“Russia is like a tub full of dough”

I received the Fall 2007 issue of the Slavic Review in the mail yesterday.  While flipping through it, I couldn’t help admiring the accuracy of this quotation from Khrushchev that opens Timothy Frye’s review of Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, Resisting the State: Reform and Retrenchment in Post-Soviet Russia.

Khrushchev told Castro during the latter’s visit to the Soviet Union in 1963:

You’d think I could change anything in this country.  Like hell I can.  No matter what changes I propose and carry out, everything stays the same.  Russia is like a tub full of dough, you put your hand down in it, down to the bottom, and think you’re master of the situation.  When you first pull out your hand, a little hole remains, but then, before your very eyes, the dough expands into a spongy, puffy mass.  That’s what Russia is like.

Beautifully put Nikita Sergeevich.