The legacy of the past goes deep in Russia. Democratic practices and institutions have yet to take real root, hindered by the habits of mind of the Soviet era, by the weakness of political opposition and by a civil society that, while growing in numbers, as yet exercises little influence. Lilia Shevtsova, Senior Associate of the Moscow Carnegie Center, believes, however, that things will have to get worse before they get better. She also believes that the Eurasian countries – Russia and the other newly independent countries of the region – constitute an important new challenge for the West. It is a challenge to which Western countries would do well to pay heed and one which foundations can play an important role in drawing their attention to.