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    Re: Protractor.
    From: Jared Sherman
    Date: 2004 Sep 23, 13:20 -0400
    Alexandre-
     We in the west tend not to understand the Soviet/Russian point of view. Often we have not been taught Soviet history, because it was considered incorrect to "sympathize" with the great Cold War enemy. But from the Soviet point of view, ignoring their own internal slaughters, Stalin, etc., you must consider that they were attacked in turn by just about everyone. Napolean's great march? WW2 and the Germans? Are you familiar with the seige of Stalingrad? There are Russians who are now in their retirement years, who built the post-WW2 Soviet military after a clear memory of literally seeing wars that double-decimated their friends and families.
     List all of your friends and family, cross every fifth name off the list. That's what they grew up with--and it wasn't just them or their generation, but a routine history of war and invasion for them.
     
    <I am not even mentioning GPS, > The Russians couldn't rely on navigation controlled by their enemy.
     
    <but my $25 Casio watch> Lacking hard currency good outside Russia, lord only knows what it would cost there 20 years ago.
     
    < and 7 years guaranteed battery life, > Some of them were at war, under combat, with no reliable supplies, for longer than that. "Comrade, and where will you get your next battery from?"
     
     So yes, they relied on traditional navigational tools and methods far longer than the West. We tend to view them as paranoid and backward...but most of us in the West haven't seen what they've lived through.
     
     Another side note about how the Russian mind-set affected their navigation: Under the Czars, Russian cartographers were known to be possibly the finest in the world. Under the USSR and the Cold War...Don't ever, ever, try to navigate with a Soviet map or chart. They literally moved entire cities, lakes, roads, by a hundred miles or more, to ensure that enemies could not use the maps to attack them.
       
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