The USSR was around for 69 years. During which time it's citizens went through tremendous heartaches. Millions died as a result of political purges, horrible labor systems, and state-created famines (U.S., 1998). The USSR had a command economy, which means all aspects of the economy were publicly owned and operated. Then in 1991, the Soviet Union would suddenly collapse, and Russia would rise to the surface (Kemp, 1996). This would begin their struggle to move toward a democracy and a free-market economy.
Russia is the largest country in the world at seventeen miles per square kilometer. It occupies 150 million people (US, 1998). Its official language is Russian, which is also an official language in the United Nations. Russia has a great educational system, which has produced almost a hundred percent literacy rate. It has five hundred and nineteen institutions of higher education and around forty-eight universities that about three million student attend. Unfortunately, most of this education is for right now wasted. Russia is said to have missed the industrial revolution, which has resulted in them being almost backwards in technology. This country has potential to become a leading nation, but first it has to make it through the reforms!.
When the USSR collapsed, Russia became the largest successor state (U.S., 1998). Russia would then gain its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and it would receive the bulk of the foreign assets and debt.
When Russia decided to initiate a free-market, society began to panic. Now businesses would have to compete on an open market. This reform movement would change everything about Russia's economy and the everyday life of the Russian people (Key Issues, 2000). People would no longer have the comfort of knowing someone else was in control. Russia's consumers and businesses would be snatched away from their controlled economies and put on their own.