Russia's Moral Rearmament
Looking at the present condition of my country. . . . I cannot but wonder at the short time in which morals in...
Looking at the present condition of my country. . . . I cannot but wonder at the short time in which morals in Russia have everywhere become corrupt." Prince M. M. Shcherbatov, an aristocrat during the reign of Catherine the Great, made this observation in a 1786 treatise, On the Corruption of Morals in Russia. But his assessment might just as well have been voiced today by any number of journalists writing about Russia's current predicament.
Money laundering, corruption, filthy electoral campaigns--these are the catchphrases in Western media coverage of things Russian. According to critics, business and politics in Russia are driven by greed and seething with criminal activity. After succeeding Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin himself announced that "the revival of people's morals" would be the cornerstone of his program.