But the Soviet Union (USSR) and Russia are separate entities. The Soviet Union (USSR) consisted of about 15 states and it no longer exists. It just so happens that Russia was one of those 15 states. Russia is not the Soviet Union (USSR), there were 14 other countries in addition to Russia which were a part of it.
Russia is the down-sized and modified Soviet Union and its legal successor. It isn't just one of 15 former Soviet republics; it inherited nearly half of the USSR's population and 3/4 of its territory as like as its seat in the UN Security Council and nuclear arsenal. Russian economy and military are larger and stronger than ones of 14 other former SSRs combined. Moreover, its army is the second or third strongest in the world.
they weren't saying Russia was the king of the north when they had a nice branch there and collecting a tidy sum in donations from the people. Ipocrities
You say this like they offend Russia. In fact, they just declared it eschatologically significant. The US&UK are "a false prophet" and "a two-horned wild beast that spoke like a dragon", and who cares?.
As to "a tidy sum in donations'. More than half of the Russian branch's expenses were funded by foreign donations and grants. And it received from 'its' congregations (170K publishers) just three times more money than Watch Tower Ireland from Irish ones (6K pubs). The Russian branch was expensive, not profitable.
For the Russian state it is a gift and a shot to an open goal. This happend earlier in communist country's. With one victim: the local witnesses, and two winners: the state and the wts. G.
I don't understand how this is a win for WT. On the one hand, major decrease in Russia and painful blow for the organization. What's on the other hand? Purely speculative reasonings about encouraging effect of the new martyrs' stories?