It is always a tricky task to define complex and sophisticated social phenomena. Defining the political, economic and social order of modern Russia is even more of a challenge because of its transitional nature and the uncertainty of what has been transformed to what.

In particular, it wasn't "bookish" — truly Marxian — socialism that had to be dealt with in the early 1990s and be replaced by a modern variety of market economy. Instead, the point of departure was a rough case of state economy disguised as public property. Private initiative was fully outlawed as totalitarian "communist" power of tougher or milder variety reigned supreme.

Correspondingly it was not a mature industrial or postindustrial society with its efficient oligopoly structures and with a well-developed middle class that emerged as a result of that historic transformation. It was something quite different indeed.