Unknown Russia and the misunderstood West

This and the following account demands a few fundamental explanations.
One of the motives of some of the RSC researchers was, probably, to become known in the West through their results, especially in the U.S.A. One has to appreciate that many Russians have an exaggerated admiration of the West and, in particular, of the U.S.A. The possibilities and conditions, also those for scientists, in the West, are almost always overestimated. Frequently, one finds irrational ideas, about a paradise with a high living standard and almost unrestricted possibilities, among those who live in the former Soviet Union. The high work pressure and the consequences for the individual cannot be understood usually. The reason for these wrong conceptions lies in the long existing lack of information and the bad Russian economic situation. The hard conditions of life in Russia encourage people to believe in a paradise in heaven and, on the earth, in the West.

The foreigner was respected in the old Soviet Union, but often laughed at because his naive questions showed that he did not understand that a lot of things were completely different to those in the West. Again and again, Western logic broke down when applied to Russian conditions. "Russia cannot be understood with the mind." is a Russian proverb.
In the same way, Russian logic often breaks down in trying to explain the West. The foreigner in Russia is often taken to be helpless and naive.

The belief that this enormous country, with it's dangers, is still closed to foreigners, evidently is partly due to the RSC. In the West, they only distributed carefully selected information. Apparently, the RSC had not considered that Western researchers had been able, for a number of years, to work in Russia. Almost no-one in the Soviet Union could guess that suddenly this state would cease to exist and that the country would be open to foreigners. Naturally, the Russian researchers was afraid that their "secrets" could be profitably sold in the West, something impossible in Russia. This fear is understandable and right, but is no justification for some of the RSC's practices.

It was the president of the RSC, herself, who attracted the sensation hungry Western journalists to Russia. She knew better than anyone else that these people were totally unsuitable for field-work. Her official offer to Pallix was, "You supply the finance and the equipment and we will give our experience.". It is hard to believe that she intended to give thirty years of field-work experience to French journalists.
The world saw the first result of this co-operation long before the expedition started. As early as March 1992, many newspapers throughout the world announced the hunt for the Almasty (for example, Wavell, 1992, and Blume, 1992).
In our opinion, this example shows the contradictory position which some representatives of the RSC still, today, occupy. They would like to use the resources of the West: Travel, participation in international conferences, financial support, publications and popularity. To achieve this, they must publish and correspond. At the same time, they must be careful not to give away too much of their knowledge, which is their capital, to the West. Thereby, they apparently have faith, even today, in the inaccessibility and unfamiliarity of their land and literature.

The experiences with the president of the RSC, from which we have only been able to mention some of the events, is a reason to examine some of the publications of another well known representative of the RSC, Dmitri Bayanov.