Natalia Solzhenitsyn in Figaro

   Le Figaro : Joel Saget/AFP

Le Figaro: Joel Saget/AFP

Natalia Solzhenitsyn, the author's widow, who was in Paris for the Paris Book Fair, has given an extended interview to Le Figaro.  Read the English translation here, or the original here.  Mrs. Solzhenitsyn talks about her life with the author, his love of France, his work on the Russian Revolution, and the current state of relations between Russia and the West.

Russia is going through a period that no other country has ever been through. It needs help, but not dictatorial and condescending help, as the United States has been doing with the IMF. The great mistake of the U.S. was to think that it had won the Cold War and that Russia would no longer be a player. A catastrophic approach! Because when pressured Russia bounces back like a spring. It felt humiliated, encircled. Much of the support for Putin can be explained by this feeling of humiliation. [One can] be firm with Russia, but issuing ultimatums is totally counterproductive.