More than in my past writing efforts, I owe thanks to a set of enthusiastic helpers. They provided invaluable help in preparing my manuscript. Two of them have the ability to read my handwriting, something I am not always able to do myself. Doing my best to ignore the advances of the modern computerized world, I prefer to write out the text in longhand on legal-size yellow pads. Robert Price was able to transcribe those writings for me onto a computer, so I was devastated when he went to work at a higher calling. To my relief Sue Sypko took over and proved to be as able, and, equally important, she hasn’t frowned when I bring her yet another set of nearly incomprehensive scribbles. In fact, I have taken to awarding her Stakhanovite prizes for her efforts. The third member is Coco Downey, who offered herself as research assistant and eagerly agreed to chase after obscure facts and display them in a way that aids the understanding of how things work in Russia. I have come to call her “the wizard.” After reading her charts and diagrams in the chapters that follow, I suspect the readers, even those in Russia, will agree that they can now understand the previously incomprehensible. The fourth and most unlikely member of this quartet is Thomas Luly, a most amazing high school junior. Out of the blue he wrote an e-mail asking if I needed any assistance. To humor him, I sent him an early draft of the manuscript and to my amazement, he not only read the whole thing and made extensive notes, but he found more inconsistencies in the text than I am embarrassed to admit should have been there. He also asked some probing questions that should help both me and I hope future readers deal with issues that are all too often skirted.