Why Switzerland and Russia ‘need each other’

What do Fyodor Dostoevsky, the great humanist writer who was moved by “the tears of a child”, and Vladimir Lenin, who sent out orders from the Kremlin to shoot hostages, have in common? Not much. But they did both hate Switzerland.  Lenin, now an embalmed occupant of the mausoleum on Red Square, contemptuously called the country that had given him refuge for many years a “republic of lackeys”. Meanwhile, Dostoevsky, who worked on his novel “The Idiot” on the shores of Lake Geneva, wrote about the Swiss in the following terms in a letter to his friend, the poet Apollon Maikov:  “Oh if you only knew, what a stupid, dull, insignificant, savage people it is! It is not enough to travel through as a tourist. No, try to live there for some time! But I cannot describe to you now even briefly my impressions: I have accumulated too many. Bourgeois life in this vile republic has reached the nec plus ultra [nothing further beyond]. In the administration, and all … Show more
– SWI swissinfo.ch

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