What are we proud of as a nation, as a race, as species? Is it scientific achievements, space missions or, perhaps, hydrogen bomb that makes us proud of being human?
AN602, the Soviet Tsar Bomb, the hydrogen bomb, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated, keeps patriotic feelings of the Russians warm. A few of these devices would have been enough to send this world to hell, and we are proud of our creativity because no other nation got that far in designing mass death and destruction. Yes, Soviet physicists were ‘smarter’ and more creative, and that’s what Russians are still proud of.
Kalashnikov is another word that induces Russian patriotic thrill. Simple to such an extent that even a child can assemble it, it remains the most popular weapon, efficiently taking lives around the globe. How can we not be proud of the Russian design in this case?
What else? Stalingrad, the battle that irreversibly changed the trend of WWII. The word “Stalingrad” became a metaphor of courage, 70 years later photographs of its ruins still have blood-chilling effect on us. The soil soaked in blood of 2 million and yet it became sacred.
Countries never stop competing in who has the most powerful armies, tallest buildings, longest highways, most modern technology, biggest cities, biggest banks, best football clubs, richest people and most famous celebrities. Should we, single individuals, be proud of our country’s ‘achievements’? Why are we so startled by the biggest, longest, richest, fastest? These achievements are there to mark the power of mankind in defeating nature or to make us proud soldiers of the most powerful armies. The true glory is unknown; it does not scream from every TV station, it is in individuals.
Honestly, I do not care about Russian participation at Eurovision or World Cup, neither about its growing military power. I am proud of my grandparents though.
Living in Eastern Germany after WWII they did not get any spoils of war, not even a watch, most available and, therefore, most popular spoils among Soviet soldiers. They did not try to become rich in 90s, when former USSR citizens were competing in enterprise. Such little facts are more precious to me then bombastic achievements of any country or nation.