For 200 years Russia has had a love-hate relationship with the West. Anxious on the one hand to emulate Western institutions, ideas and lifestyles, while on the other, strongly nationalistic and suspicious of Western political and cultural encroachment. All signs show, argues the author, that Russia is leading back towards more comfortable and familiar territory away from the West. With most shades of Russian political opinion now firmly set on a "Russia First" policy following the West's failure to accommodate Russia's post-Communist economic and diplomatic needs, coupled with the pain associated with Western economic models, he concludes that Russia is developing its own "Tsarist" solutions with profound effects on domestic and foreign policy.
Introduction - schools of thought; "Russia first" and a return to history; Russia, relations with the West and the near abroad; Russia's economy, the military-industrial complex and the mafia; the Duma elections and the triumph of "Russia first"; "Russia first" in the 1996 presidential election campaign.