--you do what you want, and nobody can stop you. There is no moral code to prevent action.

Svoboda I usually see as more delimited--it means freedom to act, lack of tyranny or restraint. Freedom of the press is svoboda. I think of it as akin to "liberty", which is public space that's provided to act out my private views and principles in freely, without saying they're identical--that's a nuance I haven't run into often enough.

The de facto license that husbands had decades ago in beating their wives? The sense of sexual license that many attribute to frat boys? How gangsters and mobsters act? Or Russia? Volya. There's no sense of constraints that you're acting in--there's no sense of constraint apart from what you bring to your actions, and those typically are frail and puny.

(I can come up with additional words that mean about the same kinds of things, mostly nuanced versions of these, or highlighting some particular feature.)

Non-native speaker, just reporting what I've been told, read, and (to some extent) observed. And since some of this is POV-based, there's going to be overlap.

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Response to Igel (Reply #5)

Wed Apr 6, 2022, 09:28 AM

6. Thank you.

I hadn't heard of 'volya'. That's good to know.

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