I received the Fall 2007 issue of the Slavic Review in the mail yesterday. While flipping through it, I couldn’t help admiring the accuracy of this quotation from Khrushchev that opens Timothy Frye’s review of Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, Resisting the State: Reform and Retrenchment in Post-Soviet Russia.
Khrushchev told Castro during the latter’s visit to the Soviet Union in 1963:
You’d think I could change anything in this country. Like hell I can. No matter what changes I propose and carry out, everything stays the same. Russia is like a tub full of dough, you put your hand down in it, down to the bottom, and think you’re master of the situation. When you first pull out your hand, a little hole remains, but then, before your very eyes, the dough expands into a spongy, puffy mass. That’s what Russia is like.
Beautifully put Nikita Sergeevich.