lenin just rolled in his grave

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Mon Jul 28 21:10:23 MDT 2003

     Young, Russian, and Rich --  for Now at Least

     MOSCOW, July 26 -- It is Saturday night and tan young people in
     designer clothing recline on richly upholstered couches in a chic
     new nightclub called Chocolate. Bentleys and Ferraris are parked
     outside. A French D.J. named Red is playing lounge music.

     These are the children of Russia's new rich, the first generation
     to have come of age after Communism. Their parents came into
     their fortunes during Russia's property grab -- a few short years
     in the 1990's. They hungered for luxury after years of Soviet
     deprivation, flocking to resorts in southern France and filling
     Moscow's streets with Mercedes-Benzes.

but wait, a more sober note too:

     There is a downside to these instant fortunes amassed during the
     economic chaos. The vast majority of average Russians consider
     them only partly legitimate. Perhaps more dire, the government
     occasionally threatens to take the wealth away, as evidenced by
     the Kremlin's recent attack on Russia's richest man, Mikhail
     B. Khodorkovsky.

     "You live with the constant feeling that everything could be
     taken away tomorrow," said Kseniya Sobchak, 21, a wealthy Russian
     and the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, a leading democratic
     reformer of the late 1980's. "Fathers are rich today and in jail

les schaffer

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