Another View of Gaidar’s Legacy

Yevgeny Kiselyov has an interesting take on Yegor Gaidar’s legacy in the Moscow Times:

There has never been a case in Russian history where economic, political or social reforms have been carried out from the bottom-up. Reforms in Russia have always been implemented from the top-down and only once the ruling elite realized that the country might collapse if drastic measures weren’t taken.

The problem today is that there are no more great reformers like Gaidar left in the ruling elite. There is nobody who is willing to take the risks and assume the huge responsibilities for reforming the country. Instead, our political leaders consist almost exclusively of power-hungry provincial bureaucrats — of which too many of them are former KGB officers — whose single concern is maintaining and increasing their hold on power, amassing personal fortunes and showing contempt for the opposition and public opinion.