Why Russia plays by its own rules

Source: CNN

First, Soviets did not believe in win-win solutions (having rarely experienced such outcomes). Second, spouting vranyo (baloney) is an essential lubricant of social and business life. Third, and most importantly, Soviet negotiators regarded rules as merely an expression of power. The rule-setting party aims to constrain and overcome the other players in the game. The rational response for the other party is therefore to break the rules. This can be done overtly or covertly, depending on the situation. Morals don’t come into it.
Conversely, if you are the rule setter, then you draft them in your favor and enforce them vigorously. You may dress them up with some independent dispute-settling procedures and other elements of due process. These are vranyo: not to be taken seriously.
That was the way the Soviet Union worked. It preached anti-imperialism abroad, and ruthlessly crushed dissent in its own empire. At home, the constitution of the Soviet Union offered, in theory, great political freedoms and guarantees of fair treatment. In practice, the Soviet legal system was a club for beating the population into submission. Dissidents would be punished for political crimes, or (once rendered unemployable) for being parasites on society. Or they could be consigned to a psychiatric hospital where they would be zombified with powerful drugs.

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