Russian proverbs can seem very strange to Americans. They seem a little on the negative side, perhaps overly cynical. They make a lot of sense to me though.
I learned in grammar school to keep my head down and never to draw attention to myself. I learned this from experts, the Sisters of St. Dominic. The Russians have proverbs addressing the issue of living in an authoritarian environment:
"The nail that stands up gets smashed down."
"The tallest wheat stalk bends first."
There's another Russian proverb that makes sense to me:
"Let it be worse; let it be ours."
I'll let you fill in the blanks on that one.