Regnum columnist and former diplomat Mikhail Demurin commented on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's dismissal of the poorly schooled Western leadership that discounted Russia's power. Demurin countered that the Western leadership had solid academic credentials. Their underestimation of Russia's power and potential was less a product of their schooling and more a result of their political experience with the weak Russia that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union. Therefore, for the West to again be wary of Russia, it was no longer enough for the West to recall its previous defeats at the hands of Russia such as in Vietnam. Russia had to beat the West again in many spheres and on diverse battlefields, starting with Ukraine.
Demurin's comment follows below:
Mikhail Demurin (Source: Rossaprimavera.ru)
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"As reported previously, Lavrov stated that Western politicians, who proclaim the necessity of achieving Russia’s defeat 'on the battlefield, were probably poor students and do not know our country Russia.
"Frankly, I don’t really understand what our foreign minister is grumbling about. Were the Western politicians poor students? No, they were receiving 'good' marks and, probably, even 'excellent' school grades. The thing is, it was a Western school, and moreover in most cases they [the Western politicians] were studying after the Gorbachev era, often during the Yeltsin’s times.
"[Polish President Andrzej] Duda graduated in 1991, [Emmanuel] [Macron - in 1997, [German Foreign Minister Annaleena] Baerbock - in 1998. Not only were their sentiments towards our country 'correctly' fine-tuned at school and at universities, but Russian politicians themselves, in surrendering Russia's important positions, especially in the first half of the 1990s, were demonstrating its weakness before the West. They have taught the West that it did not have to coddle us. Well, [German Chancellor Olaf] Scholz is older [than the rest], he went to school when the Soviet Union was still strong, but he too observed all the instances mentioned above and got used to this behavior by our country.
"In my opinion, when Russia began recovering and gathering strength, the necessary preemptive and preventive conversation with the West didn’t happen. No necessary action has taken place. After all, after [Putin’s 2007] Munich Speech we practically did nothing in Ukraine for another 7 years (well, some people were making money there...) And what about the Baltics, did Russia stop the humiliation of the Russians there?
"A knowledge of history (which varies from country to country) is one thing, however today’s words and actions of diplomats, politicians, and the military (which is highly effective now!) are another thing. We can no longer count on the West to be wary of Russia, remembering the defeats that Russia has previously inflicted upon it. We need new defeats for the West in diverse areas, on different battlefields, and above all, - in Ukraine. After that, as in the first decades after the Great Patriotic War, or as immediately after the US defeat in the Vietnam War, everything will more or less fall into place again.
"Returning to the topic of school. No one can teach anybody in the West the correct way of understanding Russia, that only we ourselves can do and must do so again."
 Regnum.ru, May 24, 2022.