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In the history of intercultural relationships, no country has exercised so great an influence on the English geographical imagination as Russia. From its humble beginnings as the kingdom of Muscovy, to the sprawling expanse of the U.S.S.R., Winston Chruchill's famous "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma" both captivated and repulsed English audiences. Cartographically split between Europe and Asia, the ambiguous nature of Russian culture not only undermined absolute "Orientalist"doi:10.26021/3692 fatcat:rrnsd3en35ey7cekaqywzsypuu