Russia: The Reasons Why

Ismail Y. Yusupov, 48, knew that he had a tough row to hoe when he was named Communist Party boss in the problem-plagued virgin lands of Kazahkstan (TIME, Jan. 4). But he could hardly have guessed the extent of the mess he would inherit from his purged predecessor. Last week Yusupov published a report charging that more than $600 million had been wasted during the last three years on ill-conceived projects; no fewer than 16,139 regional officials were fired last year alone, 2,340 of them for stealing and embezzling $1,270,000. A gang of crooks led by the chief of...

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