January 01, 2015

Soviet Redux

Soviet Redux

Multiple large-scale reforms enacted in Russia over the past year made it seem as if the state was resolutely moving away from the ineffective Soviet system of management and borrowing from the experience of other countries.

In health care, which is becoming more and more like that of Europe, doctors are being retrained as family physicians. American standardized tests similar to the GRE and TOEFL are being phased in at state schools; universities are switching from a five-year Soviet system to the higher education framework used by Europe. Academics are being evaluated according to international scholarly indices. Even municipal services of various kinds – a scourge of every Russian accustomed to waiting in lines for hours to replace a passport or pay for electricity – are now introducing online services.

Surely in five or ten years time Russians could look forward to a much tighter integration with the West.

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