Conversations on Russia: Reform from Yeltsin to Putin

By Padma Desai | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Nodari Simonia
The Pro-Putin Vote

June 2003

Transition, in my view, should imply a change for the better. In contrast, eight
years under Yeltsin witnessed a horrific deterioration, a destruction of Russian
industry, and the impoverishment of the masses. The reformers destroyed the
old structures, hoping that they would automatically discover markets in their
place.

There is no point in borrowing the U.S. model of private ownership of oil and
not enforcing the U.S. model of tax payment, right? Oil companies here effec-
tively pay a 15–20 percent corporate tax, which is lower than the rates that U.S.
corporations pay.

Our faith in state guarantees is stronger than our trust in private business.


October 2004

Gubernatorial elections under Yeltsin led to the feudal partitioning of Russia.

A weak, unfocused state cannot fight terrorism.

The Yeltsin years marked a pseudotsarist, authoritarian arrangement—weak, ail-
ing, anarchic, and corrupt.

Gorbachev lost the chance to implant the Chinese model in Russia.


June 2003

DESAI: How did you acquire the varied professional expertise necessary to lead IMEMO, the leading Russian policy institute on international economic and political issues?

-227-

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