The Russian Dream is for the country to be a great empire and to inspire fear. Interviews I recently conducted in Moscow all ended with the same words: "First, the Olympic Games in Sochi, then we annexed Crimea. And now, we've won the hockey championships!"
Here, a popular joke says that "while everyone thought Russia was on its knees, it was just lacing up its combat boots. . ."
Over the past 20 years, the word was that we were building a Western society. Yet the fine layer that represented liberalism disappeared in the blink of an eye. We're done playing like the West. It lacks sensitivity -- it's pragmatic. The West is degenerating, while Russia is all about goodness and spirituality.
Vladimir Putin has taken on the role of defending these traditional values.