In the last two weeks of June, the impression from Moscow was that the fate of Russia, and consequently of the world, depended on the outcome of the presidential runoff between incumbent Boris Yeltsin and Communist challenger Gennadii Zyuganov. Yet in her travels by plane, boat, train, and bus through another Russia, far from Moscow, Anne Nivat found that the identity of the future president was hardly the main issue of concern among the people she met.

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