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RUSSIA: STATUS QUO AND FUTURE
This section talks about specific events and conditions in Russia. To find out if something is happening or not happening, good or bad, increasing or decreasing, this is the section to consult.
THE FUTURE OF RUSSIA

page 33
REFORMS IN RUSSIA

page 39
RUSSIAN ECONOMY

page 43
RUSSIAN DEMOCRITIZATION

page 49
BORIS YELTSIN -- RULER OF RUSSIA

page 58
RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME

page 69
NATIONALISM IN RUSSIA

page 81
ELECTION 2000

page 84
RETURN OF COMMUNISM

page 89
RECONQUEST OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION

page 92
RUSSIAN MILITARY AND NUCLEAR ISSUES

page 96
RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY AND RELATIONS WITH MAJOR POWERS

page 112

THE FUTURE OF RUSSIA IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE TO THE USA


RUSSIA WILL BE EXCEEDINGLY IMPORTANT TO THE USA IN THE CENTURY TO COME
Grigory Yavlinsky; Russian economist and the leader of Yabloko, a democratic, reformist political party, Foreign Affairs, May, 1998 / June, 1998; Pg. 67, HEADLINE: Russia's Phony Capitalism acs-VT99

Russians will make this fateful choice and be its principal victims or beneficiaries. But its consequences to Americans, Europeans, and other who share this shrinking globe should not be underestimated. Contrary to the widespread view in the United States that Russia is essentially irrelevant or of secondary concern, our continental country, stretching from Eastern Europe to upper Asia, will be important in the next century because of its location between east and west, its possession of weapons of mass destruction, its natural resources, and its potential as a consumer market.


RUSSIA IS AT A CRITICAL POINT, AND THE FATE OF RUSSIA IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR THE USA
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

The parallel I'm suggesting is this: Like Britain in 1942, Russia in 1997 is still in the throes of a titanic struggle. We Americans have a huge stake in how that struggle turns out. Our goal, like that of many Russians, is to see Russia become a normal, modern state -- democratic in its governance, abiding by its own constitution and by its own laws, market-oriented and prosperous in its economic development, at peace with itself and with the rest of the world. That, in a nutshell, is what we mean -- and more to the point, what many Russians mean -- by the word reform.


WHAT IMPACTS RUSSIA IMPACTS AMERICA
Lisa Hoffman, Scripps Howard News Service, The Patriot Ledger , March 24, 1998; Pg. 01, HEADLINE: Cleaning Russia's house ; Russian upheaval may be dramatic gesture acs-VT99

Nearly a decade after the Soviet Union crumbled, America still tenses when Russia convulses.


RUSSIA’S EVOLUTION INTO A PROSPEROUS DEMOCRACY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF THE 21ST CENTURY
Newsday (New York, NY), October 23, 1997, Page A46, HEADLINE: SOROS GIVES RUSSIA $500 MILLION: U.S. PLEASE COPY acs-VT99

In the big picture, there is no foreign policy goal more important to the United States, and to much of the world, than the success of democracy in Russia. If Russia becomes a successful, democratic state it will profoundly and positively influence events in the next century. Just think of the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on the Cold War in the second half of this century because Russia was viewed as a dangerous enemy.


RUSSIA IS NOT IN DEEP TROUBLE -- IT IS DOING BETTER THAN EVER
IMPROVEMENTS ON MANY FRONTS HAVE LED RUSSIA TO A “TAKE OFF” POINT IN ITS DEVELOPMENT
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

While none of these developments is decisive, each is significant in its own right. Moreover, there is a synergy among them -- the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Together they may mark a takeoff point in post-Soviet Russia's evolution as a modern state.


RUSSIA IS A DEMOCRATIC COUNTRY WITH A STRONG PARLIAMENT AND COOPERATES CLOSELY WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND THE USA
Nikolai Morozov, TASS, March 19, 1998, HEADLINE: US diplomat describes US-Russian relations as good, close; acs-VT99

At present Russia is a democratic country with a strong parliament which closely cooperates with the government. Russia develops cooperation with the United States and other world countries on the most important and serious problems, Talbott stressed.


RUSSIA IS STRONGLY ON THE MOVE AND GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
DEBORAH ANNE PALMIERI, Journal of Commerce, August 29, 1997, Pg. 8A, HEADLINE: Russia's productive summer acs-VT99

All of this demonstrates that Russia is on the move, both at home and on the world's economic and political scene. But this time, its status is not founded on military might but on the basis of sound diplomacy and constructive regional policy. Clearly, the Russians are hoping the links with its neighbors will help accelerate Russia's recovery and establish vital long- term economic partnerships. There is every reason to believe that this summer's trend will continue.


RUSSIA IS IN ITS BEST POSITION IN 450 YEARS BECAUSE ITS CURRENT GOVERNMENT HAS SUCCEEDED IN INITIAL REFORMS
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

Few propositions about today's world can be stated with greater certainty: Never in its nearly 450 years has the modern Russian state been less imperialist, less militarized, less threatening to its neighbors and the world, and more receptive to Western ideals and practices than it is in 1998. This is obvious to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Russian history.

This state of affairs is the result of a series of complex, often difficult choices made by the first post-Communist regime. Some of the most fateful decisions were made between 1991 and 1996, when Russia was reeling from economic depression, hyperinflation, market reforms, and postimperial trauma. Many a nation facing incomparably milder dislocations has succumbed to the temptation of nationalism as a means of securing cohesion. From Argentina to China, Malaysia, and Indonesia, countries have resorted to this palliative in recent years to dull the pain of market reforms or economic reversals.
IN 1998, RUSSIA IS STILL STANDING, AND STRONGER THAN EVER AS PROBLEMS ARE BEING ADDRESSED
Dmitry Zaks, The Moscow Times, December 30, 1997, HEADLINE: Russia's Biggest Stories of 1997 acs-VT99

But as 1998 rolls in, Russia is still standing - in some respects, stronger than ever. Inflation has been all but tamed, the ruble remains remarkably steady and economic reforms seem to be taking hold. Mir, for all its troubles, is still flying, and Russia is slowly regaining its status on the international diplomatic stage.


WHILE MANY PROBLEMS REMAIN, THINGS ARE IMPROVING IN RUSSIA IN ALL MAJOR AREAS
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

This is not to say that Russian reform has scored a knockout blow against crime; corruption, the uglier manifestation of nationalism and the other forces arrayed against it; or that the Russian economy is home free; or that old Soviet attitudes and habits are gone forever. But it is to say that Russians today can be more confident than a year ago that their country will make it -- not just as a safe, secure, unitary state, but as a law-based, democratic society, increasingly integrated with the growing community of states that are similarly constituted and similarly oriented.


RUSSIA’S FUTURE LOOKS EXTREMELY BRIGHT AND PROMISING
GIVEN ITS CURRENT PROGRESS, RUSSIA WILL EMERGE BY 2020 AS A STRONG AND STABLE NATION
David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Russia, 1997; RESURRECTION: The Struggle for a New Russia, p. 366 , acs-VT99

Since 1991, Russia has broken so dramatically with its absolutist past that the break cannot be ignored or underestimated. The almost uni formly rosy predictions for China and the almost uniformly gloomy ones for Russia seem wrong to me. Political reform is not the only advantage Russia has in its favor. Unlike China, whose population is still dominated by rural poverty and illiteracy, Russia is an increasingly urban nation with a literacy rate of 99 percent. Nearly 80 percent of the Russian economy is in private hands. Inflation, a feature of all postcommunist countries, has dropped from 2,500 percent in 1992 to 130 percent in 1993'. The natural resource base is unparalleled. Richard Layard of the London School of Economics and John Parker, a former Moscow correspondent for The Economist, predict that by the year 2020 Russia "may well have out stripped countries like Poland, Hungary, Brazil and Mexico with China far behind." They are more optimistic than I am read), to be, but it is not an unreasonable view.


THE FUTURE OF RUSSIA IS MORE PROMISING NOW THAN AT ANY TIME IN ITS HISTORY
David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Russia, 1997; RESURRECTION: The Struggle for a New Russia, p. 362 , acs-VT99

While it is undoubtedly true that daily life in Russia today suffers from a painful economic, political, and social transition, the Russian prospect over the coming years and decades is more promising than ever before in its history. Or as the former deputy prime minister Yegor Gaidar has put it, "Russia today is not a bad subject for long-term prognostication, and a very inappropriate subject for short-term analysis." I see no reason that Russia cannot make a break ,vith its absolutist past much in the way that German), and Japan did after the war.


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN RUSSIA MEAN THAT THE PAST HAS CHANGED FOREVER AND THE FUTURE LOOKS PROMISING
David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Russia, 1997; RESURRECTION: The Struggle for a New Russia, p. 367 , acs-VT99

The most famous of all nineteenth-century visitors to Russia, the Marquis de Custine, ended his trip and his narrative by Nvriting, "One needs to have lived in that solitude without tranquillity, that prison without leisure that is called Russia, to appreciate all the freedom enjoyed in other European countries, no matter what form of government they have chosen. . . . It is alway's good to know that there exists a society in which no happiness is possible, because, by reason of nature, man cannot be happy unless he is free." But that has changed. An entirely, new era has begun. Russia has entered the world. and everything, even freedom, even happiness, is now possible.


IT IS POSSIBLE FOR RUSSIA TO BE STABLE, PROSPEROUS, AND DEMOCRATIC IN THE FUTURE
Grigory Alexeyevich Yavlinsky, leader of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma, Official Kremlin Int'l News Broadcast, OCTOBER 6, 1997, HEADLINE: PRESS CONFERENCE WITH THE LEADER OF THE YABLOKO FACTION acs-VT99

Q: One more question: do you yourself believe in a democratic future for Russia? After listening to you today, I have grave doubts.

Yavlinsky: I have absolutely no doubts that a free, democratic and dignified country can be built in Russia. It will not be the greatest or strongest power in the world, but it will be far better than it was or is today. This can be achieved, I have absolutely no doubts about that.
RUSSIA WILL BECOME A PEACEFUL MEMBER OF THE WORLD COMMUNITY, AND CURRENT EVENTS DEMONSTRATE THIS
Richard Pipes; Professor of History, Emeritus, at Harvard University, Foreign Affairs, September, 1997 /October, 1997; Pg. 65, HEADLINE: Is Russia Still an Enemy? acs-VT99

The military doctrine that the government of the Russian Federation adopted in 1993 declares that Russia "does not regard any state to be its adversary." The May 1997 NATO- Russia agreement reaffirmed the premise. Although not admitted to NATO, Russia has been given a seat on the alliance's Permanent Joint Council, which assures it, if not of a veto, then of a voice, in NATO deliberations. Given that in last year's presidential election Russian voters rejected the communist candidate for one committed to democracy and capitalism, it is not unreasonable to assume that in time Russia will become a fullfledged member of the international community.


DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS SHOW THAT “YOUNG RUSSIA” WILL BE THE KEY TO A PEACEFUL AND STABLE RUSSIA
GENERATIONAL SHIFT MEANS THAT RUSSIA WILL BECOME MORE AND MORE STABLE AND PEACEFUL
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

Few places on earth have seen as little peace of any kind as Russia and its environs. But here again, I reiterate: There is reason for optimism. In addition to the ones I've already mentioned, I'd like, in conclusion, to add one more. It's generational -- or, to be even more blunt, biological. The dynamic of what is happening in Russia today is not just Westernizers versus Slavophiles; it is also young versus old -- and the young have a certain advantage in at least that dimension of the larger struggle between the old and the new.


YOUNG RUSSIA IS VERY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE WAY THINGS ARE IMPROVING
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

Perhaps the single-most significant and hopeful statistic I've seen is this: Although 65% of those Russians over the age of 65 think things got worse over the last year, 60% of those under 35 think things got better. So among the positive trends underway in Russia is perhaps the most basic one of all, the one represented by the actuarial tables.


USA SHOULD GEAR ITS POLICIES TOWARDS YOUNGER RUSSIANS WHO ARE THE KEY TO RUSSIAN STABILITY AND DEVELOPMENT
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

Hence, to the extent possible, our policy toward Russia should be geared toward the younger citizens of Russia who will decide who they are, where they belong, how they relate to Europe and to the outside world. The essence of our policy, in short, is: give them time -- give them time to consolidate the reforms that constitute the good news of the past few years; give them time to beat back the forces that have generated the bad news; give them time to work out their identity and destiny in ways that will not only best serve a modern Russia's real interests but that will also be, to the greatest extent possible, compatible with our interests as well.


DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS SHOW THAT RUSSIA WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP INTO A CIVIL AND FREE SOCIETY
Matthew Wyman, Prof. of Politics at Keele University [UK], 1997, PUBLIC OPINION IN POST COMMUNIST RUSSIA, p. 237-238 , acs-VT99

Furthermore, there clearly exist in Russia substantial groups who do accept the desirability of Russia's becoming a normal post-imperial country and of conducting politics in a civilised fashion. These attitudes are much more common among the young than the old. The simple processes of generational replacement would therefore lead one to expect a secular trend towards a more desirable outcome.


RUSSIA REPRESENTS A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE FUTURE OF THE WORLD
THE NEW RUSSIAN STATE -- A UNIQUE STRUCTURE -- REPRESENTS A SERIOUS THREAT TO THE WEST AND TO THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE
Ariel Cohen; Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 28, HEADLINE: WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP? WHAT KIND OF RUSSIA? acs-VT99

Russia still is struggling with post-communist transition. Yes, great achievements have been made. But we are not out of the woods yet. We do not have a stable democracy, civil society, the rule of law, and truly free media in Russia. We do not have a thriving market economy in the Western sense, complete with a working legal and court system, a culture of small business, a system that is hospitable to the private sector and investment-generated growth.

What we have is a new type of state that combines elements of the market with a highly centralized economy, powerful business and political oligarchies, and a strong overlay of criminality. This state represents a threat to the United States, to the West, and to the Russian people.
CURRENT INSTABILITY IN RUSSIA WILL LAST FOR ANOTHER GENERATION
Steve Rodan, The Jerusalem Post, May 20, 1998, Pg. 2, HEADLINE: Israel, US dispute effectiveness of Congress sanctions on Russia // acs-VT99

The Pentagon recently held a conference of Russian experts to discuss the future of the federation. Participants said the conclusion was that the current instability in Russia would last at least another generation.


THERE IS NO FOREIGN ANALOGY FOR THE RUSSIAN EXPERIENCE
David Remnick, Pulitzer Prize winning author on Russia, 1997; RESURRECTION: The Struggle for a New Russia, p. 366 , acs-VT99

In trying to analyze the situation in Russia and the Russian prospect, all analysts, myself included, tend to grope for analogies with other countries and other eras. The rise of oligarchy summons Argentina, the vacuum of power evokes Weimar Germany, the dominance of the mafia hints at postwar Italy, the presidential constitution recalls de Gaulle's constitution of 1958. But while Russia's problems alarm the world on occasion, none of these analogies takes into account the country's possibilities.


RUSSIA’S PROGRAM OF REFORM IS SUCCEEDING
THE QUICK PACE AND SUCCESSES OF RUSSIAN REFORM ARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO GOOD POLICIES AND STRONG LEADERSHIP
DEBORAH ANNE PALMIERI, Journal of Commerce, August 29, 1997, Pg. 8A, HEADLINE: Russia's productive summer acs-VT99

It's not luck that's produced these results; it's a combination of strong leadership with vision, good policy and political willpower. There is no doubt about Russia's resolve and capability to change, stabilize and forge a market economy. In fact, this quick pace exceeds all expectations, even our own here in America.


THERE IS HOPE THAT A REFORMIST RUSSIA WILL WIN OUT
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

There is nothing preordained about the outcome of this clash of alternative futures. But there is reason for hope that the latter-day Westernizers will prevail over the latter-day Slavophiles. Let me explain why.


THERE IS NO RETREAT FROM CAPITALISM IN RUSSIA -- NOW THE DECISION IS OVER DEMOCRATIC OR OLIGARCHIC CAPITALISM
Yekaterina Grigoryeva, Russian Press Digest, September 19, 1997, HEADLINE: It Was So Under Peter The Great, It Will Be So Under Boris I, SOURCE: NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA, pp. 1-2 acs-VT99

As for that choice, Chubais explained it in this way. Russia has already made its choice between communism and capitalism and is now at a "new historical road fork" -- an oligarchic or a democratic capitalism. He said he was for the latter option. But his political opponents, Russia's biggest bankers, speak also in favor of a "democratic capitalism."


RUSSIAN CITIZENS STILL FAVOR MARKET REFORMS, BUT AT A SLOWER PACE
Bertram Silverman & Murray Yanowitch, Profs. of Economics Hofstra Univ., 1997; NEW RICH, NEW POOR, NEW RUSSIA: Winners and losers on the Russian road to capitalism, p. 129 , acs-VT99

But this did not mean that Russians wanted the reform process to end. Of those surveyed in 1995, 73 percent thought that market reforms were necessary. Only 27 percent wanted the process stopped. What they did oppose was the current direction of the reform process. Fifty percent of those questioned thought that market reforms should provide people with adequate social protection. The overwhelming majority (77 percent) were critical of the new economic elites who, they thought, were only interested in making as much money as possible and who paid little attention to the concerns of the larger society. While they did not wish to return to the kind of life that existed in the USSR before 1985, they disliked the growing disparity between the rich and the poor that Russian capitalism was exhibiting. In short, when asked what they thought the Russian road to capitalism should look like, their vision closely resembled the social democratic attributes of modem welfare states.


RUSSIA’S PROGRAM OF REFORMS IS A DISMAL FAILURE
CURRENT REFORMS HAVE LED TO A MELT DOWN OF RUSSIAN SOCIETY
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 183-184 . acs-VT99

Today, I would characterize our society as a melt-down, a kind of magma produced by the catastrophic explosion of the vast spaces historically formed around Russia. We are witnessing the growth of a sharp opinion split concerning property, territory, and spirituality. Instead of a vigorous multi-faceted economy, we see a complete exhaustion of all types of economic endeavor. The public (state) economic sector has been looted and vandalized. Taxes have choked the collective (stock company) property and business. Even the private sector, which continues to live off the ruins of state property, has been depressed.


THE ATTEMPTED TRANSITION TO A FREE ECONOMY HAS THROWN MILLIONS INTO POVERTY AND THREATENED THEIR FREEDOM
Rertram Silverman & Murray Yanowitch, Profs- of Economics Hofstra Univ., 1997; NEW RICH, NEW POOR, NEW RUSSIA: Winners and losers on the Russian road to capitalism, p. 55 , acs-VT99

The symptoms of extreme poverty are already visible in Russia's largest cities. According to one estimate, there are now 60,000 homeless children in MOSCOW. They have been augmented since 1992 by the 4 million migrants and refugees caused by the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In Moscow, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, supported by President Yeltsin, has begun deporting thousands of homeless people. As one of the mayor's legal advisers, Aleksandr Zolin, argued, "we're not saying there should be an iron curtain separating Moscow from the rest of the country, but we don't need homeless vagrants or beggars here." In denying political rights to the homeless, Zolin advocated a new Russian concept of freedom: "If people can afford to live here," he argued, "they are welcome, if they cannot they should stay where they are. In our view, there is no freedom without financial means." According to official statistics, as many as 45 million Russians were poor at the beginning of 1995.37 If Russia implements this concept of freedom, the liberty of millions would once again be at risk.


INCOMPLETE REFORMS HAVE LEFT THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY A WRECK
JOHN STEINBRUNER and CLIFFORD GADDY, Brookings Institution's foreign policy studies program, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1998, Part M; Page 5; HEADLINE: THE BEAR HAS LOST ITS ROAR // acs-VT99

Right now, Russia outperforms hardly anyone. In this, the seventh year of market reform, only a small segment of the Russian economy can truly be said to be operating under market conditions, and most of that is finance-related activity based in Moscow. The rest of the economy remains not just outside the real market, but largely insulated against it. Essentially all of the agricultural sector and most of manufacturing persist in a nearly self-contained system that operates without market prices and almost without money.


CURRENT REFORMS HAVE DESTROYED THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY
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