Russia For Everyman

Yeltsin wants to give each citizen $62 worth of the state's assets

In the old Soviet Union, the only capitalist was the state. It owned everything from the ice-cream kiosks on city streets to town-size tank factories. One of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's toughest challenges has been to transform the government's monopoly into a free market, and to do it equitably. "We need millions of property owners," he says, "and not just a handful of millionaires."

Marking the first anniversary of the aborted hard-line coup in Moscow, Yeltsin announced that he will begin by giving each of the country's 147.3 million people a share in the national wealth. "All residents of Russia," he...

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