The table consists of five indicators of progress that cover political, social, and economic development. I had chosen the four countries to contrast with Russia for the following reasons:
•Finland, because it is among the Nordic countries, which, by these five indicators as well as many more that I have reviewed, are the champions of progress toward the goals established by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: democratic governance, social justice, and an end to poverty.
•The USA, because it is generally regarded as the world’s leader and was Russia’s cold war superpower rival.
•Israel, because many Russians have migrated there in recent years.
•Estonia, because it was a Soviet Socialist Republic. Like Israel and Balkans development superstar Slovenia, Estonia has just been invited to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, largely a First World club. Estonia’s progress as an independent country evokes the Nordic countries, with which it has cultural connections, including the Lutheran religion.