|Russia must swallow its pride and work with America as a partner and ally if it is to weather the current and coming storm.
I recoginize that the fall from 'super-power' status has been a hard blow, but false hubris is no way to recover ones honor and glory. Wallowing in the shame of the Soviet years, and the misery of the economic collapse, and all the corruption of both eras gets you no where. Besides which, Russia has as much to be proud of as anyone. Russia is a shining becon in world arts, with an honorable tradition of producing the finest classical and folk music and dance. Russia literature is widely regarded as among the finest in the world. Russia learning especially in the technical fields remains deep. Russia innovation in engineering remains if no longer at the world forefront, then still certainly worthy of admiration and investment. Even through the dark years of the Soviet era, much of what the Russian people produced was admirable. Focus on what is great in yourselves, and strive to be that noble image.
The best way for Russia to regain its honor is to partner with the U.S. Even if Russia is not the power it once was, there still remain only a few powers that Russia can truly treat as a peer - and of those its the US that can best offer what Russia is lacking right - real military experience and leadership, pragmatic approach to the problem of terrorism, significant economic investment, and the historical context of being a free people. But to do that, Russia must first enter into this relationship as a junior partner with its former rival, and to do that it has to swallow its pride. It would be easy - but also fatal - to give into European style anti-Americanism for political reasons, and inflame the passions of the old rivalry and blame the worlds problems on America. But that isn't going to solve any of Russia's problems. And Russia is far better trusting in America as an ally, than trusting in other regional powers like the EU and China which have thier own agenda and their own particular reasons for seeing Russia as a problem not a friend.
The plain and simple fact is that right now America needs Russia and Russia needs America in a way no other two big powers need each other right now. America needs Russia's political support and voice on the security council. America needs Russia's responce to terrorism to be responcible, pro-active, and productive. Russia needs America's help training its troops, equipping its forces, and protects its existing (and still substantial) assets because its completely clear by now after Afghanistan and Chechnya that Russia troop quality, experience, and morale is insufficient to do the job right. That's a hard thing for a nation with a proud military tradition to accepted, but it has to be accepted.
Yes, the U.S. is just as much to blame (if not more so) for the fact that such an alliance doesn't already exist. Clinton basically had not foreign policy with regard to Russia, and ignored Russia for 8 years. After the Soviet Union collapsed, most Americans and most American leaders basically treated Russia as a problem that had been solved and which should go away, instead of embracing Russia as a newly found friend the way Reagan did when Russia came to the table to talk about reform. But a real appeal by Russia for help and friendship is very likely to well recieved rather than rebuffed by this president.
Right now the world is on the brink of or already involved in the biggest conflict since WWII. Just as in that war, the only way to ensure victory over the Fascists of this day is for the American Eagle and the Russian Bear to fight side by side. We'll iron out our remaining differences (far smaller ones than we had then) after this war is won.