The philanthropic nature of Russians naturally took a hit 100 years ago, but after last decade's "accumulation of capital," there's now money to give away.
"'There is no fence against ill fortune,' a proverb goes. Normally, a person caught in a desperate situation should be helped by the government or charity. A lot has been said about the government, but what about Russian philanthropy? Is this tradition being revived in Russia? A recent sad story with a famous Russian pop singer Janna Friske, who was diagnosed with an inoperable form of brain cancer, made one think again about the traditions of philanthropy in Russia. There are no guarantees that there will be no point in life when a person's only hope would be support of unselfish strangers. Russia has its own history of philanthropy and charity interrupted by the Bolsheviks who offered the society a more efficient alternative in the form of state redistribution. However, after the new change of the system little social support is left in Russia, and the government is not able to solve all problems. If we follow the Western path of development, part of the social burden should be redistributed to private benefactors." -- Nadezhda Alexeeva, Pravda