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Russia remained a vast, backward, largely agriculture empire, regimented and ruled by an autocratic dynasty with a holy mission to defend its faith against the barbarians of the East and the heresies and pluralism of the West.Thus, to remote Russia, many things "Western" have come late - manufacturing, higher education, science, etc.In the West, the middle class was in the forefront of reform.Russia's failure to develop a strong middle class delayed reform.

Recreation is often arranged in groups, often with colleagues they work with. Russians feel free to tell you if you or your child is not dressed warm enough.

Living for centuries in a very harsh climate explains the Russians' strength, their ability to endure extreme hardship, and their bleak outlook on life. Climate has also contributed to a cautiousness they exhibit.

Russia is a great distance from other centers of civilizations; for example, 3,000 miles from Paris, a month's journey before railroads.

Pushing and shoving in crowds bring no hard feelings.

In restaurants Russians will not hesitate to join a table with strangers rather than dine alone.

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