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Prior to 1989 the Communists indirectly controlled the government of the Soviet Union It was during the Mikhail Gorbechev era in which his openness measure of reform was challenged by the explosion of the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl on April 26 1986 This incident brought about change which was subsequent to an open discussion of poverty the waste of resources and the Afghan conflict Efforts of reform were made by Eastern Europe leaders to remove the Communists leaders In 1989 there was a celebration over the seeming victory of democracy and capitalism over communism in the Western part of the world Ronald Reagans evil empire had become a prospective partner However the Russian economy had not responded well to the restructuring The strength of the Russian government had fallen back into the hands of Communists and ultranationalists More importantly Russian politics economy and society had been plagued with organized crime known as the Russian Mafi a On February 12 1993 President Boris Yeltsin stated that organized crime has become a direct threat to Russias strategic interests and national security Talalayev The irony of the situation is that the services responsible for the national security are a part of the problem because of internal corruption Intelligence reports emanating out of Russia peg the numerical size of the Russian Mafia Mafiya at 100000 members owing allegiance to 8000 stratified crime groups who control 70-80 of all private business and 40 of the nations wealth Lindberg The criminal underworld known to its members as the vorovskoi mir Thieves Society or Thieves World has existed on the margins of Russian life for centuries Handelman 9 The early Bolsheviks inspired their paramilitary culture with rituals and codes of honor In the seventeenth century a typical tactic used to avoid betrayal to the enemy was to kill their wives and children before going on a robbery Russian gang leaders in the nineteenth century however developed a somewhat more
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