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This text was written by Aleksei Rudevich and originally appeared in Russian on the website "Russian 7." To read the original Russian, click here. This has been translated for the first time into English by SRAS Translate Abroad intern Brian Jacoby-McCurdy. In certain places, information has been added or links to outside information inserted to try to make the text more useful to those readers who may not know much about the extraordinary economic and political events that occurred in Russia and the USSR in the 1990s.