dented novelty in that part of the world. Yet in historical perspective, the scope and pace of fundamental, systemic change in Russia is rapid. Many Russians will not agree with that view, of course; they are impatient, having gone through a revolution of rising expectations and expecting to see palpable, meaningful results of it now. They do not want to wait longer for a rosy future. Instead, they desire to live in comfort today. Their desire for immediate gratification is an important psychological phenomenon, quite understandable, yet difficult to overcome.
Without keeping expectations low, however, continuing systemic change will not be easy. Certainly, a large dose of fairness and justice in implementing the transformation would grossly shore up the chances of a successful completion of it. Alas, this is a sphere of public life that remains most neglected by Russian politicians during the time of the current revolution. The key question concerning the unfinished revolution is a political one: How long will people's tolerance of the pain last, and how resolute will Moscow leaders be in pursuing the revolutionary goals? Are the politicians really willing and able to complete the tasks they embarked upon?
With regard to Russia's future various views are expressed. Some political analysts say that from today's perspective successful liberal democracy is not a foreordained outcome: "History is still open-ended as far as the final outcome of the postcommunist transformation is concerned."82 Others are of the opinion that either "democracy of default or moderate authoritarianism" is the most likely outcome. 83 Either way, nobody claims that Russia's return to communism is likely. This in itself demonstrates how much Russia has changed in a very short time and is a measure of its success thus far. Although Russia's future remains uncertain, certainly we may say that it will not be Russia as we know it, may we not?