I recall being an undergraduate in Russian Studies at Amherst College when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in December 1979. I was flabbergasted when then-President Carter initially expressed surprise that Leonid Brezhnev and his cronies decided to undertake that ill-fated adventure. Just the little I knew of Soviet history at that time led me to conclude that one should never be naïve about Russia. Wisely, the Carter administration soon implemented a wide-ranging and powerful set of sanctions against the USSR.
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