In a Christmas gift on Dec. 25, 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed. The “evil empire,” as Ronald Reagan rightly called it, was erased from the map. On its territory, Russia and 14 newly independent states emerged. In the rush of the past two decades, “things have changed so fast we have not yet taken time to be astonished,” the late Czech President Vaclav Havel once observed. The tendency of bad news to drive out the good is well known. How often does a story about positive developments lead television coverage or make the front page? Vladimir Putin’s recent announcement that he will run again for the presidency (and undoubtedly win) casts a cloud that accentuates the negative.
Allison, Graham. "Christmas Gift to America 20 years ago – a Russia to be Thankful For." Christian Science Monitor, December 25, 2011.