I've thought of something to add. As for the political experts completely missing the point of the transition of the Soviet Union into the mess that it is now, you know who got it right? Garth from a Wayne's World sketch on Saturday Night Live nailed it. It was a top ten list of reasons they're bumbed communism fell. (I believe the episode first aired in the fall of '91) Amidst reasons like, the Bond girls won't be as hot and no more Gorky Park to insult, Garth predicted that the entire Soviet system would collapse leading Russia in a state of "economic darwinism." Do you get the Daily Show in Russia? Also, I've come to understand that the Soviets were the real pioneers in specialized education. I've been eyeballin' the Latvian University system and liking what it offers. I don't think I'm up to learning Latvian well enough, though.