Russia: thirty years in transition
Thirty years ago, in 1988, the Communist Party of the USSR held its 19th Conference, declaring a turn from the totalitarian past to a democratic future, to life built upon common human values. The country entered a deep transformation, ‘perestroika’. The year 1988 ended with Gorbachev meeting Reagan. In 3 years Russia would declare independence from the greater USSR. The Soviet Union had outlived its vitality and usefulness and voluntarily imploded. A useful comparator is Europe, 1945, ruined in the Great War. The next 30 years Europe saw flourishing of technology, trade, governance and prosperity. Though 30 years have elapsed since the Soviet fall, Russia remains in a churning transition of doubtful accomplishment unleavened by the passage of time. Indeed, since 1988, Russia has forfeited any real chance of improving the nation’s health and health care system.