Getting Rich in the Heart of Russia

The U.S. may be criticizing Vladimir Putin's heavy hand, but with oil money bringing new prosperity, Russians aren't complaining

There are no oil wells in Kaluga, no gold mines, no rich mineral deposits. In fact, until recently there was very little in this town (pop. 345,000) other than some run-down farms, a distillery that produces mediocre vodka, a big statue of a Soviet rocket-science pioneer and a war-era T-34 tank monument that still bears the inscription FOR STALIN AND THE MOTHERLAND.

But something is stirring here in provincial Russia, a three-hour drive from Moscow. The potholes on Lenin Street are as treacherous as ever, but over the past couple of years the dreary Soviet-era stores that once lined it have...

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