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Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market by Janine Wedel

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CHAPTER FIVE

The Privatizers

THE CITY WAS MOSCOW, THE YEAR 1994, AND THE PLANS GRAND: to transform the new Russia. The old communist system lay in ruins, but the new capitalism existed only in hectic possibilities amid a high-octane world of hope. The myth of the “Evil Empire” was officially dead, felled by the breakup of the vast Soviet state at the end of 1991. America nurtured a new myth about its former adversary: Russia was reforming into a vibrant market democracy, one the West could do business with. Of course, we in the West were helping—not only with aid and loans, but also with our indispensable expertise.

I had been invited to sit in ...

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