Before he wrote "The Brothers Karamazov" or "Notes from the Underground," Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to death by the czarist government for allegedly participating in revolutionary activities, sent to a Siberian prison camp and forced to perform military service in exile.

Nonetheless, it was after returning from Europe, where he spent years living in freedom, that Dostoevsky wrote in "A Writer’s Diary," that “everyone” has “secretly harbored malice against” Russians, that Russians “were followers and slaves.”

With many, if not most, cultural institutions in both Europe and the United States having effectively “canceled” Russian artists and culture, Dostoevsky’s words ring truer than ever. As Ian Buruma recently noted, Russians are now increasingly thinking that the Kremlin might have been right all along: Russia really is a “besieged fortress,” forever misunderstood and undermined by a hostile West.