THE BLOODY BLAZE OF THE Chechen war, like a flash of lightning, has cast a light on the political situation in Russia and its main players. It is becoming clear that Russians are on the verge of a new turning point, for which the war is just a prelude. This turning point can be compared to the replacement of the radical reformer Egor Gaidar with the more moderate Viktor Chernomyrdin as prime minister in 1992; it can also be compared to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Founding Summit in Belovezhkaya Pushcha in 1991, which marked the beginning of the demise of the Soviet Union and the launch of the transition to democracy and a market economy. ...
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