A Sober Look It's Time To Stop Romanticizing Russia

The view Germans have of Russia is skewed by romanticism and historical baggage. Without taking a sober look at Moscow, we will never find an adequate strategy for dealing with Vladimir Putin's conservative, anti-Western approach to power.
Supporters of Vladimir Putin in Simferopol: The Germans hoped Russians would like Pussy Riot rather than their president.

Supporters of Vladimir Putin in Simferopol: The Germans hoped Russians would like Pussy Riot rather than their president.

Foto: Yuri Kochetkov/ dpa
Christian Neef is an editor at DER SPIEGEL's foreign desk and the magazine's former longtime Moscow correspondent. Translated from the German by Daryl Lindsey.