Just finished Stephen Kotkin’s (2008) book “Armageddon averted – Soviet collapse 1970-2000”. Thoughtful analysis of the Soviet collapse and rise of new Russia. Interesting point that Soviet power started to decay already during 1970s when it was thought to be in its zenith. Another paradox: during Gorbatchev Soviet state had huge military and security apparatus to try to fight back, but nothing happened – Soviet state just collapsed and soldiers retreated from Eastern Europe. Historical retreat without a fight. Gorbachev believed in Marxism and tried return to its ideals through reforms. Contemporary Russia is mixing market freedom with its authoritarian past, following China’s example, – or as the author puts it: Market Leninism.