At the same time as we criticize the Russian government, we must begin to consider one of the essential reasons Putin maintains broad support for standing up to America. Russia has shifted away from Communism but not authoritarianism. Russians have regained a sense of their being the Orthodox successor to Constantinople. So it is with great alarm that Russians watch as American policy leads to pro-Islamic movements persecuting Christians, often Eastern Orthodox Christians, whom Russians feel a common cause and a sense of needing to protect. The Egyptian spring led to persecution of Orthodox Christians. When Saddam's secular government was destroyed many Iraqi Christians fled for safety to Syria. So I wonder.