At least the Soviet leadership was thoughtful enough to select an interpreter with a good grasp of English. The US State Department seems perpetually unable to master this rudimentary concept, leading occasionally to such egregious blunders as occurred with Hillary Clinton's famous "reset button" incident in which the wrong word перегрузка was used naively instead of the correct word перезагрузка, leading to Russian confusion, amusement, and resentment in equal measure.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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