In Russia, there is a way of embellishing truth, through exaggeration or misdirection or reduction of facts, that is considered an art and a legitimate exercise in daily dialogue and debate. It is called “vranyo”. One is considered very out of line and even rude if one challenges the fabricator of this fabrication.
IN 1992, I was with my Russian-American business partner, Yuri, in our Saint Petersburg office discussing some delicate matters of his activities in dealing with our Russian partners when he made a statement that I considered blatantly false.
I said “ Yuri, that’s not true!”
He replied emphatically, “Jackum, it IS truth.”
I said, “Yuri, you are lying!”
He replied, “I am NOT lying.”
I repeated, “Yuri, you are lying!”
He replied more loudly, “I AM NOT LYING!!!”
I got my Irish up, and said, “Damn it, Yuri, admit it, you are LYING.”
He replied louder still, “I AM NOT LYING. IF I WAS LYING, YOU WOULD NEVER THINK I WAS LYING.”
That made sense. (Explain Vranyo further)