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In the West, the middle class was in the forefront of reform.Russia's failure to develop a strong middle class delayed reform.Individualism and competitiveness are more common in the West; they are esteemed characteristics.Russia has a history of the agricultural village commune, with the land held in common and decision-making determined by the assembly of heads of households.When Moscow liberated itself from the Tartar yoke in 1480, the modern Russian state was born.Distant from Europe, the new state was cut off from Constantinople which in 1453 had fallen to the Muslim Ottoman Turks.Men kiss men and show affection, women hold hands while strolling.
Russia is a great distance from other centers of civilizations; for example, 3,000 miles from Paris, a month's journey before railroads.
Russia has part of its roots in European culture where the ideas of goodness, honor, and freedom are understood as in the West. Russian blood is a mixture of Slavic, Finnish, and Tatar.
Kievan Rus had converted to Orthodox Christianity in 988.
The immediate result was famine and the death of millions in the countryside.
The affinity for the group can still be seen today in everyday life, in group dating, and physical contact with strangers.