Dedication

To the millions whose brilliance, kindness and energy are building a new Russia. 
May they have a chance to succeed. 

 

Introduction

After The Soviet Union is a travelogue that gives a comprehensive description of contemporary life in 26 regions of the Russian Federation.  Written during my 1998-2001 stay in Moscow, updated in 2004 and organized by region, After the Soviet Union is filled with images of a fearful city facing terrorist attack, the glittering magic of Russian churches, the ethereal purity of Lake Baikal, the weird logic of Cossack racism and the dusty steppe where Yuri Gagarin fell to earth.  It also describes Moscow's wild night life, remembers the fallen millions from the Second World War, and stares over the border into China. 

The book covers a critical transition period from the end of the Yeltsin regime to the rise of Vladimir Putin (1998-2001) and looks at the life of ordinary Russians during important events such as the 1998 economic crisis, the US Serbian War and the onset of deteriorating media freedom.  In addition, the text challenges stereotypes, looks under the surface and examines both Russian tradition and post-Soviet attitudes.  All sources are from first-hand experiences, unless otherwise noted.
 

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