ABQjournal Special Project: Portraits From Russia

last updated:
Tuesday, 20-Apr-1999 17:57:00 MDT

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Portraits From Russia

Russia has been both our ally and mortal enemy this century. Americans breathed a sigh of relief as the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union disintegrated and Russians embraced elections and capitalism. But reforms have stumbled badly and Russia has been plunged into economic chaos. Still a military superpower, Russia again finds itself at a crossroads as the world watches nervously.

Stories by Mike Gallagher | Photos by Richard Pipes
Click here to send Mike Gallagher your comments about this series


Crisis of Capitalism
Russians pursue capitalism with vigor, but a punishing tax code and the lack of fundamental property rights hold back progress. Western businesses are still reluctant to invest heavily because they fear a government shift will lead to nationalization.
  • Reporter's notebook
  • Soviet-Era Safety Net in Place
  • Crisis Pulls Medicine Into the Past
  • Political leaders
  • Day one photo gallery
  • Photo gallery: Faces of Russia


    Learning the Hard Way
    Education in Russia has fallen on hard times. In Moscow, where the situation is brightest, teachers are still getting paid. But in other parts of this vast country, teachers have gone months without being paid; some have been forced to take goods in trade.
  • Reporter's notebook
  • Struggling To Get By
  • Poet Worries About Censorship
  • Day two photo gallery


    Preventing a Meltdown
    Russia's economic turmoil has raised serious new obstacles to making the world a safer place.
  • Reporter's notebook
  • Plan Takes Uranium Out of Circulation
  • Institute Capitalizes on Talent
  • Important dates in recent Russian history
  • Day three photo gallery


    Risky Business
    Corruption, red tape, a tax system that makes no sense, a terrible banking system and a crumbling infrastructure are just some of the problems that make Russia a tough place to do business.
  • Tax Evasion, Corruption Hurt Economy
  • Reporter's notebook
  • Demand for Famed Porcelain Unbroken by Economic Woes
  • 'Bandits' Peddle Expensive Protection
  • The Price of Beauty
  • Day four photo gallery


    High Price of Freedom
    Few Russians express a desire to return to the days of Soviet rule and a planned economy. They cherish their newfound personal freedoms and cling to the hope that capitalism will improve their lives. But prosperity is a long way away.
  • Reporter's notebook
  • Cost of Sausages Rising
  • Winter of Discontent
  • Russian government under 1993 constitution
  • Snapshots
  • Day five photo gallery